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Weather impact on landslides underlined by new research

Wet weather in 2012 resulted in a dramatic increase in the number of landslides occurring outside the normal “season” between October and March, according to new research by the British Geological Society (BGS).

The higher incident rate has resulted in the BGS using Twitter as well as traditional media and public contact to improve response time and coverage of landslide monitoring, which has enabled a landslide forecast to be incorporated into the  Daily Hazard Assessment reports issued by the Natural Hazards Partnership (NHP).

The BGS research was presented at the British Science Festival in Newcastle this week also shows that the increased landslide rate that occurred in 2012 is continuing into this year.

According to the research, there was a five-fold increase in the number of landslides recorded by the BGS Landslide Response Team in the period between June 2012 and June 2013. “In addition, there has been an unprecedented increase in the number of landslides outside of the generally accepted ‘Landslide Season’ (October to March), especially during the summer months,” said the report.

The report links the increase to the “exceptional amount of rainfall over the last 12 months, especially last summer which was the second wettest in the UK (and the wettest English summer) since records began in 1910”.

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