23 May 2023
Planet images of the landslide at Draper in Utah
A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the urban landslide that occurred at Draper in Utah on 22 April 2022. This landslide occurred on an engineered slope, destroying two recently constructed houses. My friends at Planet have succeeded in collecting high resolution satellite images of the site. This is an image dated that shows the location before the major failure:-
This is the same site captured after the 22 April 2023 failure:-
The slider below should allow you to compare the two images directly.
Since my original post, there have been some developments at the Draper landslide. First, perhaps unsurprisingly, the house that was critically damaged but still standing was demolished on 26 April 2023 by the developer, Edge Homes. Meanwhile, an initial assessment of the site indicated that the remaining houses were not at a high level of risk. There is an interesting report about a town hall meeting with leaders of Draper city, which suggest that planning regulations are a critical weakness:-
City leaders first took about 20 minutes to discuss the city’s role in the landslide. They reiterated the fact that property rights allow people to build on their land. David Dobbins, Draper city manager, said there have been several subdivisions the city hasn’t felt right about building on, but they don’t have the capability to stop it without facing a lawsuit. He said that cost would be passed on to Draper taxpayers.
To a European like me this is hard to understand. Loyal reader Funkenbeachin has put together a video of the topography of the site using Lidar and aerial imagery, which also includes meteorological data at the end:-
The Draper landslide was just one of a series of failures in the region. Over 100 sites are reported to be showing signs of instability.
Planet Team (2023). Planet Application Program Interface: In Space for Life on Earth. San Francisco, CA. https://www.planet.com/