Southeastern Section–56th Annual Meeting (29–30 March 2007)

Paper No. 6
Presentation Time: 3:20 PM


ANDREWS Jr., William, Kentucky Geological Survey, University of Kentucky, 228 Mining & Mineral Resources Bldg, Lexington, KY 40506-0107, CRAWFORD, Matthew M., Kentucky Geological Survey, University of Kentucky, 228 Mining and Mineral Resources Building, Lexington, KY 40506 and KIEFER, John D., Kentucky Geological Survey, Univ of Kentucky, 228 Mining & Mineral Resources Bldg, Lexington, KY 40506-0107,

Eastern Kentucky has a high incidence and susceptibility to landslides. Debris flows, debris avalanches, and slumps are significant hazards to property and infrastructure in this steep, high-relief landscape. The Kentucky Geological Survey is making improved geologic maps and new derivative maps to better delineate and communicate the scope and setting of landslide hazards in the eastern part of Kentucky.

During the cooperative USGS-KGS Geologic Mapping Program from 1960 to 1978, the lithologic complexity of Pennsylvanian coal-bearing strata in eastern Kentucky prevented field mappers from producing lithostratigraphic maps of the highly variable sandstone and shale bodies in the coal field. The resulting geologic maps did not adequately differentiate bedrock lithology for slope stability analyses.

Wayne Newell produced reconnaissance surficial geologic maps for three quadrangles in eastern Kentucky in 1977 and 1978 and discussed the application of these surficial maps for land-use planning, including slope stability, in the Appalachian region. In the late 1970's, William Outerbridge and co-workers at the USGS produced landslide inventory maps for much of eastern Kentucky, showing active and old landslide deposits, using aerial imagery.

In 2006, KGS resumed surficial geologic mapping and GIS analysis (topography, coal, mining and development, soils, water) to develop landslide susceptibility maps for eastern Kentucky. The maps display areas of varying slope stability and highlight key environmental features that may increase the chances of slope failure. Collar information describes the geologic materials, processes, and potential behaviors to be expected within the map area. The new maps are designed for the geotechnical professional: the intended audience is decision-makers directly involved with construction and economic development.