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Advocating Landslide Mapping in West Virginia
April 17, 2014 | WVU Today

Graduate students at West Virginia University are using LiDAR, a high resolution mapping technology, to detect and map historic and prehistoric landslides. The maps can then be used to avoid landslide areas prior to construction and identify areas where mitigation might be considered.

Earthquake Swarm in Idaho
April 16, 2014 | Oregon Live

Numerous small earthquakes have occurred in central Idaho. Although no injuries or severe damage have been reported the events have caused concerns among the people who live there.

More Large Ancient Slides in the USA
April 15, 2014 | The Bellingham Herald

An article in The Bellingham Herald gives details on several very large landslides that dwarf the Oso Slide and all involved sudden, unpredictable collapse.

Related: Landslide incidence map

The Status of Landslide Mapping in the USA?
April 13, 2014 | CNBC

An article on CNBC website explores some of the challenges of producing landslide hazard maps for the United States.

Slow-Moving Landslide in Wyoming
April 13, 2014 | Jackson Hole News and Guide

A slow-moving landslide in Jackson, Wyoming has prompted the evacuation of numerous homes and shut down a Walgreens store.

Related: Landslide incidence map

Will Yellowstone Erupt in Our Lifetime?
April 10, 2014 | National Science Foundation

“Yellowstone is like a conveyer belt of caldera clusters,” he says. “By investigating the patterns of behavior in two previously completed caldera cycles, we can suggest that the current activity of Yellowstone is on the dying cycle.”

Related: The Volcano Beneath Yellowstone

What is Causing the Oklahoma Earthquakes?
April 10, 2014 | ThinkProgress

During 2013 the state of Oklahoma experienced 109 earthquakes with a magnitude of 3 or higher. Already this year the state has equaled that number. Some people blame wastewater injection.

The Wichita Eagle reports that Kansas is also experiencing a number of earthquakes.

Pittsburgh: Landslide Capital of the East
April 8, 2014 | WTAE News

WTAE News has a video report on a large landslide, with a chute about 100 yards wide on the side of Mount Washington. Pittsburgh has lots of landslides because it is a city flanked by steep river valley walls, lots of precipitation and weak red shales forming much of the bedrock.

Related: Landslide Incidence Map

Washington Landslide: USGS Summary
April 7, 2014 | USGS

USGS has published a summary observations on the large landslide near Oso, Washington.

“The slide took place along the edge of a plateau about 600 feet high composed of glacial sediments. The volume of the slide is estimated to be about 10 million cubic yards, and it traveled about 0.7 miles from the toe of the slope. This travel distance is about three times longer than expected based on published information regarding previous slides of this height and volume worldwide. If the landslide had behaved in the expected range, it would have likely blocked the river and possibly destroyed a few houses. Instead it led to tragic loss of life and destruction of property.” Quoted from the USGS summary.

Volcano Report for Peru and Chile
April 6, 2014 | Eruptions Blog

Erik Klemetti posts an update on recent activity at Ubinas Volcano in Peru. In addition, some people have expressed concern about the recent magnitude 8.2 earthquake triggering an eruption at one of several nearby volcanos, Erik comments on these concerns plus, in another post, on the recent earthquake at Yellowstone.

USGS photo from the 2006 eruption.
Activity at Tungurahua
April 6, 2014 | Sidney Mornig Herald

Tungurahua Volcano in Ecuador has been active since February, producing explosions and columns of ash.

In 2006 six people were killed and a village was destroyed by the volcano.

2001 Recommendations for the Oso Slide Area
April 6, 2014 | Yahoo! News

In 2001, a report on the area near the Oso Landslide gave three recommendations for reducing the hazard to people and property. These included moving the river about 500 feet from the base of the risky slope (to reduce eroding support from the slope) to moving the river about 2000 feet (which would have required moving many of the homes destroyed by the slide).

Building Codes Saved Lives in Chile
April 6, 2014 | CNN

An article on the CNN website explains how building codes saved lives in the recent magnitude 8.2 earthquake in Chile.

Restricting the Right to Build?
April 3, 2014 | New York Times

An article in the New York Times explores the idea that governments should have the ability to restrict building construction in areas subject to geologic hazards.

Retreating Coastlines in Sussex
April 3, 2014 | National Trust

The chalk cliffs on the Sussex coastline normally retreat at about 3/4 meter per year, but storms in the first quarter of this year have produced several meters of retreat.

M7.8 Onshore in Chile With Shake Map of IX
April 3, 2014 | USGS

USGS reports that a magnitude 7.8 earthquake has occurred onshore in Chile with a depth of only about 12 miles and about 14 miles from the population center of Iquique.

