Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Geology (MS)

Degree Level





Thomas R. Paradise

Committee Member

Fiona M. Davidson

Second Committee Member

T.A. "Mac" McGilvery


Fayetteville, Mass Wasting, Soil Creep


Mount Sequoyah in Fayetteville, Arkansas, is a part of the Boston Mountains, which are considered a deeply dissected plateau. The area is prone to mass wasting, which is the general downslope movement of sediments, soils, and rock through different processes that cause instabilities along a hillslope, and in its soil and loose rubble mantle. For this study, we looked at soil creep, which is the small-scale movement of soil downhill because of gravity, wetting and drying cycles, and heating and cooling cycles.

By measuring the tilt of utility poles, we determined multiple causes of soil creep. The variables that are believed to affect soil creep are elevation, aspect, and slope insolation. By measuring these variables, we were able to see that utility poles on higher slopes, and facing aspects of 160-270°, had higher degrees of tilt than the rest of the population. Over half of the utility poles had a tilt measurement of 1-3°; however, the mean tilt was 3.9°. The aspects and slopes of Mount Sequoyah revealed high correlations due to the cyclonic weather patterns as well. The precipitation and wind patterns may also drive soil creep on the southern facing slopes.

The locations of slope instability on Mount Sequoyah were identified. Multiple structures have been built on the mountain over 40-50 years and displayed extensive foundation cracks possibly due to soil creep. The study revealed where significant areas of instability occurred and various factors were identified. Findings could be used to determine new building protocols in order to assure that the buildings remain secure over time due to ascertaining creep factors and susceptible areas on Mount Sequoyah.