Landslide Investigations & Geology Reports in Los Angeles

Certain hillside parcels may be located within landslides, or be susceptible to experiencing a landslide. Los Angeles residents, and those of the surrounding areas, have known their fair share of such parcels. To determine the existence, condition, or risk of a landslide, aerial photos and field investigations can be used by a geologist and soils engineer. Los Angeles inhabitants do not usually find it surprising that such investigations must be conducted. Armed with them, a geologist can ascertain whether a slide is ancient or active, assess the risks associated with future sliding, and describe the physical properties of the slide.

The information gathered enables engineers to design structures capable of withstanding or preventing a future landslide event. A landslide investigation, whose findings are rendered in a geology report, typically involves descending down a vertical shaft that is two feet wide and up to 100 feet deep into the ground. The geologist makes observations and downhole logs of the physical characteristics of the rock strata; some field samples are also taken to the lab for further analysis. AES geologists have performed hundreds of landslide investigations throughout the Southern California area.



fault-study2Earthquake Fault Studies

The Alquist-Priolo Act of 1972 requires that an earthquake fault study be conducted on the geology of areas where a fault is known to be active and suspected of being capable of rupturing at the surface. Our geologists are trained experts at identifying faults and can determine the date of a fault’s last rupturing. When they need to talk with a geologist, Los Angeles residents, and those of the greater Southern California region, contact AES.


A fault study involves digging trenches, usually at least 3-5 feet wide, several dozen feet deep, and up to hundreds of feet long. These trenches are shored with steel braces to prevent caving. As part of the soil test, Los Angeles geologists from AES search for, and document, anomalies in the soil and rock layers. These anomalies can include features like offsets, gaps in the soil column that have been subsequently filled in with debris, and zones of intense folding or crushing. Soil samples from offset layers are sent to special scientific laboratories for radiometric or isotope age-dating. We are ready to extend to you our expertise when you need to assess the shape and state of a landslide in Los Angeles.

soil-study2 soil-study

Filed Exploration / Geological Site Characterization

Field Exploration is an essential part of geotechnical and environmental engineering and geology. AES owns much of its own drilling hardware, including a flatbed-mounted hollow-stem auger for drilling in flatlands; hand-powered augers, jackhammers and electric shovels. In addition, AES contracts with first-rate drilling companies with sophisticated equipment, capable of drilling in limited access areas, to depths of up to 100 feet, to grade access roads, dig trenches, an sample at critical depths. Other equipment often used include bucket augers, direct push, backhoes and excavators.



Seismic Hazard Assessment

seismic-hazardAs part of our evaluation of sites, we are routinely required to perform an assessment of seismic hazards which may affect a property, including earthquake ground shaking, fault rupture, landslides and mudflows, flooding, tsunamis and liquefaction. With southern California vying closely with the Bay Area as the most active seismic belt in the country, most properties are located in at least one seismic hazard zone or another. AES conducts thorough evaluations of all such hazards that may affect a property and provide recommended mitigation measures when suitable.

Stormwater Infiltration Report – Best Management Practice

stormwaterAs part of recent laws passed to minimize the impact that urban runoff has on ocean waters, official environmental agencies now require surface runoff from development sites to be channeled back into the natural ground. If you need a water quality test or stormwater report, AES can help. Sending runoff into the natural soil column is often the best and most economical method of decontaminating urban runoff. An added benefit of this type of intervention is that runoff channeled back into the ground will assist the replenishing of local groundwater levels; groundwater is an important resource in semi-arid areas such as Southern California.

In order for such infiltration systems to be designed properly, the soil column must be tested for percolation potential. To carry out the measurements, often both field in-situ testing and laboratory testing are required. AES engineers and scientists are knowledgeable on all state and city standards currently in use, including those of the County of Los Angeles, the City of Los Angeles, and CalTrans. At AES, we perform these tests frequently for municipal agencies as well as for private clients. Ask us about how you can obtain a stormwater report.

Prior to Purchase Consultation Reports

prior-to-purchaseLarge and small builders, as well as ordinary homeowners, often encounter geologic issues that demand the input of an expert. AES has a geological engineer in Los Angeles that can answer your questions and provide you with the geologic expertise you need. Engineering Geology is a field related to geotechnical engineering that comprises a distinct specialty of Earth Sciences.

An engineering geologist focuses on the investigation and analysis of natural processes with the potential to affect civil structures. These matters are of especially crucial importance to land developers and builders. An environmental geologist is only one of many specialized geologists to take on the responsibility of seismic hazard assessments, such as determining the risk for landslides in a given location. Other duties environmental and engineering geologists can be tasked with include the investigating and mapping of earthquake faults and the generation of rock strata descriptions. The results of their labors will usually be detailed in a geology report.

Whereas soils are typically the realm of the geotechnical engineer, rocks are the forte of the engineering geologist. To create an engineering geology report, a geologist will use aerial photos, topographic and geomorphic features analyses, and the evaluation of levels and transits. Geologists play an invaluable role in environmental engineering and hydrogeology. Engineering Geology has been an inextricable part of AES’s success since its inception.

Request for Proposal - Please Complete

    Requestor Information:

    Is Requestor same person as property owner? YESNO

    Project Address: (required)


    Assessor's Parcel Number (APN):

    Proposed Structure Type (click all that apply):

    Office/CommercialSingle Family Residence(s)IndustrialApartment/CondominiumStreetRetaining WallHousing TractAdditionNew ConstructionOther

    Number of Stories Above Grade:
    Number of Subterranean Levels:
    Lot Size (in square feet):
    Footprint of Proposed Structure (in square feet):
    Lot Slope (%):

    Hillside Grading Area: YESNOUNSURE

    Known Liquefaction Zone: YESNOUNSURE

    Vehicular Access to Lot from Street: YESNOUNSURE

    Existing Soil Report: YESNOUNSURE

    If Yes, Company and Date of Report:

    Notes, Comments, Special Requests: