Taking a landslide’s temperature to avert catastrophe

Duke engineers have developed a comprehensive model of deep-seated landslides and demonstrated that it can accurately recreate the dynamics of historic and current landslides occurring under varying conditions. The model points to the temperature of a thin layer of clay at the base of the landslide as critical to the potential for sudden cataclysmic failure. The approach is currently monitoring a landslide in Andorra and suggests methods for mitigating the risk of its escalation.