There is a nice article on slow moving landslides at Nature.com. They discuss the use of InSAR technology and point out how a number of landslides in the news over the past several years have had at least some movement before a catastrophic event. To me, the interesting part is just how a topic of interest to geoprofessionals is covered by scientists who perhaps aren’t experts in these areas. They also mention some of the more infamous slow moving landslides that are currently being researched. It’s worth a quick scan.
Geotechnical Engineering Challenges of British Columbia’s Sea-to-Sky Highway, gateway to the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games
I don’t know about you, but I’ve been enjoying watching the 2010 Olympic Winter games over the past few days. If you have, you know that Whistler is the venue for many of the sports including alpine skiing, luge, skeleton, bobsled, ski jumping, biathlon and cross-country skiing among others. The Whistler area is located about 50-miles or so North of Vancouver. In order to get to Whistler, you need to drive along Highway 99, better known as the Sea-to-Sky Highway. This highway has a long history of geotechnical problems, including some significant structurally controlled rockslides and landslides. In the years leading up to these Olympic Games a fair amount of work was done on the highway with some significant geotechnical innovations.
For those of you following the landslide in residential La Jolla California known as the Soledad Mountain Road landslide, it made the news again a couple days ago when a section of the slide re-activated and slid 10-ft down the hill. Doesn’t sound like too big of a deal to me, no additional houses damaged. I’m curious how it related to the shear pins they installed a couple of months ago.
Additionally, the San Diego City Attorney has released a report detailing the sequence of events leading up to the landslide. One interesting note is that the Mayor of San Diego is in hot water with the City Attorney’s office for hiring outside legal council to handle the legal aspects of the landslide. According to the City Attorney’s office, he wasn’t allowed to do that, but so far the City Attorney hasn’t stepped in to force the outside attorney(s) to drop the case saying it would open the City up to even more liability.