#1  
Old 01-19-2018, 12:03 AM
Xema Xema is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 11,670
Impending landslide near Yakima

A few miles south of Yakima is Union Gap, on the east side of which is Rattlesnake Ridge. Large cracks have formed there, and seem to be widening at the rate of several inches a day.

This looks likely to end with a large landslide that may fill the gap, blocking I-82 and perhaps damming the Yakima River.

Article

Drone video of the crack
  #2  
Old 01-19-2018, 01:02 AM
SmartAleq SmartAleq is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: PDXLNT
Posts: 4,270
I've been keeping an eye on that thing--it's gonna SUCK when it cuts loose. The local news channel keeps trying to insist it's going to slump into the quarry but nope. That is not what's going to happen there.
  #3  
Old 01-19-2018, 01:11 AM
Snowboarder Bo Snowboarder Bo is online now
Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Las Vegas
Posts: 21,316
Aye; I don't think that's going to slough off into that quarry. And it's not gonna be funny at all when it happens.
  #4  
Old 01-19-2018, 01:47 AM
Gatopescado Gatopescado is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: on your last raw nerve
Posts: 18,159
Quote:
Originally Posted by SmartAleq View Post
I've been keeping an eye on that thing--it's gonna SUCK when it cuts loose.
Gonna suck worse than Gary Puckett.
  #5  
Old 01-19-2018, 02:01 AM
nearwildheaven nearwildheaven is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 9,443
It looks like that whole side of the mountain is about to calve off. I would not want to drive down that highway right now, that's for sure.
  #6  
Old 01-19-2018, 02:34 AM
China Guy China Guy is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 10,959
That is one big ass ass crack for sure.
  #7  
Old 01-19-2018, 09:23 AM
Novelty Bobble Novelty Bobble is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: South East England
Posts: 6,821
Quote:
Originally Posted by SmartAleq View Post
I've been keeping an eye on that thing--it's gonna SUCK when it cuts loose. The local news channel keeps trying to insist it's going to slump into the quarry but nope. That is not what's going to happen there.
Hundreds of thousands of tons falling hundreds of metres doesn't simply stop. Once it starts moving and fragmenting it'll act like a fluid and probably continue flowing for quite some distance. It won't be pretty. I see from the article that they've put barriers up on the side of the highway......... not quite sure I concur with their health and safety precautions there.
__________________
I'm saving this space for the first good insult hurled my way
  #8  
Old 01-19-2018, 09:52 AM
B-Rad B-Rad is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 298
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo View Post
Aye; I don't think that's going to slough off into that quarry. And it's not gonna be funny at all when it happens.
LOL!

It's gonna be a drag, alright. But on the positive side, 50+ years of Hanford nuclear waste seepage might just turn the place into a giant night light when the fresh basalt is exposed.
__________________
drp
  #9  
Old 01-19-2018, 11:37 AM
Paul in Qatar Paul in Qatar is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Dammam, Saudi Arabia
Posts: 12,199
So we got some sort of idea when this ting is going to slip? A week? A month? A year? Will it go all at once?
__________________
800-237-5055
Shrine Hospitals for Children (North America)
Never any fee
Do you know a child in need?
  #10  
Old 01-19-2018, 12:00 PM
teela brown teela brown is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Almost Silicon Valley
Posts: 8,945
In that second link that the OP provided, the one with the drone footage, you can see people climbing around all over the crack. At first I thought they were geologists doing inspections, but on second look there's a kid with a mountain bike in there.

Yeesh - imagine clambering around in and on a giant crack which is due to give way in a huge landslide at any moment, and letting your kids do so too.

