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Study of a prehistoric landslide using seismic reflection methods integrated with geological data in the Wasatch Mountains, Utah, USA

Engineering Geology

By:
, , , , , and
DOI: 10.1016/j.enggeo.2007.08.006

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Abstract

An integration of geological and geophysical techniques characterizes the internal and basal structure of a landslide along the western margin of the Wasatch Mountains in northern Utah, USA. The study area is within a region of planned and continuing residential development. The Little Valley Landslide is a prehistoric landslide as old as 13??ka B.P. Drilling and trenching at the site indicate that the landslide consists of chaotic and disturbed weathered volcanic material derived from Tertiary age volcanic rocks that comprise a great portion of the Wasatch Range. Five short high-resolution common mid-point seismic reflection profiles over selected portions of the site examine the feasibility of using seismic reflection to study prehistoric landslides in the Wasatch Mountain region. Due to the expected complexity of the near-surface geology, we have pursued an experimental approach in the data processing, examining the effects of muting first arrivals, frequency filtering, model-based static corrections, and seismic migration. The results provide a framework for understanding the overall configuration of the landslide, its basal (failure) surface, and the structure immediately underlying this surface. A glide surface or de??collement is interpreted to underlie the landslide suggesting a large mass movement. The interpretation of a glide surface is based on the onset of coherent reflectivity, calibrated by information from a borehole located along one of the seismic profiles. The glide surface is deepest in the center portion of the landslide and shallows up slope, suggesting a trough-like feature. This study shows that seismic reflection techniques can be successfully used in complex alpine landslide regions to (1) provide a framework in which to link geological data and (2) reduce the need for an extensive trenching and drilling program. ?? 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Study of a prehistoric landslide using seismic reflection methods integrated with geological data in the Wasatch Mountains, Utah, USA
Series title:
Engineering Geology
DOI:
10.1016/j.enggeo.2007.08.006
Volume
95
Issue:
1-2
Year Published:
2007
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Engineering Geology
First page:
1
Last page:
29
Number of Pages:
29