Orthophoto and Fissures

November 9, 2009

WSDOT released an orthophoto of the landslide last Friday (at least, this is when I got it). The image is spectacular and helps give us some much needed data. This weekend I worked on mapping out all of the fissures in the “Woodshed Restraint”, as well as other places (that was much quicker, since the cracking was predominantly localized there).

A note of caution on this map, these fissures haven’t been field verified, so they could change, move, or disappear. Especially some of the cracks outside of the Woodshed Restraint area. We have some data on these as well as for the types of movement (uplift, down dropped or translational movement) and that will help us map the stresses and block movement within this mass of earth.

Last week DNR issued an order to suspend mining at the Simmons Quarry. There is a long story within that, but also one that may lead to some legal issues. The continued potential for danger and instability in the area gave us concern for public safety in the area, especially since we have residences living in houses right on the landslide. More on that later.

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It is a strange thing to see how TV works from the production side. The interview I had was maybe 15 minutes or so, but it all boiled down to about 10 seconds of film on air. I am glad to see that this landslide is getting the attention it deserves. This is a major event in Washington’s history, at least, landslide history.

DNR Geology Update

May 29, 2009

We are moving forward after our budget cuts and are in the process of reorganization. We lost a few good people and some great people (most will probably be moved around to another position in DNR), but it seems we are still keeping our core functions alive and well. This is nothing new for the Geology Division, as we have had a lot of up and down swings, but we have always been able to pull through.
Luckily, I am still working on landslides and I hope to continue to do so for many more years down the road. I completed a major update for the landslide database and it should be up on our ArcIMS site soon. If you would like a copy, please contact me at:
isabelle.sarikhan@dnr.wa.gov