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Spatial Analyses of Soil Creep Hazards on Mount Sequoyah, Fayetteville Arkansas

Authors: Amy Morris*, University of Arkansas
Topics: Hazards, Risks, and Disasters, Geomorphology, Physical Geography
Keywords: Boston Mountains, Mount Sequoyah, Mass Wasting, Soil Creep, Fayetteville, Arkansas
Session Type: Poster
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Mount Sequoyah in Fayetteville, Arkansas, is a part of the Boston Mountains, a deeply dissected plateau. Mass-wasting or the downslope movement of sediments, soils, and rock is prevalent across the region and causes instabilities along a hillslope, and in its soil and loose rubble mantle. For this study, the author is investigating soil creep, the micro-mesoscale downslope movement of soil due to gravity and cycles of wetting-drying, freezing-thawing, and heating-cooling.
Since the soil-rubble mantle moves imperceptibly slow, constructed features like utility poles, can act as surrogates for this downslope movement. By measuring the angular tilt of these poles on a mountain top and flanking slopes occupying 360° of aspect, the author will analyze and correlation the possible variables influencing creep. In addition to the pole angle around the hilltop and sides, the variables to be measured include elevation, aspect, slope, and solar flux (insolation) hypothesizing that utility poles at higher elevations, on steeper slopes, with an aspect range of 160°N-270°N will exhibit the most significant tilt. This aspectual range also represents slopes of prevailing cyclonic precipitation (wetting-drying), and higher solar flux (heating-cooling) currently believed a factor exacerbating soil creep.
Mount Sequoyah has had many structures built over its history since 1950, often displaying major foundation cracks and disruption because of soil movement. This study will help identify areas of significant instability and their related influences; identifying the current slope hazard will ultimately permit a better assessment of soil creep risk-related damages, injury, and death.

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