Ohio’s geologic history is tied to the advance and retreat of the Laurentide Ice Sheet. Being a state that has been subjected to years of glacial deposition, Ohio has become home to many glacial features like moraines, kames, and eskers. However, thousands of years of erosion since the last glacial retreat has created a geomorphic environment in Ohio of incised streams with steep banks. When combined with a continental humid climate and abundant glacial sediments, Ohio becomes very prone to landslides, as the climate allows for freeze-thaw to annually break apart masses of sediment, especially near steeper ravines. In addition, river channels erode at the cut bank, carrying sediment downstream. Landslides come in many forms, being characterized by the sediment size, how the sediment falls and in some cases what the sediment is made of, such as snow or rock. In Holmes County, located in northeastern Ohio, The College of Wooster’s Fern Valley Field Station is a wooded ravine divided by Wilkin’s Run, a meandering river that cuts away at many banks in the valley as it drains into Odell Lake. Upon seeing the topography here, I decided to dig deeper into the history of Fern Valley by analyzing well log data, tracing displaced masses of soil and measuring the change in elevation between Wilkin’s Run to the ridge overlooking the stream through the means of a Trimble GPS. I located a landslide, identified as a rotational slump, along the ravine. The Fern Valley rotational slump shows varied topography from its top bench to Wilkins Run, illustrating a series of horst and grabens where sediment has slipped during movement events through time.


Judge, Shelley


Earth Sciences


Environmental Monitoring | Geology | Geomorphology | Glaciology | Hydrology | Sedimentology


Fern Valley, Mass Movement, Landslides, Slump Block, Streambank Erosion

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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