New Program Seeks Your Observations of Landslides

The USGS is building a database it hopes will lead to increased early warning of conditions likely to invoke disaster.


The Peninsula is blessed with stunning terrain. Nestled between the Coastal Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, local residents can awaken every day and be thankful they live here.

But the nature that surrounds us also poses a threat, and the in Menlo Park wants to use your eyes to spot impending danger. 

Did You See It? (DYSI?) is a new website developed by the USGS Landslide Hazards Program that asks anyone who saw a landslide to report it. The resulting database will help scientists gain a clearer picture of how landslides affect us.

“If landslides have occurred historically in an area, there is a good chance they may strike again if the conditions are right,” explains Peter Lyttle of the USGS Landslide Hazards Program. “So knowing where landslides have occurred has a very practical application.”

Rainfall, earthquakes, and wildfires all precipitate landslides. But just how soon after rain begins to fall does a landslide occur? By reporting landslides and exactly when they happen, scientists will gain a better understanding and, this is the plan, enhance early warnings.

“Thousands of landslides occur in the United States every year, of almost every imaginable scale,” says Lyttle.  “Ultimately, we would like to someday have an inventory of all those landslides.”

How to Use “DYSI?”

Did you see a landslide? Once you're on the website, choose the tab for “Report a landslide.” Report as many details as you can. If you have photos, upload them.

A similar program involving earthquakes, Did You Feel It?” (DYFI?), has greatly improved scientific understanding of temblors.


Have you ever seen a landslide in the area? Will you use this new tool? Bookmark this page for future use. Tell us in the comments.


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