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Landslide Monitoring Continues


June 29, 2009


No New Landslides Reported

AUGUSTA, Maine – There have been no further earth movements as of Monday afternoon at the site of a coastal landslide at Stockton Springs, nor have there been any new significant landslides reported along the coast, according to Maine Geological Survey and Maine Department of Environmental Protection officials.

Groundwater is coming out of the slide sediments and some surface runoff is flowing over the face of the landslide that occurred Thursday evening at Fort Point Cove, Val Derosier of the Maine DEP reported Monday afternoon.

Derosier also said that a small slide, about 6 feet wide and 15 feet deep, took place along Lighthouse Road at Stockton Springs, but was not a threat to any residents or structures.

The whole area, however, remains at risk of coastal landslides as the ground is “totally saturated” with water, according to Steve Dickson, Maine Geological Survey coastal geologist.

“The risk of further landslides or landslides in new locations will continue through this week,” Dickson said Monday afternoon. “There is an ongoing danger until we hit a dry spell.”

Dickson said that Maine’s sheltered bays and estuaries along the coast are most likely to experience this problem. He cited the inner Casco Bay area and the upper Penobscot Bay area as those most likely to be at risk.

MGS geologist Tom Weddle commented, “This is still a time when it wouldn’t surprise us if there were other land slumps – it is still very, very wet.”

The geologist pointed out that adding to the problem is that trees also are fully saturated with water and have leafed out, becoming very heavy in the rainy weather. Any kind of wind blowing through trees also cause land movement and trigger land slumps, he said.

The state staffers repeated previous warnings to homeowners to be aware of changes in coastal land conditions as precursors for a landslide, including:

  • signs of cracks in the lawn,
  • slumping on the face of bluffs,
  • open bare ground,
  • and tilting trees or signs of tree movement.

Dickson also said homeowners should check for new cracks in their foundations or old cracks that have worsened. Such cracks can be “early warning signs of land failure,” he said.

Derosier also reminded landowners who want to do any kind of shoreland work to get appropriate permits from their local towns and the DEP.

To learn more about coastal bluffs and landslide hazards between Kittery and Schoodic Point or to add landslides to the MGS Landslide Inventory, visit the Maine Geological Survey website



Jeanne Curran, Maine Department of Conservation
(207 287-3156


Last update: 07/20/10