Last edited by teela brown; 01-19-2018 at 12:00 PM.
  #11  
Old 01-19-2018, 12:25 PM
Snowboarder Bo Snowboarder Bo is online now
Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Las Vegas
Posts: 21,316
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul in Qatar View Post
So we got some sort of idea when this ting is going to slip? A week? A month? A year? Will it go all at once?
From the link in the OP:
Quote:
At its current rate, 1.6 ft/week, up from 1.0 ft/week, scientists estimate that the slide could occur between the end of the month and early March.
So between 1 February and 15 March is likely.
  #12  
Old 01-19-2018, 01:01 PM
Sailboat Sailboat is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 11,417
I can't tell -- is this facing toward or way from the Hanford nuclear reservation?
__________________
Sailboat
  #13  
Old 01-19-2018, 02:04 PM
B-Rad B-Rad is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 298
It's just east of Union Gap (immediately south of Yakima). Crack is noted to be on the western slope of Rattlesnake Ridge--so the slab slides to the west. Googlemap Yakima, and to the south you will see the river bisects a stretch of red ground. The crack is on the east ridge (I'm pretty sure). This image shows the imperiled quarry on the southwest edge of the eastern ridge.

In all of this, Hanford is to the east.
__________________
drp

Last edited by B-Rad; 01-19-2018 at 02:07 PM.
  #14  
Old 01-19-2018, 03:12 PM
Spiderman Spiderman is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: somewhere East of there
Posts: 8,583
Quote:
Originally Posted by B-Rad View Post
This image shows the imperiled quarry on the southwest edge of the eastern ridge.
Does the quote below the second image in that article mean that they think the quarry it the cause of what's about to happen?


They will sometimes intentionally set off small, controlled avalanches in back country areas to prevent larger, uncontrolled ones. Is it possible to do that will land also or just snow?
  #15  
Old 01-19-2018, 03:38 PM
TriPolar TriPolar is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: rhode island
Posts: 38,001
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo View Post
From the link in the OP:So between 1 February and 15 March is likely.
Somewhat faster than the pitch drop. This is kind of scary, nobody has a good way to predict what will happen.
  #16  
Old 01-19-2018, 05:00 PM
SmartAleq SmartAleq is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: PDXLNT
Posts: 4,270
Even back a couple weeks people were saying some of the cracks were big enough to lose a car in them--from the looks of it, they've gotten way worse than that and the slump is severe. Wonder what the over/under is on how many weeks it takes to clear the freeway, assuming it's even still there afterward? Of course, that will be even more complex if the slide dams the river. Yikes.
  #17  
Old 01-19-2018, 05:05 PM
SmartAleq SmartAleq is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: PDXLNT
Posts: 4,270
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spiderman View Post
They will sometimes intentionally set off small, controlled avalanches in back country areas to prevent larger, uncontrolled ones. Is it possible to do that will land also or just snow?
Good article on why that's not advisable:

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle...t-a-good-idea/
  #18  
Old 01-19-2018, 05:21 PM
Snowboarder Bo Snowboarder Bo is online now
Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Las Vegas
Posts: 21,316
The time-lapse of these 3 photos shows quite a bit of movement from 5 December 2017 to 12 January 2018, a span of just 5 weeks. I don't think I'd want to be driving on that highway below this ridge just now.
  #19  
Old 01-19-2018, 05:27 PM
TroutMan TroutMan is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 3,868
I'm curious about those here saying it's definitely going to cover I-82. What are you seeing that the geotech engineers studying this aren't?
  #20  
Old 01-19-2018, 06:34 PM
Northern Piper Northern Piper is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Je suis Ikea.
Posts: 25,653
There is a long-standing SDMB objection to just throwing stuff into quarries.
  #21  
Old 01-19-2018, 07:01 PM
SmartAleq SmartAleq is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: PDXLNT
Posts: 4,270
Go look at the time lapse photos--whereas a large percentage of the slump will fill the quarry, there's another large percentage that is moving in a direction that's physically impossible to shift south. That's the part that's going to end up all over the highway and possibly in the river.
  #22  
Old 01-19-2018, 07:22 PM
Snowboarder Bo Snowboarder Bo is online now
Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Las Vegas
Posts: 21,316
Quote:
Originally Posted by Northern Piper View Post
There is a long-standing SDMB objection to just throwing stuff into quarries.
Categorically not true: some Dopers encourage throwing stuff into quarries, as the situation warrants.


Last edited by Snowboarder Bo; 01-19-2018 at 07:22 PM.
  #23  
Old 01-19-2018, 07:34 PM
JackieLikesVariety JackieLikesVariety is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Nevada
Posts: 2,394
Quote:
Yeesh - imagine clambering around in and on a giant crack which is due to give way in a huge landslide at any moment, and letting your kids do so too.
no way, I can't believe people are that stupid. and yet they are!
  #24  
Old 01-19-2018, 10:02 PM
Chimera Chimera is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: In the Dreaming
Posts: 22,744
When it happens, and people playing on top of it are killed, their friends and family who were there, but on the correct side of the crack will be crying about how "We didn't know! Nobody told us it was going to collapse like that!"