Logging and the Oso Landslide
April 1, 2014 | National Geographic

National Geographic has an article that explores the relationship between the landslide that occurred near Oso, Washington and logging activities in the area.

The Speed of the Oso Landslide
April 1, 2014 | National Geographic

National Geographic has an article that connects the high death toll of the Oso, Washington landslide with the speed of the slide.

Related: Landslides – USGS Fact Sheet

Ten Risky Cities
April 1, 2014 |

TheGuardian has an article that presents the earthquake, tsunami and severe storm hazards of ten risky cities.

Oso Landslide: Mechanisms of Movement
March 31, 2014 | The Landslide Blog

Dave Petley, author of The Landslide Blog comments on the mechanisms of movement and seismic data.

USGS Preliminary Report Shows Ancient Landslides Near Oso
March 30, 2014 | USGS

“High-resolution topographic surveys allow fairly precise mapping of landslide deposits and their relative ages. [...] The Tulalip Tribes, in partnership with the Puget Sound Lidar Consortium, acquired a high-resolution lidar survey of the North Fork Stillaguamish River valley in 2013. This report presents a preliminary interpretation of the topography of this area using the lidar data at a scale of 1:24,000.” Quoted from the USGS Preliminary Interpretation.

Magnitude 5.1: Los Angeles Area
March 29, 2014 | Los Angeles Times

A magnitude 5.1 earthquake occurred at about 9:09PM local time on Friday evening near La Habra, California. Minor injuries and numerous damaged buildings and vehicles have been reported. The Los Angeles Times has several articles.

The USGS reports:

– maximum observed instrumental intensity of VII at La Habra
– Did you feel it? Map reports of VII
– early warning of 4 seconds in Pasadena
– numerous aftershocks

Explaining the Oso Landslide
March 29, 2014 | Washington Post

David Montgomery, a geology professor at the University of Washington, discusses the deadly mudslide that occurred last week near Oso, Washington.

World’s Largest Landslides
March 29, 2014 |

The Heart Mountain Landslide of Wyoming is the largest known subaerial landslide that has been recognized on Earth. The largest submarine slide is the Storegga slide off the coast of Norway.

The Saidmarreh Landslide
March 29, 2014 |

The Saidmarreh Landslide in western Iran is one of the largest landslides in the world. It occurred about 10,000 years ago when about 5 cubic miles of limestone detached along bedding planes and slipped down the north flank of the Kabir Kuh anticline. The slide debris had a run-out distance of over 9 miles. It can be clearly seen on satellite images today.

NASA Landsat Geocover image annotated by

Helicopter Videos over the Oso Landslide
March 27, 2014 | Q13Fox

Q13Fox has posted two aerial videos of the landslide and flooding near Oso, Washington.

USGS: Washington Slide Not Triggered by an Earthquake
March 27, 2014 | Mashable

A very small, M1.1 earthquake occurred about two weeks before the recent large landslide near Oso, Washington. USGS does not believe that the earthquake and the landslide are associated.

Buried in a Mudslide!
March 27, 2014 | Reader's Digest

Reader’s Digest has an article titled: “We Were Buried in a Mudslide” that tells the experience of people who lived in a Colorado neighborhood that was hit by damaging mudslides.

Mount Haast Rock Avalanche Video
March 25, 2014 | The Landslide Blog

The Landslide Blog has an impressive video of a rock avalanche that occurred on the flank of Mount Haast (New Zealand) in 2013. It moves over a snow-covered slope which makes the movement much more visible.

Randa Rockslide Video
March 24, 2014 | The Landslide Blog

“The 1991 rockslides at Randa consisted of two separate collapse events on April 18 and May 9, which released in total a cumulative volume of approximately 30 million cubic meters of rock.” Quote from Wikipedia.

Los Angeles Responds to Earthquake
March 24, 2014 | Los Angeles Times

Last week’s magnitude 4.4 earthquake centered on Encino, a neighborhood in the Los Angeles area, has governments, businesses and citizens thinking more about earthquake preparation (and how they will have problems paying for it).

18 Missing and 3 Dead in Washington Landslide
March 23, 2014 | BaxterBulletin

Three people were killed and at least eighteen are missing after a landslide crashed through six homes, blocked a road and formed a dam across the north fork of the Stillaguamish River.

