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Ministry of Energy Mines and Responsible for Core Review

Landslides in BC

The Hope Slide


The Hope slide, 18 kilometres east of Hope, was one of the largest slides in Canadian history. The southwestern slope of Johnson Peak, collapsed on January 9, 1965, spreading 47 million cubic metres of debris, 85 metres thick, over a 3 kilometre stretch of the Hope-Princeton highway. The slide occurred in an unpopulated area in early morning hours and resulted in four deaths (photo courtesy of the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks).


What do we mean by the word "landslide"?


Landslide is a general term used to describe the down-slope movement of soil, rock and organic materials under the influence of gravity. It also describes the landform that results.


British Columbia's steep, mountainous terrain, its complex geology, its high precipitation, both as rain and snow, its abundance of unconsolidated glacial sediments, and its geographic position astride the earthquake zone that surrounds the Pacific Ocean, all combine to make our province particularly susceptible to landslide activity. In fact, in British Columbia the loss of life and damage to property caused by landslides is greater than losses caused by other natural hazards such as earthquakes and flooding.


As our cities, towns, roads and highways steadily encroach onto steeper slopes and mountainsides, landslide hazards become an increasingly serious threat to life and property. However, by understanding the answers to the following questions, we may be able to lessen the effects of landslides.


Certain terms used in these pages may be unfamiliar to the non-geologist. They have been hyperlinked to a glossary where a short definition can be found.

Link to Landslides Canada
Surficial Geology Homepage

Landslides in British Columbia was originally produced as Information Circular 1993-7 by the BC Geological Survey of the B.C. Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources in cooperation with the B.C. Ministry of Health, the B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Highways, the B.C. Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks, the B.C. Ministry of Forests, the B.C. Provincial Emergency Program, and with the assistance of the Geological Survey of Canada

Copies are available from: 

Publications Office,

BC Geological Survey