Report of Investigations--KGS


Landslide hazard assessments are best accomplished by a multidisciplinary approach that connects geologic processes with geotechnical behavior. Tools to accomplish this in the field include geologic characterization, hydrologic monitoring, and geophysical surveys, and in the laboratory, soil-strength testing. Volumetric water content, soil-water potential (suction), local rainfall, and in situ electrical conductivity were measured at a shallow colluvial landslide in Kentucky. Surface electrical-resistivity surveys were also conducted to support interpretations of depth to failure, lithologic differences, and changes in moisture content over time. Correlations of hydrologic data with electrical measurements and shear strength indicate that observed changes in the degree of saturation and soil-water potential for colluvial soils can be detected from inverted electrical-resistivity survey data. Subsurface electrical measurements, which are functions of moisture content and water potential, can be used to determine shear strength. Long-term observation data were used to develop a technical framework to assess landslide hazard and slope stability.

Publication Date



Series XIII

Report Number

Report of Investigations 1

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


Statement of Benefit to Kentucky

Landslides can cause great damage, but predicting where they’ll happen can be challenging. A new technique uses electrical properties of soil to study landslides and their causes.

Related Content

Crawford, M.M., Byrson, L.S., 2021. Landslide soil hydrology data for three landslides in Kentucky: Kentucky Geological Survey Research Data,