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Engineering Geology Current Events

House Torn in Half by Landslide
April 22, 2014 | The Montana Standard

A house straddling the scarp of a small landslide near Jackson, Wyoming was torn apart as the slide moved. Photos.

Predicting Sea Level Rise for Miami
April 17, 2014 | National Science Foundation

A National Science Foundation press release gives a quick look at efforts to predict long-term sea level rise in Miami

Large Dams Cost Too Much!
April 8, 2014 | International Rivers

An Oxford University study reports that large dams typically require about 8 years for construction and have average cost overruns of nearly 100%. By the time they are finished the needs of their region have often changed and the unanticipated expenses might make the total cost too high.

The Puente Hills Fault
March 30, 2014 | Los Angeles Times

The Puente Hills Fault, which scientists believe could be responsible for Friday’s 5.1 earthquake in La Habra, is considered very dangerous.” Quoted from the Los Angeles Times article.

Landslide-Induced Tsunami Hits Coastal Village in Norway
February 4, 2014 | The Landslide Blog

Nord-Statland, a small shoreline village in Norway was struck by what is believed to have been a localized tsunami that was triggered by an underwater landslide.

Related: The Storegga submarine landslide

Northridge Earthquake Web Exhibit
January 14, 2014 |

“The Northridge 20 Virtual Exhibit website presents teachable moments – to learn and reflect, to share and to act. Teeming with content, graphics and video recounting the events of January 1994, this exhibit seeks to empower and motivate us to make ourselves safer in future earthquakes.” Quoted from

Connected Consequences of River Dams
January 12, 2014 | USGS

“In a case study of dams on the upper Missouri River, USGS researchers have demonstrated that an upstream dam is still a major control of river dynamics where the backwater effects of a downstream reservoir begin. In light of this finding, the conventional understanding of how a dam can influence a river may have to be adjusted to account for the fact that effects of river dams can interact with one another.” Quoted from the USGS press release.

Seattle Buildings at Risk of Landslides
December 22, 2013 | University of Washington

“The next big earthquake on the Seattle fault could trigger destructive landslides in the city, potentially affecting a much larger area than previously thought, and in areas outside those currently considered to be landslide prone.” Quoted from the University of Washington press release.

The Government Shutdown and Geology
October 15, 2013 | American Geophysical Union

The American Geophysical Union has a short article that explains why the “Government Shutdown Affects More Than Jobs“.

Earthquake Risk and Concrete Structures in Los Angeles
October 13, 2013 | LA Times

A Los Angeles Times analysis reports that more than 1000 concrete buildings in the city could be at risk of collapsing from the lateral motions of a future earthquake.

Vajont Dam Disaster 50th Anniversary
October 1, 2013 | The Landslide Blog

Next week marks the 50th anniversary of the Vajont Dam disaster. The Landslide Blog links to web resources about the event.

Fukushima and the Ocean
September 16, 2013 |

The Spring 2013 issue of Oceanus Magazine, published by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, is titled Fukushima and the Ocean. It looks at the triple disaster that hit Japan with an earthquake, a tsunami and a power plant failure.

Man-Made Dunes Protected Against Sandy
September 8, 2013 | National Geographic

National Geographic has an article about how man-made sand dunes along the coastline provided protection in October 2012 against Hurricane Sandy.

The Many Uses of Marble
August 21, 2013 |

From monuments to crushed stone to cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, very few rocks have as many uses as marble.

Related: Limestone, the Marble Protolith.

Forgotten New Jersey Seawall Protected Homes from Hurricane Sandy
August 16, 2013 | National Science Foundation

“Two beachfront communities in New Jersey were hit hard by Hurricane Sandy, but one fared much better than the other thanks to a long-forgotten seawall buried beneath the sand.” Quoted from the NSF press release.

USGS image
Imploding a Building to Learn about the Hayward Fault
August 15, 2013 | USGS

“When 13-story Warren Hall is imploded by demolition experts this weekend on the Hayward campus of California State University, East Bay, U.S. Geological Survey scientists will monitor the pulse of energy on nearly 600 seismometers temporarily placed in a two-mile radius around the building with help from hundreds of citizen-scientist hosts and volunteers.” Quoted from the USGS website.

Man-Made Earthquake Studies
August 9, 2013 | Johns Hopkins University

Earthquakes never occur when you need one, so a team led by Johns Hopkins structural engineers is shaking up a building themselves in the name of science and safety.”

Hurricane-Induced Coastal Change
July 2, 2013 | USGS

“The probability of hurricane-induced coastal change on sandy beaches from Florida to New York has been assessed for the first time in U.S. Geological Survey studies released today. [...] The two reports — one assessing the coastline from Florida to North Carolina, the other from Virginia to New York — can function as part of a “virtual toolkit” for U.S. Atlantic coast community planners and emergency managers as they make decisions on how to best address coastline vulnerabilities.” Quoted from the USGS publication release.

Removal of the San Clemente Dam
June 28, 2013 | Los Angeles Times

The San Clemente Dam on the Carmel River near Monterey, California is being removed because it does not meet the state seismic safety standards. It will take three years to dismantle the dam and temporarily reroute the Carmel River. Removal of the dam will cause many environmental changes in the drainage basin.

Fault Studies and Building Demolition
June 23, 2013 | USGS

“When California State University, East Bay demolishes its seismically unsafe Warren Hall this summer on its Hayward campus, the landmark building’s implosion will produce energy similar to a small earthquake that can be used to study and map the nearby Hayward Fault.”

The New Bay Bridge
March 27, 2013 | CNN Money

CNN Money has two short videos about the new east span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge which is expected to be completed in September, 2013.

Testing California’s Earthquake Warning System
March 17, 2013 | Los Angeles Times

The Los Angeles Times has an article that explains how an earthquake warning system is being tested in Southern California.

Earthquakes and NYC Brownstones
March 1, 2013 | NBC News

Researchers use shake tables to simulate the performance retrofitted and unretrofitted New York City masonry buildings, locally known as “brownstones”. The article includes an interesting video.

Population Rise and Earthquake Fatalities
February 24, 2013 | USGS

“Predicted population increases in this century can be expected to translate into more people dying from earthquakes. There will be more individual earthquakes with very large death tolls as well as more people dying during earthquakes than ever before, according to a newly published study led by U.S. Geological Survey engineering geologist Thomas L. Holzer.” Quoted from the USGS announcement.

Working Deep Beneath Manhattan
February 21, 2013 | NBC News

The NBC News website features a few photos from the East Side Access project where workers are expanding the New York mass transit system by driving enormous tunnels through bedrock hundreds of feet beneath the busy streets of Manhattan.

Isolating Buildings from Earthquakes
February 20, 2013 |

An article on the website explains how drilling an array of holes around a building can disrupt the movement of seismic waves.

Impact of Climate Change on U.S. Coasts
February 18, 2013 | USGS

“According to a new technical report, the effects of climate change will continue to threaten the health and vitality of U.S. coastal communities’ social, economic and natural systems. The report, Coastal Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerabilities: a technical input to the 2013 National Climate Assessment, authored by leading scientists and experts, emphasizes the need for increased coordination and planning to ensure U.S. coastal communities are resilient against the effects of climate change.” Quoted from the USGS press release.

Hurricane Sandy Beach Restoration
February 13, 2013 | BOEM Ocean Science

The most recent issue of BOEM Ocean Science has information about beach restoration projects in the Hurricane Sandy recovery effort.

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