Marine & Environmental Sciences Faculty Proceedings, Presentations, Speeches, Lectures


GIS Applications in Landslide Hazard Mapping, Badlands National Park, South Dakota

Event Name/Location

2012 GSA Annual Meeting and Exposition, Charlotte, North Carolina, November 4-7, 2012

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



The goal of this project was to use GIS tools to create effective displays of geologic hazards data. The objective of the team was to utilize field data from a landslide hazards project, including geologic maps, photographs, and GPS locations, and integrate those data into geospatial products with greater analytical value than traditional geologic maps. This integrated product has the potential for more effective modeling and analysis of landslide frequency, location, and severity. The Norbeck Ridge landslide is a large landslide (insert approximate area) adjacent to State Route 240, the main road into the Badlands National Park, South Dakota. This landslide is formed of material from the Poleslide Members of the Brule Formation and Sharps Formation. A similarly formed landslide at Cedar Pass was stabilized through a $14 million US DOT project after landslide movement damaged the road (Monley 2000). We believe the Norbeck Ridge slide is an inactive, or only intermittently active, slump-induced slide with the potential to reactivate with destructive consequences for State Route 240. Ephemeral sag ponds observed at the head of the Norbeck Ridge slide could create conditions conducive to reactivation of slumping. Other geological characteristics that may have influenced landslide development in the field area include gentle southward dipping strata and vertical jointing. A digital base map of Badlands National Park was created in ESRI’s ArcGIS using field gather vector data and raster imagery. Point, line and polygon data were gathered with the use of both Trimble and Garmin GPS units, together with field notes and drawings at specific landslide locations. After gathering and importing the field data, a geodatabase and specific feature classes were created and overlaid on high resolution Bing imagery. Analysis was then performed on the layers to create distinct spatial and temporal boundaries based on geologic beds and historic activity. In conclusion, using ArcGIS, a topographic map, and Garmin and Trimble GPS units we were successful in creating a GIS digital map showing the landslide activity that was surveyed in Badlands National Park.


© Copyright 2012 The Geological Society of America (GSA), all rights reserved. Permission is hereby granted to the author(s) of this abstract to reproduce and distribute it freely, for noncommercial purposes. Permission is hereby granted to any individual scientist to download a single copy of this electronic file and reproduce up to 20 paper copies for noncommercial purposes advancing science and education, including classroom use, providing all reproductions include the complete content shown here, including the author information. All other forms of reproduction and/or transmittal are prohibited without written permission from GSA Copyright Permissions.

Additional Comments

Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs. Vol. 44, No. 7, p.259



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