Weak rock and steep slopes are a bad combination for homeowners or prospective homeowners worried about landslides. A new map produced by the United States and California Geological Surveys stops short of predicting where landslides may occur, but does show which areas are prone to them. Tim McCrink with the CGS says the worst areas geologically in the state are on the coastal mountains that extend from Los Angeles to Oregon:
“This is the area that has experienced the most recent tectonic activity,” says McCrink. “With the plate movements and everything else you’ve had more deformation of the rocks, which tends to weaken them and then at the same time those rocks are getting pushed up into steeper slope configurations.”
McCrink says the new maps go into greater detail than ever before in linking geology and slide potential. The next step of the project is to take this information and combine it with rainfall totals and earthquake activity to develop better maps of where slides may occur.