Tag Archive for: geologic hazards


This date in science: Landslide at Bingham Canyon Mine

April 10, 2013. On this date – a year ago today – a towering wall of dirt and rocks gave way and crashed down the side of Bingham Canyon Mine in Utah. The landslide was to be one of the largest non-volcanic landslides in the history of North America. University of Utah researchers later reported that the landslide – which moved at an average of almost 70 mph and reached estimated speeds of at least 100 mph – left a deposit so large it would cover New York’s Central Park with about 20 meters (66 feet) of debris.


Good Monday morning to all of our geo friends! We hope you had a fun and safe weekend. Here’s a read for this morning. Some of you may have questions about what caused Chile’s recent and devastating earthquake. This article tries to answer some of those questions.


Even planet Earth has its faults. Movement along those fault lines causes earthquakes, big and small, to rattle the globe every day, most recently making news this week with a powerful quake, and tsunami, striking Chile.


Check out this YouTube video from Yellowstone National Park that addresses some rumors and concerns that have come up as a result of their recent 4.8 earthquake. It clears up a lot of questions! Find other videos that they’ve made HERE.

Here’s another article that answers questions about the risk of an eruption from Yellowstone’s supervolcano.

Quake expert predicts no big band in Y’stone


The 4.8 magnitude earthquake that shook Yellowstone National Park this weekend was unremarkable besides the fact it happens around every decade or so, a University of Utah professor says.



One of our geologists, Rich Giraud, talks about the landslide dangers in Utah in this brief article. Check it out!


In Utah talk of mudslides dredges up memories of the thistle slide that wiped out the small Utah town in 1983.The historic Utah slide unlike the one in Washington did not see a loss of life, no one was even hurt.



A week after a hillside collapse swept away homes in the small town of Oso, Washington, it now appears the death toll could rise into the dozens.


And another article that further explains the landslide risk in Utah—

Experts discuss landslide danger in Utah


With the recent deadly landslide in Washington, and the recent wet weather in Utah, FOX 13 News asked local geology experts about a similar landslide risk in northern Utah, a region prone to landslides in the past.


Current Issue Contents:

  • Damaging Debris Flows Prompt Landslide Inventory Mapping for the 2012 Seely Fire, Carbon and Emery Counties, Utah
  • Rock Fall: An Increasing Hazard in Urbanizing Southwestern Utah
  • New Geologic Data Resources for Utah
  • Energy News
  • Teacher’s Corner
  • Glad You Asked: Where is the Coolest Spot in Utah?
  • GeoSights: The Goosenecks of the San Juan River, San Juan County, Utah
  • Survey News
  • New Publications



A massive rockslide closed part of Dinosaur National Monument.

The National Park Service says the slide is still active and rocks have been falling since Tuesday.

NPS says that on Tuesday, fishermen reported large boulders falling in the area. Park rangers investigated, but found no further activity.




The Utah Geological Survey (UGS) has made its ground-water monitoring data available to the public through its new Ground-Water Monitoring Data Portal; with just a few simple clicks you can track water level trends in wells, and flow rates from springs in Snake Valley and adjacent areas.

Or, if your interest is in landslide potential this spring, you can find out what the water levels are in wells in and near landslides along the Wasatch Front. Users can easily find wells and springs using a map interface, view graphs of the data, and download graphic or tabular data in several formats.

The UGS has made the information available, in part due to the large amount of interest in proposed water-development projects in Snake Valley in west-central Utah and east-central Nevada. The ground-water levels, which have been continuously monitored by the UGS since 2007, have declined in areas of current pumping, suggesting that use is presently at or near the maximum sustainable rate for the region and that if pumping rates increase in the future, the rate of water-level decline would likely increase.



A new geologic-hazards investigation, published by the Utah Geological Survey, could help Zion National Park (ZNP) keep its 2.5 million annual visitors safe. The results of the investigation will provide the National Park Service (NPS) with geologic-hazard information for future park management.

Zion National Park is subject to a variety of geologic hazards that may affect park development and visitor safety. “One of the nation’s scenic jewels, Zion National Park, is also home to a variety of geologic hazards. By supporting this study of geologic hazards in high-use areas of the park, the National Park Service has taken a proactive approach to protecting visitor safety,” says William Lund, UGS Senior Geologist.

The ZNP geologic-hazards study area is a 154-square-mile area that encompasses Zion Canyon, Kolob Canyon, Kolob Terrace, the Zion-Mount Carmel Highway corridor, and all developed and high-use areas of the park. This investigation includes nine 1:24,000-scale geographic information system (GIS)-based maps that show areas subject to flooding, debris flows, rock fall, landslides, surface faulting, liquefaction, collapsible and expansive rocks and soils, and/or soil piping and erosion.



Seven recipients will be presented with the Governor’s Medal for Science and Technology during an awards ceremony Tuesday at Discovery Gateway in Salt Lake City.

The awards program, started in 1987, recognizes Utah people and companies whose career achievements or distinguished service have benefited the state in the areas of science and technology.

The Salt Lake Tribune
Deseret News