A New Landslide on Whidbey Island, Washington

A landslide occurred near Coupeville, Wash. on Whidbey Island, 4AM Wednesday, March 27, 2013. The slide severely damaged one home and isolated or threatened more than 30 on the island, about 50 miles north of Seattle in Puget Sound. No one was reported injured.

Articles to Share with Students

General Information

 Questions for Classroom Discussion

  • Describe what triggers and landslide and what happens during a landslide.
  • What tools and pieces of technology can geologists use to study landslides?
  • Why does Whidbey Island keep having landslides?
  • Do you think landslide activity will increase, decrease, or remain the same into the future? Explain your reasoning as to why you think so.
  • Should humans be allowed to continue to live in an area under the threat of a landslideoccurring? What might be some human and environmental consequences if people are allowed to live in a landslide-prone area?
  • What might be some of the impacts of warming temperatures you may witness where you live?
  • Can humans ever prevent a landslide of occurring? How, or why not?

Big Ideas

From the Earth Science Literacy Principles

  • Big Idea 1. Earth scientists use repeatable observations and testable ideas to understand and explain our planet. (1.3)
  • Big Idea 4: Earth is continually changing. (4.8)
  • Big Idea 8: Natural hazards pose risks to humans. (8.1, 8.4, 8.5)

From The Big Ideas in Earth and Space Science (ESBD)

  • The Earth System (1)
  • The Geosphere (4, 7)
  • The Nature of Science (21, 22, 23)

Compiled March 28, 2013, by L. Guertin

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