Landslides are natural geologic phenomena that range from slow moving, deep-seated slumps to rapid, shallow debris flows. Landslide risk can be exacerbated by development. Grading for roads, home construction and landscaping can decrease hillside stability by adding weight to the top of a slope, destabilizing the bottom of a slope, and/or increasing water content of the underlying materials.
Landslides are most frequently triggered in periods of high rainfall. The hazard is greater in steeply-sloped areas, although slides may occur on slopes of 15 percent or less if the conditions are right. Slope steepness and underlying soils are the most important factors affecting the landslide hazard. However, surface and subsurface drainage patterns also affect the landslide hazard, and vegetation removal can increase the likelihood of a landslide.