8 August 2010

Images of the Meager Creek landslide in Canada

Posted by Dave Petley

The Meager Creek landslide in British Columbia, Canada on Friday was a very large and very energetic event.  The latest estimates suggest that it had a volume of about 40 million cubic metres, making it one of the largest slides in Canada in recent decades.  Indeed, the Vancouver Sun quotes Rick Guthrie in stating that the slide travelled at 30 metres per second over a distance of 10 km.

Some good images of this event are now available, despite the smoke-filled air (the smoke is from local forest fires).  Worth a look is the Global Winnipeg gallery of the slide here, from which these images are derived:

This image shows the location at which the slide entered the main valley and then spread.  Note the way that the trees on the far valley wall have been stripped off by the flow.  This is called super-elevation and is an indication of the speed of the flow.  To generate this degree of super-elevation the flow must have been moving very quickly.

This is a view from the opposite side of the valley looking up the main flow.  Note the small lake forming upstream of the blockage.  This problem has now apparently been resolved.

This image shows the flow path of the slide down the valley.  Again, note the stripping of vegetation up the valley walls, suggesting a very considerable flow depth.

This is the upper reaches of the main slide, giving a great perspective on the magnitude of the flow.

The very best images of the slide are available on the Flickr page of DBSteers, a member of the Search and Rescue team that flew over the slide.  The images are explicitly copyrighted, so I will not reproduce them here, but I strongly recommend that you take a look.  The page is here:


Take a look – you won’t regret it!