7 March 2012

Breaking news – an image of the Tumbi Quarry site before the landslide

Posted by Dave Petley

Astute readers will have seen that Reuters yesterday ran a syndicated story about the Tumbi Quarry landslide, and the implications for Exxon-Mobil, which was picked up by many mainstream media outlets (e.g. the Guardian today).  This blog is quoted in the article.  With rather fortunate timing, a few days ago I have received an image of what I am reasonably sure is the site prior to the landslide (compare the features outside the landslide area with the images in this post).  I will blog on this properly later today, but as a taster here is the image.  I think that this image probably predates the most recent quarry expansion, and may therefore be at least a year old.

At this point I’ll draw your attention to a couple of interesting points.  First, there is a number of what appears to be shallow slips – see locations a and b below:

Second, in the unvegetated areas above the quarry scarp are some rather peculiar features running across the hillside (marked c below):

Note the excavator (?) at the toe of the quarry slope, which provides scale.  These features on the hillslope might be footpaths, but if so they are very well-trodden.

Comments and interpretations welcome.  More later!