2002 Denver Annual Meeting (October 27-30, 2002)

Paper No. 9
Presentation Time: 10:35 AM


AGNELLO, Tim J., 3869 Kilbourne Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45209-1814, agnello@fuse.net

An engineering geology study of chronic landsliding on a 168-acre hillslope on the western side of Mill Creek Valley in Price Hill, Cincinnati, Ohio finds that most of the landsliding can be associated with past land use initiated over the last 195 years. The majority of the hillside has moved or is in quasi-equilibrium from human activity. Historic quarry operations, deforestation, clear cutting, grading for housing (both historic and ongoing), road construction, loading of the slope from dumping (landfill, construction debris, etc), and modification of the natural hydrology have set the stage for past and ongoing destabilization of the hillside.

Research of past land use patterns and examination of historic photographs, maps, newspaper accounts, directories, and books complemented mapping of human landforms, instability features, and surface water drainage. The majority of the study data was collected in the field however; historical documentation revealed landsliding and/or preexisting human made features that today would not be recognized in a traditional field investigation. Additionally, some of the landforms identified in the study area could be validated as landslide or human made features by examination of the historical data. Examination of the historic record and past human landforms that at present may be completely or partially indistinct gives a different perspective on the extent of hillside instability. A stake survey combined with inclinometers may be necessary to delineate the true extent of ground movement in areas absent of human made earthen landform, structure, or lacking historical data.

Thorough examination of the historic record in conjunction with a careful field study of the amount of hillside disturbance and movement allows the public and professionals to make prudent decisions on future hillside use. Further, Geographical Information Systems (GIS) provided a vehicle to preserve the field data (mapped at 1:1200) and land use patterns for future reference.