16 June 2020

New landslide videos: Russia and California

Posted by Dave Petley

New landslide videos: Russia and California

A couple of new landslide videos have emerged that are worth a look.  Whilst they are not as dramatic as the quick clay landslide video from Norway, they are nonetheless interesting.  The first was highlighted to me by the famous Russian landslide scientist, Alexander Strom.  The location is uncertain – it is probably somewhere in Russia.  Unfortunately I cannot embed this one, so you’ll need to follow this link.

This is clearly a failure in a large mine.  The magnitude is large, although it is hard to get a sense of the depth of the view.  Interestingly, early in the video a large quarry truck lumbers up the haul road on the right even though the foot of the slope was actively failing:-

Russia quarry landslide

A still from the Russia quarry landslide. Note the quarry truck on the right hand side, whilst the slope below is actively failing (as shown by the dust cloud at the foot of the slope).


To me this suggests that the landslide had not been anticipated, or that it is larger than expected.

It would be good to get more information about this failure, and about the outcome of the collapse (which appears to still be in progress at the time of the video).

Meanwhile, on Youtube there is an interesting video taken on Highway 101 in Sausalito, California. The video is from a dashcam, and captures the moment when a small rockfall impacts on the road directly in front of the car. Be careful as the video captures an understandable profanity from the driver, who was definitely in the wrong place at the wrong time:-


The video captures the fragmentation of the rock blocks rather beautifully:-

Sausalito landslide video

The fragmentation of the rock blocks from the Sausalito landslide video. Still from a video posted to Youtube.


According to the text accompanying the video, the damage to the car cost $21,000 to repair. It is interesting that this failure occurred on a sunny day.  This one was highlighted to me by loyal reader Fabien, many thanks.


On reflection 1: Another railway landslide in the UK

A landslide has blocked the line between my home town Sheffield and Scunthorpe. The disruption is expected to last 10 days.


On reflection 2: Images of the Norway quick clay landslide

Louise Vick of UiT The Arctic University of Norway has tweeted some images of the aftermath of the Norway quick clay landslide, collected during a field visit:

Her observations about the site are interesting.  A follow up tweet included a further set:-