Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences


Geology and Geography

Committee Chair

J Steven Kite


Current stream restoration practices focus on stabilizing banks, transporting sediment, and creating aquatic habitats. However, only channel morphology data are collected prior to typical restoration project designs. A more thorough approach to assessing restoration projects incorporates the geomorphology of the contributing hillslopes within the watershed. For this project, a landslide risk assessment was conducted for Horseshoe Run watershed in West Virginia using LiDAR data, GIS, and multivariate statistical analysis to provide the restoration projects with information concerning the geomorphology of the hillslopes and identify areas of greater risk for slope failure. A landslide inventory map was created using field observations and remote mapping on a LiDAR-derived shaded relief map within ArcGIS 9.2. Landslides were classified as planar slides, rotational slumps, debris flows, debris fans, debris slides, or active slopes. Seven variables were determined for all landslides: elevation, slope angle, slope aspect, distance from roads, distance from streams, plan curvature, and profile curvature. Similar data on the same seven variables also were collected for a random sample of unfailed slopes, and both data sets were used for discriminant analyses using Minitab 13.30. A first discriminant analysis of all failed and unfailed slopes was 71.8% accurate in predicting failures and non-failed slopes, suggesting a significant difference between the two populations. A second discriminant analysis was 76.3% accurate in determining differences between classifications of slope movements. The discriminant analyses results were used to create a landslide susceptibility map for Horseshoe Run watershed, classifying the hillslopes as low, medium, or high risk for failure. Areas classified as high risk areas were further analyzed to determine whether they were contributing to the channel instability of Horseshoe Run. The landslide susceptibility map also provided a means to evaluate locations of concern for slope stability and also identify potential areas of disturbance for Horseshoe Run.