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.
The Chilliwack Times reports that the City of Chilliwack will pay 80% of the assessed home value for up to 42 homes in an Eastern Hillside subdivision that are located on a slow moving landslide. The issue was first noticed in 2001 and several homes have had significant damage, but most are currently undamaged. The City denies any responsibility, but it’s legal counsel recommended a settlement. (Photo by Paul J. Henderson, Chilliwack Times)
Normally the geotechnical engineer for the subdivision would be held accountable. But apparently the slip surface is located 30-m below grade, much deeper than borings for a typical investigation for a subdivision. I wonder if there were any geologists consulted? Click through for a Google map view of the area and you can do your own armchair photogeology quarterbacking! Your heart does go out to the people losing their homes, they had no idea. But it could be worse, they could be in La Jolla and be getting squat.
Since I last posted about this landslide, ADOT has added several videos to their YouTube channel. It’s clear that this highway is going to be closed for the long term. ADOT and their on-call geotechnical consultant tasked with this project, Kleinfelder, are currently drilling boreholes to attempt to characterize the failure surface and determine what the geometry of the failure surface is. They are installing at least 10 inclinometers to try to determine the location of the slip plane or planes at depth and they have two extensometers to measure if any additional movement occurs. They are also performing LIDAR surveys as well. Check out the videos below.
Initial ADOT Video Describing the Failure
Click through for the videos!