10 September 2009

Successful anticipation of the Rest and Be Thankful landslide in Scotland

Posted by Dave Petley

Image from The Times

The Scotsman is reporting today that engineers anticipated the occurrence of the Rest and Be Thankful slide this week, shutting down the road before the slide happened. The report suggests that the intense rainfall prompted an inspection of the hillside by engineers because of the previous occurrence of landslides at this site. Once there, the engineers noted that the water in the burn (stream) was discoloured and the slope showed signs of movement. As a result they used existing traffic lights to close the road, whereupon 800 tonnes of material came down.

This is a rare and significant example of successful short-term anticipation of a landslide event. The engineers deserve praise for their actions. The damage to the road was also minimised by existing protection on the road.