A massive rockslide closed a busy interstate route last week near the border between Tennessee and North Carolina in Pigeon River Gorge. This area has had landslide problems in the past. In 1997 a rockslide in the same area closed the freeway for approximately 3 months. (Photo from Landslides Under a Microscope Blog, original source not cited)
I have yet to see volume estimates, but The Charlotte Observer quoted a highway patrol officer who was at the scene:
He said the roadway is covered by a gigantic mound of debris, from pebbles up to house-sized boulders. The pile is 40 to 50 feet high, Williamson estimated, and hundreds of feet long.
As Dr. Petley noted in his blog post, this looks like a classic planar rock slide where the rock mass failed parallel to the dominant planar discontinuity set. The slide occurred on Highway 70 between […]