Publication Date


Committee Chair

Karen K. Kemp, Ph.D.

Committee Members

Mark P. Kumler, Ph.D.


In recent years, the population in the Mountain West has increased rapidly. This has spawned a large influx of residential and commercial development in regions that had been previously untouched. The change has been most noticeable in many parts of Utah County, Utah, which, in 2002, claimed one of the fastest growth rates in the Western United States. The increasing population and associated development created the need for many municipal planners and developers to reassess planning strategies and incorporate new technologies and methods to safely delineate areas for development. Increased focus has been placed on identifying areas that may be subject to possible natural hazard events. These new concerns focus primarily on landslide and flood events, since they have historically been an issue within the region and continue to play a role in development decisions. The inclusion of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) within planning and hazard assessment processes allows for the analysis capabilities to model and delineate areas that may fall within possible hazard zones. While this does not mean that hazard events will cease to exist, it does provide a new platform to better facilitate decision-making processes and reduce risk. The integration of GIS may then aid in planning the decisions to improve the safety of residents and property as continued development takes place. The integration of geospatial data is moving forward in many municipalities and rural county agencies throughout the country. The increasing availability and quality of data are allowing these agencies to better incorporate efficient and effective planning strategies. To better assist planners in development and public safety decisions, a geospatial debris flow (landslide) model was developed, which will help determine potential debris flow trigger areas. While this model will be applied to a specific study area in Eagle Mountain City and Cedar Valley, Utah, the general model may also be used in other regions to determine whether debris flow threats exist. Spatial data was utilized and integrated into a developed model in order to delineate areas that may pose possible threats of landslides. This report outlines the processes for model creation, the associated data requirements, and the output and identification of possible high hazard areas within the defined study area.


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