'We've mapped more landslides in the last five years than we did in the previous 60 years'

      EUGENE, Ore. - State scientists have compiled 46,000 known landslides on a computerized database available online to Oregon resident.

      "We've mapped more landslides in the last five years than we did in the previous 60 years," says Bill Burns, DOGAMI engineering geologist. "Land that has slid tends to slide again, so mapping landslide locations is critical."

      The information is of potential interest to local governments, which govern land-use planning; and home buyers and property owners.

      "It is going to become more of a thought issue because of what happened in Washington," said real estate broker Pam Rogers. "Unfortunately that was a sad situation and there have been some in california too so we are not obsolete from that happening here either."

      Burns said that if a homeowner sees their property in an area where a landslide has occured, they should take action.

      "What they should really do then is go the next step," he said. "You should hire someone to come out and evaluate this property that they're going to buy."

      "It would put the agents and the buyer at ease that their retaining wall is working, you know, what it needs to be doing, it's holding everything right," Rogers said.

      About SLIDO

      The Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI) has released version 3.0 of the Statewide Landslide Information Database for Oregon (SLIDO), which compiles all landslides that have been identified on published maps. The SLIDO interactive map makes locating landslides as simple as entering an address.

      Use of lidar, a new tool that provides accurate high-resolution images of the earth's surface, has dramatically expanded Oregon's landslide knowledge. Almost all of the nearly 20,000 landslides mapped since 2009 have come from geologic and landslide mapping that used lidar.

      "When we've finished mapping with lidar for the whole state, we'll have a very different - and much better - understanding of landslides," Burns said.