Landslides in Maine - Frequently Asked Questions
- Q1. What types of landslides occur in Maine?
- Q2. When are landslides most likely to occur in Maine?
- Q3. Where are landslides most likely to occur in Maine?
- Q4. What factors contribute to landslides in Maine?
- Q5. How can I find out if my property is susceptible to landslides?
- Q6. How can I reduce landslide susceptibility on my property?
- Rotational, translational, flows, and spreads. Rotational landslides are most common in modern times. See the Maine Landslide Guide (Link) for illustrations and examples.
- Rockfalls are not a landslide type but are also possible in Maine.
- In spring and/or early summer due to snow melt and spring rains.
- After prolonged wet conditions.
Landslides can occur statewide but are most likely in coastal bluff and river corridor areas, especially if the Presumpscot Formation is part of the local geology. The Presumpscot Formation is a “sensitive clay” that can deform and flow when disturbed or left unsupported, leading to landslides. A detailed description of the Presumpscot Formation can be found in the Surficial Geology Handbook for Southern Maine.
- Undermining or altering slopes;
- Extreme events such intense storms or earthquakes.
- Detailed descriptions of these factors can be found in the Maine Landslide Guide.
- If you live in a coastal bluff area, look up your property on the coastal bluff hazards maps.
- If you live inland (not on the coast):
- Is your property along a stream or river?
- Is the Presumpscot Formation located in or around your property? You can look this up in the Maine Geological Survey Maps web map application by typing your address in the search box and adding the “Surficial Geology 1:24,000 Maps” layer.
- Have landslides occurred on or near your property in the past? You can look this up in the Maine Geological Survey Maps web map application by typing your address in the search box and adding the “Maine Inland Landslide” layers.
- If you answered yes to any of these questions, your property could be susceptible. Feel free to contact MGS if you have an questions or concerns.
- Avoid adding weight to slopes such as with structures, fill, or water.
- Maintain healthy vegetation on slopes to promote stability.
- Altering slopes and/or vegetation near coastal or inland waters and wetlands is subject to review and permitting. Please contact your town or city government and the DEP before proceeding to avoid fines. Consider hiring an geologic engineering consultant to help you.<.li>
Last updated on March 9, 2020