Experience this EarthCache
Please stay on the sidewalk to complete this Earthcache. There is no need to cross the fence.
Welcome to Mount Adams. We brought you here to look at both the problem of and solution to Cincinnati landslides!
Look at the slope in front of you. To your right is a vegetation-free slope made up of colluvium, or loose sediment that accumulates on or at the base of a slope. It is typically eroded from the bedrock and transported by rain. In this case, the hill is made up of the Kope Formation, which is a weak shale with limestone. The Kope Formation was deposited during the late Ordivician ~250 million years ago, when Cincinnati was undersea.
The Kope Formation shale is very weak, so it is eroded by water very easily. When this happens, colluvium builds up on the surface. With enough rainfall and saturation of the colluvium, the material starts to be pulled downhill, hence, a landslide. One major problem with Mount Adams is that during the 1800s, the area was clear cut so that shipbuilders could build steamboats with the wood. That removed all of the roots and vegetation holding the colluvium in place.
To your left is some landslide prevention structure that seems to be holding the hillside in place. Examine this structure, as well as the colluvium covered slope to answer the following questions.
Once you log this Earthcache as "FOUND" please message us the answer to the following question within 1 hour.
- Approximately how high is the upper or lower retaining wall? Please specify which one you are estimating!
- What color is the colluvium? From the sidewalk, estimate what kind of sediment makes up this colluvium (sand, clay, gravel, boulders, etc.)
- Look at the top of the UPPER wall. Why do you think some of the boards are starting to buckle?