Landslide susceptibility in the Tully Valley area, Finger Lakes region, New York

Open-File Report 94-615




As a consequence of a large landslide in the Tully Valley, Onondaga County, New York, an investigation was undertaken to determine the factors responsible for the landslide in order to develop a model for regional landslide susceptibility. The April 27, 1993 Tully Valley landslide occurred within glacial lake clays overlain by till and colluvium on gentle slopes of 9-12 degrees. The landslide was triggered by extreme climatic events of prolonged heavy rainfall combined with rapid melting of a winter snowpack. A photoinventory and field checking of landslides within a 415 km2 study area, including the Tully Valley, revealed small recently-active landslides and other large dormant prehistoric landslides, probably Pleistocene in age. Similar to the larger Tully Valley landslide, the smaller recently-active landslides occurred in red, glacial lake clays very likely triggered by seasonal rainfall. The large dormant landslides have been stable for long periods as evidenced by slope denudational processes that have modified the landslides. These old and ancient landslides correspond with proglacial lake levels during the Pleistocene, suggesting that either inundation or rapid drainage was responsible for triggering these landslides. A logistic regression analysis was performed within a Geographic Information System (GIS) environment to develop a model of landslide susceptibility for the Tully Valley study area. Presence of glacial clays, slope angle, and glacial lake levels were used as explanatory variables for landslide incidence. The spatial probability of landsliding, categorized as low, moderate and high, is portrayed within 90-m square cells on the susceptibility map.

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Landslide susceptibility in the Tully Valley area, Finger Lakes region, New York
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Open-File Report
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Version 1.0
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1 over-size sheet, scale 1:50,000 (1 inch = about 4,200 feet).