Arizona DOT is undertaking a project to remove hazardous rock formations above Highway 77 between the towns of Globe and Winkelman, AZ (east of Phoenix). On November 29/30, The blasting work inadvertently dislodged an 18 foot boulder from about 150 feet above the roadway. The highway was closed at the time for the blasting operation, but it did take crews longer than planned to clear the road as a result of having to break up the massive boulder. [Source: Read more in the ADOT Press Release. Image: ADOT]
Imagine the scene 4,800 years ago when a rock avalanche nearly 2 km long buried much of the Zion Valley in a matter of 90 seconds, creating a dam on the Virgin River that flooded essentially the entire floor of the canyon that millions of visitors enjoy every year. The researchers that analyzed this event are in the Geohazards group of the University of Utah led by Dr. Jeff Moore. Dr. Moore happens to be an old classmate of mine from the geological engineering program at the University of Arizona. I didn't dig up the publication where this Zion Canyon research was written before it went viral, but there are some great figures posted on his website and I'm sure you can click around and find the citation if you are interested. [Source: YouTube via Geoengineer.org. Image: YouTube]
This is some very interesting first-person video of a landslide near Elk City, Idaho, complete with expletives. :) I can't say I blame the videographer, it's not every day you see a slope like that come down. Must have been quite an experience to be there! [Source: YouTube. Image: YouTube]
This is my colleague Dimitrios Zekkos, Associate Professor at the University of Michigan, and the founder of Geoengineer.org. He's talking about his group's research involving utilizing drones after natural disasters. Cool stuff! [Source: University of Michigan MichEpedia YouTube Channel. Image: YouTube]
I saw this video a few weeks back on The Landslide Blog, and it's also been posted on GeoEngineer.org. It's well worth the watch. It's one of the scariest debris flow videos I've seen. Some hikers are crossing a channel cut naturally through old debris flow deposits, like a hiker bowling alley. Fortunately the guides hear it coming and everyone manages to get out of the channel before the latest debris flow roars through! [Source: YouTube via Dave's Landslide Blog. Image: YouTube]
A professional river guide came under fire for a rafting trip through the site of the Oso landslide. Families of the victims issued a cease and desist order, but the trip happened anyway. Opponents of the trip likened it to taking a trip through a graveyard, that it was disrespectful to those that died in the tragedy. Others noted that places like the site of the Boston bombing and the World Trade Center did not get to become off limits after their tragedies. The guide said that it was his first and last trip to that site because of the low volume of water. [Source: Read more from Q13 FOX News. Image: Q13 Fox News]
A nine story apartment building in Guiyang city, China collapsed last week following heavy rains. Officials noted a landslide or mudslides were the apparent cause. There were as many as 16 people missing as rescuers searched the rubble of the 35 family residential building. [Source: Shanghaiist.com via USGS Landslide Events. Image: Shanghaiist.com]
The largest known undersea landslide occurred over 8,000 years ago off the coast of Norway. The volume of material that moved is mind-blowing, over 4.6 X 1012 cubic yards or 850 cubic miles! Known as the Storegga landslide, the resulting tsunami buried neolithic settlements in Norway with sediment and caused wave runnup in Great Britain that was 80 feet higher than the normal high tide. The devastating loss of human life can only be imagined. Regarding that last question, anthropologists theorized that depending on the time of year when the disaster occured, the loss of life may have been less. During the summer and early autumn, most people in that region would have been in the highlands hunting moose and reindeer. The article linked below is about some interesting forensic geology work to determine the season when the landslide occurred. [Source: Read more at Dispatch.com. Image: "StoreggaFLCommonsZone" by Lamiot - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons]
Not too much to say about this, but check out the photo. The entire westbound portion of US Highway 52 near the Ohio River was closed last week as a house-sized boulder and other rockfall debris landed on the roadway. Crews anticipated it would take several days to clear the material and reopen the road. [Source: WLWT News via USGS Landslide Events. Image: Kentucky Transportation Cabinet via WLWT]
A large 40 foot wide by 40 foot deep sinkhole opened up just outside the endzone of Austin Peay State University's Governors Stadium in Tennessee. The stadium is currently undergoing upgrades for next year's football season. Sinkholes are not unexpected on Austin Peay campus, and the video below shows one example of how the University has actually incorporated the remediated sinkholes into the landscaping. Representatives from the University and the contractor expect the sinkhole will be filled without any problems.
By April of 2015, the contractor for Arizona DOT's US 89 Landslide Stabilization project will have move over 1 million cubic yards of material to build a massive stabilizing berm. They are using CAT 773 haul trucks to move material, equipment more commonly seen in mining applications. Check out the video!
The 1964 Alaska Earthquake was 9.2 in magnitude and caused dramatic destruction and dramatic examples of surface rupture, subsidence, and liquefaction. New paleoseismic evidence points to a previously unknown earthquake that happened on the same fault segment approximately 500 years ago. This new evidence would change the recurrence interval for the earthquakes on the Alaskan megathrust fault, which would affect seismic hazard in Alaska, but could also increase the tsunami hazard in places as far away as California and Hawaii. [Source: EARTH Magazine via AEG Insider. Image: Wikipedia]