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Surficial slope failures in southern California hillside residential areas: Lessons from the 1978 and 1980 rainstorms

By
P. M. Merifield
P. M. Merifield
Consulting Geologist, 3411 Wade Street, Los Angeles, California 90066
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Published:
January 01, 1992

Abstract

Widespread damage in hillside areas of southern California resulting from major rainstorms during 1978 and 1980 focused attention on risks to life and property from surficial slope failures, including debris slides, debris flows, and debris floods. Both artificial and natural slopes underwent damaging surficial failures; however, mountain and foothill areas below burned watersheds were affected by considerably more debris than unburned areas. Slopes vegetated with grasses or other ground cover lacking deep root systems were particularly susceptible to failure.

Preventive measures include stricter enforcement of existing grading codes (includ-ing the requirement for a continuous cover of deep-rooted vegetation), stability analyses of surficial failures, regional studies by state and local governments to identify hazardous areas, site-specific investigations by consultants when properties change hands, and increased efforts to educate the public about slope maintenance in order to mitigate slope failures.

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Contents

GSA Reviews in Engineering Geology

Landslides/Landslide Mitigation

James E. Slosson
James E. Slosson
Slosson and Associates, 15500 Erwin Street, Suite 1123, Van Nuys, California 91411
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Arthur G. Keene
Arthur G. Keene
2601 E. Victoria Street, #308, Rancho Dominguez, California 90220
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Jeffrey A. Johnson
Jeffrey A. Johnson
Jeffrey A. Johnson, Inc., 12818 Stebick Court, San Diego, California 92130
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Geological Society of America
Volume
9
ISBN electronic:
9780813758091
Publication date:
January 01, 1992

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