New maps show Portland landslide areas

New maps show Portland landslide areas

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by Keely Chalmers

Bio | Email | Follow: @KeelyChalmers

kgw.com

Posted on October 24, 2012 at 5:12 AM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 24 at 1:48 PM

PORTLAND - The rain has arrived and geologists warn that means soon, so will the landslides.

New state maps reveal thousands of previously unknown ancient slides in and around the Portland area.  The maps reveal more than 8,000 historic landslides. The majority of those slides, geologists had no idea existed. But by using LIDAR technology, a kind of laser mapping that reveals past earth movement, they were able pinpoint each of the ancient landslides.

They found several massive landslides in the Tryon Creek area, an area previously thought to be stable.

Jon Head bought his home near Tryon Creek 30 years ago and thought it was a safe area. He only recently learned that he is sitting right on top of an old landslide.

“There was no indication of landslides or any other kind of geological uncertainties in the area,” said Head.

The state released the maps to give homeowners knowledge so they can better protect their homes and prevent a future slide from happening.

“We know that existing landslides are the most likely places for the next landslide to happen,” said Ian Madin, chief scientist at the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries.

The Oregon Department of Geology has a new online tool that helps you determine if you’re living in a hazard area.

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