- Subheading: Landslides, Subsidence, Sinkholes, Earthquakes, Floods, Seismic faults, Sea-level rise
Rattlesnake Hills Landslide
In late 2017 ground disturbances were noticed above a quarry in the Rattlesnake Hills of Yakima County in central Washington, causing a slow-moving landslide.
The landslide resulted in a precautionary but indefinite road closure, immediate evacuation due to imminent danger for a neighborhood of around 70 people south of the affected area, multiple crisis contingency plans including the slide's impact on the nearby Yakima River, and actively tasked resources of over 10 local, state, and federal agencies. The economic impact of the slide seemed to compound as reports indicated that in addition to the quarry and state both hiring independent consultants to further study the slide, the quarry parent company offered five weeks of paid hotel stays for displaced residents.
Quarry mining operations were halted once the vulnerabilities were identified and close monitoring of the area began, including installation of more than 50 GPS monitors, four seismometers, aerial imagery, and terrestrial LiDAR, among others. Efforts were also taken to physically block the landslide.
In May 2018 the landslide, approximately eight hectares (20 acres) in size, was estimated to be moving at a rate of 45 centimeters (1.5 feet) per week, according to the Washington State Department of Natural Resources. The Seattle Times reported in June 2018 that the landslide was still being monitored though it had slowed movement indicating that it could be coming to an end. It was estimated that eventually, the landslide would contain itself after enough rocks and debris collect into the quarry below.
Through displacement reconstruction, InSAR data shows the emerging safety risk of Rattlesnake Hills beginning in 2015 and steadily continuing into 2018. Satellite data shows dramatic negative displacement on the western-facing side of Rattlesnake Hills, consistent with the identified landslide.
Had SILLE been implemented into the scope of monitoring this quarry, its weekly scans would have revealed the effects of the mine early enough to spur precautionary measures allowing time to minimize the landslide's risk to residents.
The value of SILLE is clearly seen in its ability to establish subsidence history and systematically monitor any size area without in-situ equipment. The service complements existing analysis techniques to provide a comprehensive look at surface displacement and structural shifts. Within the application users are able to collect, analyze, store, and export data, allowing for multidimensional use.
SILLE Risk & Resource Savings
- Improve understanding of timeline & reasons for the occurrence
- Implement preventative measures to avoid a crisis
- Analyze historical displacement for better prediction of future trends
- Minimize the costs of corrective efforts
- Maintain positive public opinion by circumventing potential disaster
Image of Rattlesnake Hills before ground shifts. Source: Google Earth
SILLE analysis of Rattlesnake Hills landslide.
January 2018 image of Rattlesnake Hills. Source: Tyler Newton, www.tnewton.com/rattlesnake-ridge-deployment/
Graphed points of deformation from landslide area.
Wide area monitoring
Tunneling monitoring, Saint Petersburg, Russia Case Study BackgroundMonitoring surface deformation to ensure the stability and safety of the undergro...Read more
Land Subsidence Monitoring
Wide Area monitoring, City, Port,....
Long-term land subsidence in Mexico City Case Study Background Land subsidence is one of the main hazards in engineering and construction. Urban lan...Read more
Landslides, Subsidence, Sinkholes,...
Rattlesnake Hills Landslide Case Background In late 2017 ground disturbances were noticed above a quarry in the Rattlesnake Hills of Yakima County i...Read more
Oil reservoir deformation monitori...
Oil reservoir deformation monitoring in the Tengiz oil field, Kazakhstan. Case Study Background Discovered in 1979, the Tengiz oil field is the sixt...Read more
Mining sites, surrounding infrastr...
Bytom & Chełm Śląski, Poland Case Background Poland mines millions of tons of coal every year accounting for just over half of the country's ene...Read more
Bridges, Roads, Railroads
Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel (Rip Raps Island) Case Background The Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel (HRBT is the oldest tunnel on Interstate 64 in Hampton...Read more
Oroville Dam Case Background The Orville Dam’s main and emergency spillways were compromised in February 2017 due to heavy rainfall. Erosion damage ...Read more