Kentucky Geological Survey Report of Investigations


In eastern Kentucky, landslides occur in colluvial soils or at the colluvium-bedrock contact, and are commonly triggered by heavy rainfall. These slides occur particularly where steep slopes and weak rocks combine with various methods of slope modification. Landslides can damage roadways, infrastructure, and residences, and mitigation costs can exceed $10 million per year.

The Meadowview landslide in Boyd County was investigated to assess the geologic conditions, extent, and behavior of a rainfall-triggered landslide in eastern Kentucky and evaluate the use of electrical resistivity as a tool to characterize a shallow colluvial landslide. Although this type of landslide is common in Kentucky, there are few comprehensive landslide characterization studies combining geologic, geotechnical, and geophysical assessment. This study successfully used traditional geologic and geotechnical data to characterize an active landslide and electrical resistivity to interpret landslide stratigraphy, moisture regimes, and depth to the slide plane. The surface and borehole electrical-resistivity arrays across the Meadowview landslide resulted in inverted resistivity sections with distinct resistivity contrasts that correlate to landslide stratigraphy, depth of slide plane, and groundwater regimes.

Publication Date



Series XII

Report Number

Report of Investigations 29

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Funding Information

The Kentucky Geological Survey provided financial support.