But dang, yeah, looks like half the ridge is going to barrel right through the quarry and the area next to it, over the highway and river and anything nearby.

And after that happens, the rest of the ridge is going to be unstable.
__________________
Little packets of Fear and Outrage, sold like crack from your Computer and TV

"The worst things in the world are justified by belief" - U2, Raised by Wolves
  #25  
Old 01-20-2018, 09:09 AM
Spiderman Spiderman is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: somewhere East of there
Posts: 8,583
Quote:
Originally Posted by SmartAleq View Post
Good article on why that's not advisable:

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle...t-a-good-idea/
That article compares a controlled blast to those used for road building, not ski-patrol set avalanches. I'm nowhere near knowledgeable enough in this area to know if that's an apples-to-apples comparison or an apples-to-oranges one.

Part of what they're talking about is removing the debris; they don't do that in controlled avalanches. Of course, in those, the 'debris' is removed once the spring thaw occurs.
  #26  
Old 01-20-2018, 02:24 PM
SmartAleq SmartAleq is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: PDXLNT
Posts: 4,270
A huge issue is the volume of material we're looking at--they mention the detonations used in Snoqualmie Pass to widen the road, with about 200K cubic yards per year removed for a total of 1 million cubic yards--estimates of what's about to fall off Rattlesnake Ridge is four million cubic yards. That's a whole lot of uncontrolled material skating down, and one hell of a cleanup job. Also, as they mention, just setting the charges alone on an unstable slope like that could have some unforeseen consequences and there's no way to make it safe.

Also keep in mind that snow is, relatively speaking, very light and relatively easy to bulldoze out of the way. It's a very different proposition to remove four million cubic yards of dirt and rock, assuming you could even get it to fall the way you want it to.

Nope, they're just going to have to keep monitoring that mess and hope it doesn't fall down when there's much traffic going by, but good luck with that because there aren't too many roads that go over that ridge.

Last edited by SmartAleq; 01-20-2018 at 02:24 PM.
  #27  
Old 01-20-2018, 03:59 PM
Novelty Bobble Novelty Bobble is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: South East England
Posts: 6,821
Something slightly off-topic but that may be of interest (though not relevant as the scale is orders of magnitude larger)

A couple of years ago we stayed in the Otztal Valley in Austria, south of Innsbruck. It was summer and we were walking, cycling etc. A beautiful part of the world.
What we didn't know was the village we stayed in, Niederthai, was only accessible by driving over the debris field of one of the largest known landslips.
About 10000 years ago several cubic kms of rock face detached from a mountainside, slid down hundreds of meters and piled up across the valley. Running so high up the other side that the main valley and that on the other side was blocked and huge lakes created. Today when you drive up the debris field to Neiderthai you can see how strange the terrain is, a jumble of rocks and pines quite different for the normal mountainside vegetation.

It was so huge and powerful that the rocks involved were heated to the point of metamorphosis into something called "frictionite" and for many years it was thought that an asteroid impact had caused it.

Once you see it on google maps with the terrain switched on it becomes clear.
The top of the mountain slightly to the west of Kofels broke free and blocked the valley to the south and east. A lake formed where Niederthai now sits and also south of Winklen.
Eventually the lakes drained as streams cut new valleys through the debris.

It was quite something to stand on the top of the Stubenfall waterfall and imagine the whole of the mountainside opposite detaching and flowing down, across and up the other side of the valley.
__________________
I'm saving this space for the first good insult hurled my way
  #28  
Old 01-20-2018, 04:00 PM
Helena330 Helena330 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Near Seattle, WA, USA
Posts: 3,064
Just FYI, it's pronounced YAK-uh-maw, not YAK-uh-muh like I've been hearing from national news people.

