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New Jersey LandslideWatch

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Photo of landslide in Atlanic Highlands

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Landslide Hazards Program in New Jersey

The term "landslide" describes a wide variety of processes that result in the downward and outward movement of slope-forming materials including rock, soil, artificial fill, or a combination of these.

The materials may move by falling, toppling, sliding, spreading, or flowing. In general, landslides can be categorized as shallow or deep-seated and this difference can determine their speed and size.



Shallow landslides typically originate in uppermost soil or rock layers on steep slopes and often form slumps or fast-moving earth and debris flows. These types of landslides are often triggered by sustained and intense rainfall and are usually fast moving. Typically the landslides that occur in New Jersey are considered shallow in nature.


Deep-seated landslides are those where the zone of failure is below the rooting depth of trees and vegetation. They are often slow moving, but can also move rapidly. Deep-seated landslides can cover large areas and devastate infrastructure and housing developments. These landslides usually occur as translational slides, rotational slides, or large block slides. Deep-seated landslides are typically much larger than shallow landslides, in terms of both surface area and volume. A deep-seated landslide may appear stable for years, decades, or even centuries. These long-lived features can be partially or entirely reactivated for a variety of reasons.1

For more information on landslide types and processes please click here

1 (Text adapted from Washington State Department of Natural Resources Landslides webpage)

Landslides in New Jersey

The New Jersey Geological and Water Survey, NJDEP Division of Water Supply and Geosciences maintains a database of Landslides in the state and updates the database as new landslides occur. This information is used by The NJ State Police, Office of Emergency Management as well as federal, state, county, local government officials and consultants to assist them in hazard mitigation planning. Landslides in New Jersey can damage homes, utilities, cover roads, highways and railroad tracks. They are responsible for millions of dollars in damages each year.

USGS Landslide Monitoring


  • Landslide Monitoring in the Atlantic Highlands, NJ
    • The USGS New Jersey Water Science Center (NJWSC) and the USGS Landslide Hazards Program (LHP) are currently monitoring hillslopes within the Atlantic Highlands area of NJ to better understand the hydrologic and meteorological conditions associated with shallow landslide initiation.

Landslide Information and Preparedness


Landslide Terminology

Diagram of a landslide

Figure 1. An idealized slump-earth flow showing commonly used nomenclature for labeling the parts of a landslide.


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Page Last Modified: Tuesday, 29-Aug-2017 14:57:37 EDT