Deadly Oso Landslide No Shock to Geologists


Geologists from the University of Washington have just published an article documenting their analysis of the 2014 landslide near the small town of Oso, Washington. They determined that many slides have occurred along the North Fork Stillaguamish River over the last 10,000 years with several in the last 500 years. This high frequency of slides “shows that landscapes inundated by glacial sediment do not require dramatic changes in base level to remain highly unstable for tens of thousands of years.” This finding, which wasn’t much of a surprise to them, will have an impact on development as they expect more slides could happen in the near future.

Above is a USGS map of the slides nearest the Oso disaster. Below is a recent satellite image of the actual slide. See this map of the Oso Landslide to toggle between the topography before the slide and the images after the slide.

Detailed article available for purchase from The Geological Society of America.

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Oso Landslide March 22, 2014 WA