What a mess. It will impact access to/from that area for a long time.
  #29  
Old 01-20-2018, 05:44 PM
Hopeful Crow Hopeful Crow is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: City of Destiny
Posts: 642
Just wait until you hear it pronounced, "Ya-KIY-maw." You're in for a treat.
  #30  
Old 01-20-2018, 07:21 PM
SmartAleq SmartAleq is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: PDXLNT
Posts: 4,270
I actually heard the famed mispronunciation of "William-ette" on a tv show about floating homes recently. To add insult to injury, they claimed the Multnomah channel is off the Willamette when it's actually off the Columbia. You'd think they'd check these things first but you'd be wrong.
  #31  
Old 01-20-2018, 08:56 PM
Baker Baker is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Tottering-on-the-Brink
Posts: 18,827
Heck, I once heard a political fundraiser on TV that pronounced the state flower of Colorada as the cuh-LUM-bine, not the COL-um-bine.
  #32  
Old 01-20-2018, 11:11 PM
jasg jasg is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Upper left hand corner
Posts: 4,702
Quote:
Originally Posted by Novelty Bobble View Post
Something slightly off-topic but that may be of interest (though not relevant as the scale is orders of magnitude larger)

A couple of years ago we stayed in the Otztal Valley in Austria, south of Innsbruck. It was summer and we were walking, cycling etc. A beautiful part of the world.
<snip>
The top of the mountain slightly to the west of Kofels broke free and blocked the valley to the south and east. A lake formed where Niederthai now sits and also south of Winklen.
Eventually the lakes drained as streams cut new valleys through the debris.

It was quite something to stand on the top of the Stubenfall waterfall and imagine the whole of the mountainside opposite detaching and flowing down, across and up the other side of the valley.
In a similar vein, this thread in GQ is discussing the Bonneville Slide, just a 150 miles downstream from Yakima. It was a slide of 14 square km that covered and dammed the entire Columbia river - not just a measly interstate highway.

Last edited by jasg; 01-20-2018 at 11:11 PM.
  #33  
Old 01-21-2018, 12:31 AM
Sunspace Sunspace is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Near the GT eeehhhh...
Posts: 27,440
Quote:
Originally Posted by Helena330 View Post
Just FYI, it's pronounced YAK-uh-maw, not YAK-uh-muh like I've been hearing from national news people.
So 'ya-KEE-mah' is completely wrong?
  #34  
Old 01-21-2018, 09:50 AM
ftg ftg is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Not the PNW :-(
Posts: 16,144
The entire time growing up it was YAK-ah-maw.

Last summer visiting the area I heard a weatherman pronounce it ya-KEE-mah or some such.
  #35  
Old 01-21-2018, 11:27 AM
guestchaz guestchaz is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: boise idaho
Posts: 1,759
When I was growing up it was always the city of YAK-em-aw and the reservation was where the YAK-uh-maw people lived.

ya-KIE-muh yuh-KAY-muh?
__________________
"I find your lack of candy disturbing" Darth Desserticola
  #36  
Old 01-22-2018, 03:31 AM
Tastes of Chocolate Tastes of Chocolate is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: slightly north of center
Posts: 4,477
Looking at the Google Earth image of this location, taken 5/28/17 , does anyone else see a faint line that seems to match up with the top of the breakaway area? If so, this started at least 8 months ago. The location I used was 46°31'34.42" N 120°27'58.37" W, eye alt 2360 ft. Look between the northern quarry roads and the sharp right turn in the road about that, there is a slightly darker line running approx N/S.
  #37  
Old 01-22-2018, 01:16 PM
Voyager Voyager is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Deep Space
Posts: 42,190
Quote:
Originally Posted by SmartAleq View Post
I actually heard the famed mispronunciation of "William-ette" on a tv show about floating homes recently. To add insult to injury, they claimed the Multnomah channel is off the Willamette when it's actually off the Columbia. You'd think they'd check these things first but you'd be wrong.
My boss put it this way - it rhymes with "Damn it, Janet."
  #38  
Old 01-22-2018, 02:03 PM
Chimera Chimera is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: In the Dreaming
Posts: 22,744
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tastes of Chocolate View Post
Looking at the Google Earth image of this location, taken 5/28/17
Yeah, if that is the crack, it isn't going toward the quarry, but to the northwest, filling in "Union Gap" and creating a bit of a dam on the river there (and burying the highway).
__________________
Little packets of Fear and Outrage, sold like crack from your Computer and TV

