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ABSTRACT

Investigation and design-build construction of the Highway 20 realignment through the Oregon Coast Range provides new insight into paleo-landslides of the Tyee Formation and their slope stability. They are widespread, often extending outside of current drainage basins, and much of their morphology has been almost completely hidden by surficial processes. Radiocarbon tests indicate that some of the slide features are older than the testing limits, while other results range from approximately 18,000 to 40,000 yr B.P. The depth of erosion suggests that the paleo-slides may be as old as Pliocene.

Geotechnical models of the paleo-slides, needed to analyze potential construction impacts, are developed from subsurface explorations, construction outcrops, radiocarbon testing, monitoring of geotechnical instruments, and geomorphology revealed by light detection and ranging (LIDAR). The process of predicting landslide boundaries (head scarps, toes, lateral and basal shear zones, etc.) for stability analysis of specific landslides has revealed details of their geologic evolution. This field trip provides background on (a) the investigations that have exposed numerous giant paleo-landslides, (b) findings and interpretations of the age of the landslides and (c) methods that are being employed to mitigate landslide reactivation.

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