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GG 101

Sample Field Trip Report


When Buying a House in Terms of Geology For sale: a newly built house located in
Manoa Valley surrounded by luscious and plentiful vegetation, and a spectacular
overview of downtown Honolulu.Fee simple $3.5 million for this four bedroom three
and a half bathroom, 2 car garage, and private gateway entry

A lot of people who read this advertisement are intrigued by the description of this
house and the wonderful environment that surrounds it

By the realtor's descriptions, most people would be dying to see this spectacular
sounding home.What they don't realize is that there are a lot of things that the realtor's
do not acknowledge, not to mention a lot that the buyer doesn't know.People in this
day and age don't have time to do the proper research on property that they wish to
invest in

I went to see the newly developed land, which they are selling these houses that
overlook the downtown Honolulu area.These houses are all built high up in the
mountain towards the right side.It looks as if these builders took out a piece of the
mountain and replaced it with a house.If they were not "in" the mountain, they were
built on the slope of the mountain edging over on top stilts

Taking a good look around, there were no barriers surrounding the houses not to
mention enough room for a walkway in the back.It just looked like dirt piled just as
high as the house itself surrounding these houses

In Manoa, there is a lot of rainfall because it is located in a valley

This rainfall is what makes everything grow so well.By seeing this, I began to feel
sorry for all of the tenants that got convinced this was a good place to live.Just
standing there, I could just imagine in my mind a landslide-taking place leaving their
houses in shambles and possibly killing a loved one

Geologists say that mass wasting effects everything on the earth that isn't a flat
surface.Mass wasting consists of rock falls, avalanches, mudflows and landslides.If I
believed that these houses were prone to land slides, lets weight the factors

According to the definition a landslide is the term generally used for a slowly to very
rapidly descending mass of rock or debris.With this in mind, I must determine what
type of movement can this be best classified as; it's controlling factors, and determines
its type of mass wasting

Considering that these houses are located on a hillside, this would mean that gravity
would move sediments very slowly downhill.I concluded that the type of movement
would be a slide because a slide means that the descending mass remains relatively
coherent, moving along one or more well-defined surfaces which can only be
determined by a close study over a prolonged time

The controlling mass factors that helped me to categorize this site as landslide prone
consist of gravity and water both of which are influential to slides.The causes all of
the following: 1. Slopes are exceptionally steep.This relates to my description, "Dirt
piled really high", "They took a portion of the mountain out, and replaced it with a
house".2. The vertical distance between the ground and the mountain is very steep
allowing debris to gain speed and momentum.The house was just as high as the
mountain.If you were to climb onto the roof of the house, you would be able to jump
onto the mountain.3.Water adds to debris and acts as a lubricant to slide
downward.Manoa is known for it's abundant supply of rainfall.4. Abundant and loose
particles are available in the course of the slide.A mountain is not a piece of land with
any debris such as a pavement.There are rocks and loose dirt scattered abroad.5. There
are no plants with roots to anchor the loose material on the slope.Even though this
valley is heavily vegetated, there are not too many plants with roots, which could act
as an anchor to this debris

To classify this type of mass wasting, I believe that it is in the category defined as a
creep. This is very slow, down slope movement of soil or unconsolidated debris.This
would also mean that the movement of soils and debris are less than a centimeter a
year. The controlling factor would be water in soils. Because of heavy rains;( the
amount of water determines the rate and type of movement), the soil in this particular
area is very wet, which in turn will make the soil move downhill

Consideration of debris and creeps should be carefully taken into account because this
can affect the lives of humans in the long run. Even though they cannot see the effects
immediately, they are taking place. Landslides are dangerous and have killed many
people in the past. It is so hard to believe that someone would build a house for a
family somewhere that isn't safe

Geology is something that is very important because it affects everyone. It also affects
us in such means as survival in our everyday world. People need to be educated about
the earth because it is their future. When buying a house, majority of the population
sees only what the house can offer. Not seeing what the effects are of the area that it is
built in. I chose the subject of buying a house because of the fact that everyone has the
desire to purchase a house. This has taught me to look not only at the house itself, but
the environment around it. Houses are meant to be something to shelter us from harm
and keep us safe. If everyone is thinking the same thing as me, then why should we
have to consider the enviorment that surrounds it?

It should be a given!