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Factors influencing the distribution of debris avalanches associated with the 1969 Hurricane Camille in Nelson County, Virginia

By
Jeffrey J. Gryta
Jeffrey J. Gryta
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Mervin J. Bartholomew
Mervin J. Bartholomew
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Published:
January 01, 1989

Examination of the central Virginia Blue Ridge shows that both regional and local factors affected the development of 1,107 debris avalanches during Hurricane Camille in 1969. Major factors influencing the triggering of debris avalanches were rainfall, topographic relief, and contrasting lithologic associations between the Pedlar massif with its metavolcanic cover and the Lovingston massif.

Within areas of high rainfall and high chute density, secondary factors affect the susceptibility of individual rock units and chute orientations within those rock units. Units that have high to moderate susceptibility generally have a prominent biotite or amphibole foliation and/or multiple rock fabrics (compositional layering and foliation). Units showing a moderate to low susceptibility are generally more massive and/or lack a well-defined biotite foliation. Rock fabrics influenced preferred chute orientations in most rock types. Chute azimuths are moderately concentrated within a 75° arc between N60°E and S45°E, subparallel to the direction of dip of the regional foliation.

These Camille results suggest that most of the Pedlar massif has a moderate susceptibility to shallow-seated landsliding. By contrast, the topographically rugged areas of the Lovingston massif have high to moderate susceptibility.

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GSA Special Papers

Landslide processes of the eastern United States and Puerto Rico

Arthur P. Schultz
Arthur P. Schultz
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Randall W. Jibson
Randall W. Jibson
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Geological Society of America
Volume
236
ISBN print:
9780813722368
Publication date:
January 01, 1989

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