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1 November 2011

Intriguing landslide of the week – catastrophic bluff collapse at WE Energies plant at Oak Creek in Wisconsin

An initial report of a landslide that occurred yesterday at the WE Energies electricity generating plant in Wisconsin, USA. Some thoughts on possible causes are included.

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30 October 2010

Reports suggest that the Kolontar dam collapse was associated with foundation failure

The Kolontar dam failure in early October 2010, which caused the red sludge disaster that received considerable attention, is reported to have been associated with a foundation failure, as suggested on this blog immediately after the event.

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7 October 2010

The Ajkai Timfoldgyar tailings dam disaster: Lessons from the Los Frailes tailings dam failure in Spain

The clean up at the Ajkai Timfoldgyar tailings debris flow accident site continues today, with continued concern about the potential for pollution of the downstream rivers from the environmentally-damaging debris.  I do not wish to speculate on the cause of this accident, but will note that foundation failure is a well-established failure mode for tailings dams – see for example the excellent wise-uranium.org site, which has a section on typical …

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6 October 2010

Interesting images of the Ajkai Timfoldgyar tailings dam accident in Hungary

As predicted, a number of interesting images are now available of the site of the breach that caused the Ajkai Timfoldgyar tailings debris flow in Hungary on Monday.  Thanks again to Peter Diehl for his tireless work in seeking out and highlighting the best images.  The best slide show, surely destined to become an invaluable teaching aid, is available at this link: http://galeria.index.hu/belfold/2010/10/05/legifelvetelek_az_atszakadt_gatrol/ In terms of the failure that caused …

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5 October 2010

The Hungarian tailings dam accident – images of the failure of the impounding embankment

Thanks to both  Peter Diehl, PeterOi and an anonymous commenter for pointing out the locations of images of the embankment that failed to release the landslide of toxic sludge in Hungary.  The best one is probably this image, from Der Standard in Austria: The failure appears to have occurred in the corner of the embankment, as shown in this Google Earth image: I cannot quite work out the internal structure …

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Tailings landslide in Hungary and a dam crisis in Vietnam

News today, barely covered in the international mainstream media so far, of a new tailings-related landslide in Hungary yesterday.  The only English report that I have seen so far is on the Chinese CriEnglish website, which reports that 700,000 cubic metres of bauxite ore formed a flow that struck three villages in Veszprem county.  These villages appear to be Devecser, Somlóvásárhely and Kolontar.  The Google Earth imagery of this area shows the origin if the accident …

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21 September 2010

Tangjiashan again – and a possible new Chinese flowslide

Back in 2008 I dedicated a great deal of space on this blog to the extraordinary efforts by the Chinese Army to draining the landslide lake at Tangjiashan, just above the town of Beichuan, which was created by the May 2008 Wenchuan Earthquake.   These efforts were ultimately successful, but in my visit to the site in Spring 2009 it was clear that a threat remained at the site in the …

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13 December 2009

Poor mining management was the cause of the Sigou Village landslide in China

Back in August I posted a couple of times on a fatal landslide in at Lifan (sometimes written Loufan) in Sigou County in Shanxi Province in China (the posts are here and here), which appeared to be a mining related flowslide that killed 45 people. Yesterday the People’s Daily website ran a story explaining the results of the enquiry into the landslide: “Illegal production and slack safety oversight were main …

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13 July 2009

Disastrous mining related landslide in Burma / Myanmar

A few days ago on 3rd July a major landslide occurred in northern Burma (Myanmar) that appears to have affected a huge number of people. The excellent ReliefWeb site is carrying reports of the UN OCHA response to the disaster. The OCHA report states that: “On the 4th of July 2009, a landslide caused by heavy rains swept away a jade miners’ settlement along the Uru River in Hpakant Township …

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15 May 2009

Another Chinese tailings dam failure

The Chinese media are reporting another tailings dam failure, this time in Hunan province. Fortunately, the effects appear to be far less devastating than this event last year. The reports suggest that a manganese ore tailings dam failed in Huayuan County, Xiangxi Autonomous Prefecture in Hunan Province early on Thursday morning, releasing a flowslide that hit a house, killing three people and injuring four more.

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