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Study of slope movements triggered by the storm of November 3–5, 1985, in the central Appalachian Mountains, U.S.A., has helped to define the meteorologic conditions leading to slope movements and the relative importance of land cover, bedrock, surficial geology, and geomorphology in slope movement location. This long-duration rainfall at moderate intensities triggered more than 1,000 slope movements in a 1,040-km2 study area. Most were shallow slips and slip-flows in thin colluvium and residuum on shale slopes. Locations of these failures were sensitive to land cover and slope aspect but were relatively insensitive to topographic setting. A few shallow slope movements were triggered by the same rainfall on interbedded limestone, shale, and sandstone. Several large debris slide-avalanches were triggered in sandstone regolith high on ridges in areas of the highest measured rainfall. Most of these sites were on slopes that dip 30 to 35° and lie parallel to bedding planes, presumably the sites of least stability.

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