Compilation of Landslide Location Maps and Index for the Identification of Slide-Prone Areas: A Pilot Study for the Butte District
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Compilation of Landslide Location Maps and Index for the Identification of Slide-Prone Areas: A Pilot Study for the Butte District

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    The Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology, with support from the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT), has completed a pilot study and compilation of landslide data for MDT's District 2 (Butte/Bozeman area) in southwestern Montana. A total of 4,640 landslides within District 2 have been identified and included in the database developed during the project. The geographic information system (GIS) coverages derived from the database enable identification of areas containing high concentrations of landslides, and when combined with other data such as geologic maps, the underlying causes and probable triggers can be identified for many areas. The database structures and procedures designed in this project can be expanded to cover additional areas of Districts if further work is undertaken. The landslides included in this project were located by field mapping, airborne reconnaissance, aerial-photograph interpretation, and from literature references. They are compiled by location, type, geologic aspect and size into a database that supports GIS coverages. Locations were originally plotted on from three to five 1:250,000-scale maps sheet, and then each map was scanned into a GIS coverage. Each coverage required extensive editing to eliminate any duplicate information or movement outlines. Once the shape files/coverages were complete and combined into a single coverage, the attributes for each location were entered. At a minimum, the information for each location includes the basic landslide classification (type of material, type of movement) and the location of the movement (in both latitudes/longitude and state plane coordinates). It is important to note that landslides less than 500 ft (150 m) in the longest dimension cannot be shown because of the map scale. Of the 4,640 landslide locations identified, the material involved was classified as earth in 1,922 landslides (41.5%), as debris in 2,556 landslides (55%), and as rock in 162 (3.5%) of them. The most important movement types identified are slide and flow. The largest number of landslides were identified as slides, 2,759 (59.5%), 1,813 were identified as flows (39%), 54 were identified as composite or compound (1.2%), and for 14 (0.3%), the movement or material could not be determined.
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