Geology

Do people have any influence over whether landslides happen?
Answered by Science Channel
  • Science Channel

    Science Channel

  1. Landslides occur naturally, but many human activities can make an area especially prone to landslides. When we clear vegetation from natural land or cut down trees on mountains or hillsides, we make these areas much more susceptible to landslides. Much of the world's loose sediment is held in place by the root structures of plants. If there is an excessive amount of rain, the loose soil of a deforested area will have nothing to secure it to the bedrock underneath - - this is a recipe for a landslide. People can help prevent landslides by providing good drainage on natural slopes - - this prevents the buildup of excessive water, which is one of the most common causes of loosening sediment. Some managers of landslide-prone slopes install barriers as preventive measures. Replanting a deforested tract of land with trees is a good way to avoid future landslides.

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