Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Animation of the Oso, Washington Landslide

Oso Landslide
Capture from the Oso Landslide animation.
You have probably heard about the Oso, Washington landslide on March 22, 2014, that killed at least 35 people, with 11 people still missing as of the time of this writing. It came down Hazel Hill near the Stillaguamish River and took out everything in its path until it stopped at the other side of the valley.

We remember the victims and honor them. Hopefully, the missing people will be found, safe and sound.

The U.S. Geological Survey studies these sorts of things intensely. One of its units, the Cascades Volcano Observatory, was well situated to study the situation. It put together an animation, using a unique program developed for this purpose that has taken decades to refine, to show the progress of the landslide.

It may not be the most exciting or entertaining animation you will see, but it shows an important use of animation in the study of geological deformations.

You may have seen pictures of the result, with the road below Hazel Hill completely covered. Geologists estimate that the wall of earth and mud was moving at a speed of 60 miles per hour as it came down the hill. It is estimated that the destruction covered the mile from its origination to its conclusion in about a minute. Approximately 10 million cubic yards of earth were moved in that minute.

A local newscast discussed the animation to help us all make sense of it:

The raw animation itself is below:
Oso Landslide
Animation of the Oso Landslide.


No comments:

Post a Comment