Tag Archives: landslide

Imaging technique could help identify where landslides

New approach developed by UCLA’s Seulgi Moon

Each year, landslides kill thousands of people around the world and cause catastrophic property damage. But scientists are still trying to better understand the circumstances that cause them. Doing so would go a long way toward helping people predict where landslides could occur and how severe they might be. (more…)

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Mine Landslide Triggered Quakes

Record-Breaking Slide Would Bury Central Park 66 Feet Deep

Last year’s gigantic landslide at a Utah copper mine probably was the biggest nonvolcanic slide in North America’s modern history, and included two rock avalanches that happened 90 minutes apart and surprisingly triggered 16 small earthquakes, University of Utah scientists discovered.

The landslide – which moved at an average of almost 70 mph and reached estimated speeds of at least 100 mph – left a deposit so large it “would cover New York’s Central Park with about 20 meters (66 feet) of debris,” the researchers report in the January 2014 cover study in the Geological Society of America magazine GSA Today. (more…)

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New Evidence Shows Power of East Coast Earthquakes

Virginia Earthquake Triggered Landslides at Great Distances

Earthquake shaking in the eastern United States can travel much farther and cause damage over larger areas than previously thought.

U.S. Geological Survey scientists found that last year’s magnitude 5.8 earthquake in Virginia triggered landslides at distances four times farther—and over an area 20 times larger—than previous research has shown.

“We used landslides as an example and direct physical evidence to see how far-reaching shaking from east coast earthquakes could be,” said Randall Jibson, USGS scientist and lead author of this study. “Not every earthquake will trigger landslides, but we can use landslide distributions to estimate characteristics of earthquake energy and how far regional ground shaking could occur.” (more…)

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Landslides Linked to Plate Tectonics Create the Steepest Mountain Terrain

Some of the steepest mountain slopes in the world got that way because of the interplay between terrain uplift associated with plate tectonics and powerful streams cutting into hillsides, leading to erosion in the form of large landslides, new research shows.

The work, presented online May 27 in Nature Geoscience, shows that once the angle of a slope exceeds 30 degrees – whether from uplift, a rushing stream carving away the bottom of the slope or a combination of the two – landslide erosion increases significantly until the hillside stabilizes.

“I think the formation of these landscapes could apply to any steep mountain terrain in the world,” said lead author Isaac Larsen, a University of Washington doctoral student in Earth and space sciences. (more…)

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Ancient Forest Emerges Mummified From the Arctic

SAN FRANCISCO — The northernmost mummified forest ever found in Canada is revealing how plants struggled to endure a long-ago global cooling.

Researchers believe the trees — buried by a landslide and exquisitely preserved 2 to 8 million years ago — will help them predict how today’s Arctic will respond to global warming.

They also suspect that many more mummified forests could emerge across North America as Arctic ice continues to melt. As the wood is exposed and begins to rot, it could release significant amounts of methane and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere — and actually boost global warming. (more…)

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