These maps cover Maricopa, Pinal, Pima and Cochise counties. The show known and previously reported earth fissures at a 1:250,000 scale suitable for planning purposes. The AZGS is currently working on higher resolution mapping of earth fissures that will be displayed on 1:24,000 scale. These detailed maps will be released as they are completed.
On March 21, 2008 a landslide caused the closure of Arizona State Route 87 between Payson and Phoenix near mile post 224. So far there are no official estimates as to the size, but based on aerial photos, it appears to be at least 50,000 sq-ft in plan. The offset at the head scarps was approximately 2-meters (6.6-ft) according to AZGS Geologists on site. It appears to have been a rotational slide as the toe of the landslide heaved the southbound roadway up by as much as 1-meter (3.3 ft). There was an existing soil-nail retaining wall on the slope that was destroyed by the slide as well. Lateral deformations can be seen in photos of the median barrier and the roadway striping. The deformations extended into the northbound lanes as well. More photos and links after the break. (Photo by ADOT)
Phoenix Arizona’s PBS affiliate, KAET-TV, Channel 8 had a segment on Earth Fissures on their May 30th episode of "Horizons". They interviewed one resident of the Chandler Heights area that has problems with earth fissures on her property. They also interviewed Todd Shippman with the AZGS in the field. Todd is the project manager for the AZGS’ earth fissure mapping program. The bulk of the program was an interview with Lee Allison, the head of the AZGS and the Arizona State Geologist. He explains the earth fissure mapping program, and the planning scale maps that were just released this week on the AZGS Website. Click through for embedded video of the segment from the Horizon Website. You can also download it as a podcast if you wish. (Photo courtesy of NCS Consultants, LLC.)
The East Valley Tribune published an extensive set of news features on earth fissures in their Sunday edition, including timeline, maps, videos, and an animation of how fissures form.
KPHO, CBS channel 5 in Phoenix, also has a nice video segment with great aerial shots of the 2005 fissure in Chandler Heights that triggered the recent interest in this hazard.
Here is the video he was referring to.