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  • Writer's pictureKyle Comito

A little bit about landslides...

It's the end of our fourth day here in San Jose, meaning our transition period is slowly fading away and our routines are finally taking shape. Me and the rest of the team are starting to get a real grasp of what our specific project goals are and what work we need to do to achieve them.

Personally, Rosa and myself are working on the landslide hazards project (check out the projects tab for more information!) We work at the Lanamme Lab at the University of Costa Rica with our mentor, Paulo. We are using a modification of the Mora-Vahrson model to determine the susceptibility of the south eastern region of Costa Rica to dangerous landslides (typically occurring as a result of earthquakes). This model takes the lithology, slope steepness, and soil saturation into account to determine the susceptibility of an area to landslides. Furthermore, we can simulate past earthquakes or potential future earthquakes to determine if these potential landslides would actually occur given certain criteria. Below I attached the first map that Rosa and I created today, which shows the different slope steepnesses in the area (red= very steep, yellow= less steep, green = not very steep). I'm excited to see this project develop over the course of our five weeks here.

A GIS map we created today showing slope steepness of an area in southeastern Costa Rica

Work aside, today I went to a phenomenal Lebanese restaurant for lunch with Steve, Rosa, and Joyce. The portions were huge but it was totally worth it (complimentary soup was a plus). Izy and Emily worked out together on the University's campus— peep the pictures below!

We have a busy week ahead of us. Vadim, Joyce, and Steve will be leaving San Jose tomorrow on a special trip, and we will all be traveling together for a project this weekend— check back to see how they go. It's also my birthday tomorrow, which is exciting! Till next time...

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