"The worst things in the world are justified by belief" - U2, Raised by Wolves
  #39  
Old 01-22-2018, 02:45 PM
Hopeful Crow Hopeful Crow is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: City of Destiny
Posts: 642
I thought that was the crack, too, but now I've decided it is a ridge of basalt protruding from the soil. This area (indeed, most of eastern Washington) was inundated over and over again by lava from ancient volcanic activity. You can see outcrops of it all over the place. In other areas, there are canyons or coulees carved into the basalt hundreds of feet deep.

In between the layers of basalt here on Rattlesnake Ridge are layers of silt and dirt. This is what's causing the slippage. From what I've heard, it was first spotted back in October.
  #40  
Old 01-31-2018, 08:29 PM
Snowboarder Bo Snowboarder Bo is online now
Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Las Vegas
Posts: 21,316
Now they're saying it could be a years- or decades-long process.
Quote:
A newly released report says roughly 4 million cubic yards of rock and dirt could continue inching its way down Rattlesnake Ridge for years, if not decades, and is unlikely to become a fast-moving, catastrophically damaging landslide.

The report by a Seattle-based consulting company hired to assess earlier studies largely backs the previous reports, saying it’s improbable rockfall would reach Interstate 82 and “very improbable” it would reach the Yakima River.

“The Rattlesnake Ridge landslide should be treated as a serious threat to public safety, but one that is both predictable and manageable,” according to the report completed by Wyllie & Norrish Rock Engineers,
Quote:
Late last year, officials predicted the landslide could occur by mid-January. That estimate was later revised to sometime in early March and most recently officials said they no longer were necessarily looking at an imminent threat. The slide — which is moving at a rate of 1.7 feet per week — hasn’t stopped moving, but isn’t gaining speed.
  #41  
Old 01-31-2018, 09:11 PM
Chimera Chimera is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: In the Dreaming
Posts: 22,744
One heavy rainstorm could do it.
__________________
Little packets of Fear and Outrage, sold like crack from your Computer and TV

"The worst things in the world are justified by belief" - U2, Raised by Wolves
  #42  
Old 01-31-2018, 09:14 PM
SmartAleq SmartAleq is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: PDXLNT
Posts: 4,270
That's geology for you--it doesn't conform to the time sense of little skittery mammals on the surface.
  #43  
Old 01-31-2018, 10:11 PM
TruCelt TruCelt is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Near Washington, DC
Posts: 9,922
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo View Post
The time-lapse of these 3 photos shows quite a bit of movement from 5 December 2017 to 12 January 2018, a span of just 5 weeks. I don't think I'd want to be driving on that highway below this ridge just now.
The "state officials" saying that a few rocks are going to land in the quarry or on the road are completely insane. And building a barrier won't work either, unless it looks a lot like the Hoover Dam. This is not a surface slide. If you look at the link from Bo, focus on the bottom left hand side of the 3-photo time lapse. See that bulge moving forward? That's the base of the wedge that's about to start accelerating.

Reports are that fissures are 250 feet deep and growing. As rain seeps into those cracks, and the cold gets in to those deep areas to further contract the material that's been 80+ degrees for the last several thousand years, the scenario will change drastically. Also, the basalt they are counting on has been shaken and vibrated by quarry blasts for how many years? There's no way it is still solid enough to anchor the lower material.

I can't see what the geologists are banking on when they say it won't accelerate again. I wish they were telling us more about what they basing that opinion on.

And from what I can see on google maps, this only has to go about 2000 feet to cover rt. 82, dam the river, and bury rt. 97 as well.

If the really want to prepare, they should start on widening Konnowac Pass road. It's about to get a whole lot busier. If I lived there, I'd be using it already.

I did find this comforting:

Quote:
Meanwhile, emergency officials have turned over videos taken earlier this month to the Yakima County Sheriff’s Office for possible charges against a number of people seen scrambling around massive cracks that have opened up above the quarry.

And finally, for the "Pitch Drop" addicts jonesing for a new one, here's a Rattlesnake Ridge Web Cam.
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:23 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright © 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017