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Florida Geological Survey - Hazards - Landslides
Page heading: Hazards - Landslides
Photograph looking southwest at the scarp formed by the Pitt Landslide.

Landslides are very rare in Florida, a state generally known to be fairly flat (characterized by low topographic relief.) Gravity is the force that is responsible for landslides. In areas where there are steep slopes, unconsolidated soils and sediments may move downward. This movement may be too slow to notice, in which case it is called soil creep. If the movement is sudden and catastrophic, it is referred to as a landslide or slump. Landslides may be associated with excessive amounts of rain that lead to saturation of earth materials by water. The steepening of slopes by erosion or construction may also be a factor in the development of landslides.

The only documented landslide in Florida occurred in Gadsden County, which is located in the northern Florida panhandle, on April 1, 1948 on the farm of Mr. D. W. Pitt. The slide was located on an upland bounded by a very steep north-facing slope. That north-facing slope formed the south bank of Flat Creek. Soil and unconsolidated sediment flowed downhill in a northeasterly direction into the stream bed of Flat Creek. Although the slide was not extensively investigated, it may have been triggered by the flow of flood-swollen Flat Creek.

Last updated: November 10, 2014

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