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Assessment of landslide hazards in Kaluanui and Maakua gulches, Oahu, Hawaii, following the 9 May 1999 Sacred Falls landslide

Open-File Report 99-364

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Abstract

One of the injured hikers later died of injuries received in the landslide. Governor Ben Cayetano of Hawaii ordered that the park be closed due to concern about continuing landslide hazard near the falls. Subsequently, Bill Meyer, District Chief for the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Water Resources Division in Honolulu contacted Tim Johns, Chair of the Board of Land and Natural Resources of the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) and offered assistance in assessing slope stability in the park. Mr. Johns accepted the offer, and two landslide specialists from the USGS Geologic Hazards Team in Golden Colorado were sent to the site. On Friday, 14 May 1999, we visited the Sacred Falls landslide site with Glenn Bauer, Ed Sakoda, and Gary Moniz of DLNR. The ground investigation involved inspecting the impact area, estimating the volume of the deposit, and gathering data to help reconstruct the event. On Monday, 17 May 1999, we conducted an aerial reconnaissance of Kaluanui Gulch (Sacred Falls State Park) and Maakua Gulch in a commercial helicopter provided by DLNR. We inspected the source and path of movement of the Sacred Falls landslide of 9 May and reconnoitered the full length of both valleys to get an overview of ongoing landslide hazards there. This report gives our observations and conclusions about the Sacred Falls landslide, broadly assesses the ongoing hazard in the Kaluanui and Maakua Gulches, and suggests methods for more detailed assessment of landslide hazards here and along other trails in state parks on Oahu. Observations and conclusions in this report are based on a very brief investigation and thus are preliminary in nature.

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Assessment of landslide hazards in Kaluanui and Maakua gulches, Oahu, Hawaii, following the 9 May 1999 Sacred Falls landslide
Series title:
Open-File Report
Series number:
99-364
Year Published:
1999
Language:
English
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location:
Reston, VA
Description:
9 p.
Country:
United States
State:
Hawaii
Other Geospatial:
Kaluanui and Maakua gulches