16 July 2012

Stunning images of four recent landslides

Posted by Dave Petley

Over the weekend some stunning imagery emerged of three recent landslides:

1. The Mount Lituya landslide in Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska

Over the last few days this landslide , which of course I reported first on this blog, has received a fair amount of media coverage (and some rather peculiar hype about its size).  However, National Parks Traveler highlighted a video of the landslide shot by a local pilot who has flown up and down the landslide.  It is stunning, but you might want to turn off your computer’s sound system:

2. The 21st May Hubbard Glacier fjord landslide

This is another landslide that was first reported on this blog.  An aerial image of this landslide has now been posted on Facebook by the staff of  Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve:

This is a really fascinating, and really unusual, landslide in terms of its flow dynamics.  Why did it turn right rather than flowing straight on?

3. The Johnsons Landing landslide in Canada

I have covered this a couple of times over the last few days.  This really remarkable image of the area in which the buried houses are located was released by Emergency Info BC this weekend:

There are some really interesting flow structures that indicate quite well what happened at this location I think.  There are other very interesting images on their Flickr page, including this one of the source area and track:

The trim line on the right side if the image on this image suggests that a very high wave of material must have traveled down this valley, which would also fit with the way that the landslide left the main channel in the area of the houses.  I wonder what the mechanism was for such a dramatic failure event.

4. A landslide at Minamiaso in Japan

Finally, late last week and into the early part of the weekend southern Japan suffered record breaking rainfall that triggered landslides across a large area.  Kyodo via Reuters have this remarkable image of one of the landslides: