Landslides can result from a variety of both natural and human causes. Factors that influence landslides include slope angle, climate, weathering, water content of the land, vegetation, geology and slope stability.Continue Reading
Natural causes of landslides include earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, the undercutting of cliffs and banks by water erosion due to tidal waves, and the elevation of pore water pressure by prolonged rainfall and seepage. All of these natural causes are influencing factors of landslides. Together, they can create a small or large landslide that affects the geology and geography of an area.
The human causes of landslides include removal of vegetation, interference with the natural drainage of the land, leaking water or sewage pipes, overloading slopes, mining and quarrying activities, vibrations from heavy traffic, construction or mine blasting, and the excavation or displacement of rocks. Together, human and natural factors can create a landslide. Landslides can be very small and only affect the general ecology of an area, or they can be catastrophic, affecting entire communities by destroying homes and community infrastructures, impacting water and land resources, and even causing fatalities. In the United States, landslides account for approximately 15 deaths every year. Worldwide, the death toll reaches the thousands.Learn more about Earth Science
Mass wasting is a natural process, but it is influenced by roadway construction, removal of vegetation and the introduction of water to certain areas. Professor Stephen Nelson of Tulane University defines mass wasting as the down-slope movement of loose rock particles and soil.Full Answer >
High radon levels are usually caused by radon gas that enters the home through cracks in the foundation. The main source of radon is soil gas, but it can also come from well water and building materials, such as granite, concrete and sheet rock.Full Answer >
Sinkholes, including the ones in The Villages, are the result of a localized collapse of the stone ceiling of an underground chamber. This is usually caused when acidic rainwater seeps through the ground and weathers away the soft, chemically reactive stone below, creating a large hollow cavern. Eventually, the ceiling of the cavern collapses and exposes the chamber below. The final collapse can be triggered by either very wet or very dry weather.Full Answer >
Tar is a derivative of a variety of organic material, commonly consisting of small animals and plants, decomposed by high temperatures and limited exposure to oxygen. This process is referred to as destructive distillation.Full Answer >