Upstream Flooding Concerns After Washington Landslide
March 23, 2014 | Seattle Times

After a landslide blocked the north fork of the Stillaguamish River near Oso, Washington there is a concern of upstream flooding as water backs up above the slide debris and a downstream flooding concern if the landslide-created dam is breached.

March 23, 2014 | Earth Magazine

Most people know about tsunamis, but very few know about METEOtsunamis. They are not caused by earthquakes, not caused by tides and you can learn more about these large wave events in an Earth Magazine article.

Fire Tornado in Colorado
March 23, 2014 | Weather Channel

Several firefighters were doing a controlled burn in Colorado when a fire tornado erupted and stirred hundreds of small tumbleweeds into a swirling inferno.

Keeping Flood Insurance Coverage Below Actual Cost?
March 16, 2014 |

The federal flood insurance program has been providing coverage to property owners at below cost for decades and is $24 billion in debt. Now the Senate has passed a bill to block increases that would slightly move the premiums closer to costs.

Flooding in New Zealand
March 13, 2014 | NASA Earth Observatory

NASA’s Earth Observatory has an interesting satellite image pair of a coastline in New Zealand. It shows coastal waters discolored by suspended sediment after heavy rains.

Preposterous Flood Clauses?
March 13, 2014 | The Telegraph

Property owners in the UK are displeased because they are not paid by their insurance company if their property suffers damage from a rising water table.

Related: What your homeowners insurance does not cover in the United States.

Rock Fatigue??
March 11, 2014 | The Landslide Blog

You have probably heard about how “metal fatigue” can result in the failure of aircraft parts and bridge cables. Have you heard about “rock fatigue” resulting in the failure of outcrops and other structures?

Magnitude 6.9 Earthquake Off the California Coast
March 11, 2014 | San Jose Mercury News

A magnitude 6.9 earthquake occurred off the coast of California. Fortunately it was about 50 miles from land, which reduced the impact on coastline communities.

Human Induced Earthquakes Triggering Even Larger Quakes?
March 9, 2014 | USGS

“Scientists observed that a human-induced magnitude 5.0 earthquake near Prague, Oklahoma in November 2011 may have triggered the larger M5.7 earthquake less than a day later. This research suggests that the M5.7 quake was the largest human-caused earthquake associated with wastewater injection.”

What Your Homeowner’s Insurance Does Not Cover
March 4, 2014 |

Most homeowners insurance policies have exclusions that make them worthless when the home is damaged by common geologic problems such as floods, earthquakes, landslides, mine subsidence, cavern collapse and expansive soils. When a home is damaged the homeowner often is surprised that his “all perils” policy has these exclusions.

Pompeii: Quick Movie Review
March 2, 2014 | MagmaCumLaude

Volcanologist (who has a background in archaeology), Jessica Ball, has posted a quick review of “Pompeii”. She considers how the filmmakers struck a balance between making an interesting movie and keeping with the scientific and historical accuracy of the eruption.

Related: Mount Vesuvius

Wildfires and Debris Flows
February 27, 2014 | The Landslide Blog

The Landslide Blog has an interesting post on the association of wildfires and subsequent debris flows – with information on debris flow probability mapping.

Rock Avalanche at Mount La Perouse
February 25, 2014 | The Landslide Blog

The Landslide Blog has aerial photos and commentary on a rock avalanche that ran out about three miles over a glacier along the flank of Mount La Perouse in southeastern Alaska.

Oklahoma Earthquake Time-Lapse Map
February 23, 2014 |

This animated map of Oklahoma Earthquakes between 2004 and present shows an increase in size and frequency starting in late 2009.

No Earthquake Deaths in Alaska Since 1964
February 23, 2014 | Anchorage Daily News

The last deadly earthquake in Alaska occurred in 1964. It killed 131 people in Alaska and 16 more by tsunamis in Oregon and California. In the last 50 years there have been no earthquake deaths in Alaska even though several large earthquakes have occurred. Has that been luck?

Surprise Eruptions from Dormant Volcanoes??
February 18, 2014 | Oregon State University

“A new study suggests that the magma sitting 4-5 kilometers beneath the surface of Oregon’s Mount Hood has been stored in near-solid conditions for thousands of years, but that the time it takes to liquefy and potentially erupt is surprisingly short – perhaps as little as a couple of months.” Quoted from the Oregon State University press release.

Eight Corvettes Swallowed by a Sinkhole??
February 13, 2014 | Reuters

In what has to be some of the worst luck, a sinkhole developed beneath the property of the National Corvette Museum, in the karst area of Kentucky, and eight of the most valuable corvettes on the planet fell in. Security video is posted on the museum’s website.

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

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