A slump or a slide? Density decides

By Sid Perkins, 15:47 PM April 15, 2008

In landslides, as in life, it's the little things that count. Using a full-scale simulator, researchers have shown that just a small difference in soil density determines whether a landslide becomes a fast-moving killer or merely one that slowly slumps downhill.

In each experiment, the scientists placed 12 tons of soil on a large concrete slab tilted at 31 degrees. That's a typical slope for hills at high risk of landslide, says Richard M. Iverson, a hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Surve...

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