Paper No. 42
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:30 PM


YATES, Marla K., Department of Geology and Geography, West Virginia University, PO Box 6300, Morgantown, WV 26506-6300 and KITE, J. Steven, Geology and Geography, West Virginia University, P. O. Box 6300, 330 Brooks Hall, Morgantown, WV 26506-6300,

Bare-earth LiDAR DEMs and slope-shade maps can be used to identify anthropogenic landforms within in the New River Gorge National River (NERI) in southern West Virginia. Anthropogenic landforms are diverse and generally related to mining, roads, and railroads. Although pre-historic colluvial deposits are abundant and extensive in the New River Gorge, most clearly defined individual landslides are associated with anthropogenic disturbance. Anthropogenic activities create smoothed landform surfaces that do not occur naturally within NERI. The largest anthropogenic landforms tend to be unclaimed strip-mine benches. The near-vertical high-walls above and angle-of-repose fill slopes below the mining benches, are potentially unstable; thus, these anthropogenic landforms commonly contribute to landslides within NERI. Reclaimed mine lands have unnaturally smooth, and commonly stepped or terraced, landforms. Roads and railroads also are associated with high-wall-like cuts and smoothed flat-topped fills bordered by angle-of-repose downslope fringes. Generally, road and railroad cuts are lower and benches are narrower than similar forms along mining benches; however, the sloping fringes of fill material adjacent to roads and railroad may be extensive. Examples of railroad cuts contributing to slumps and other landslides developed in colluvial materials and then being re-graded into an anomalously wide flat surface are common along railroads near river level. Domestic and commercial building construction within NERI has created unnatural smooth areas with sharp boundaries, but these are relatively limited in extent within the National River boundaries. Areas with a high density of anthropogenic activities and disturbances are commonly associated with slumps and other landslides.