6 December 2013

Friday fold: Turtle Mountain and the Frank Slide

Posted by Callan Bentley

Turtle Mountain is a mountain in the Canadian Rockies that had a terrible landslide occur, half-burying the coal-mining town of Frank.


The mountain’s structure is an eastward-verging anticline, floored by a fault, like just about everything in the Front Ranges of the Canadian Rockies. Here’s a model made of felt in the Frank Slide Visitor Center:


The black layer represents the coal that the town was founded to extract. Miners trapped underground by the slide miraculously survived and tunneled their way out again!


It’s an awesome place to contemplate the relationship between ancient tectonics and modern risks. I’ll be taking students back to Frank in July. I’m looking forward to it.