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Frozen landslide threatens to devour Dalton Highway {Blob approaching Alaska Pipeline}
Anchorage Daily News ^ | December 1, 2012 | KYLE HOPKINS

Posted on 12/03/2012 9:33:56 AM PST by thackney

A mysterious blob of frozen soil, rocks and trees is creeping toward the Dalton Highway, threatening to block the haul road that serves as a lifeline for Alaska's oil and gas industry. It could happen as soon as end of the decade.

University of Alaska Fairbanks researchers who have been studying the slow-moving landslide just south of the Brooks Range since 2008 say it is crawling closer to the highway every day. The scientists suspect climate change may have caused the 300-foot-wide finger of debris -- once thought to be motionless -- to gain speed as it slides toward the road.

"It's this giant moving mass and it's going to destroy anything in its way," said Rob Harper, a spokesman for the Alaska University Transportation Center.

The wave of frozen mud, snow and plants slowly spilled from the mountains within the past 5,000 years, researchers said. It is now within about 150 feet of the highway. Moving at a average rate of more than a centimeter a day, it could swamp the Dalton within five to 10 years, said Institute of Northern Engineering hydrologist Ronald Daanen.

"The sooner we come up with a viable solution, the better it is. There isn't a lot of time left," said Daanen, who will present information about the hazard at a worldwide meeting on geophysical sciences next week in San Francisco.

Transportation planners across the country are grappling with extreme weather such as floods, storms and unusual snowfall due to changing weather patterns. In the Alaska Arctic, the frozen debris encroaching on the Dalton Highway presents a new kind of puzzle.

As permafrost shrinks and summers grow longer in the southcentral Brooks Range, researchers wonder: How do you stop an accelerating, landslide-like ocean of mud and splintered trees from destroying one of the state...

(Excerpt) Read more at adn.com ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events; US: Alaska
KEYWORDS: energy; northslope; pipeline Comment #1 Removed by Moderator

To: thackney

Blow it up
Dig a big ditch
Bury the pipeline and put the road underground


2 posted on 12/03/2012 9:38:44 AM PST by 2banana (My common ground with terrorists - they want to die for islam and we want to kill them)
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To: thackney

Work for backhoe operators and dump truck drivers.


3 posted on 12/03/2012 9:38:56 AM PST by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both)
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To: thackney


4 posted on 12/03/2012 9:40:33 AM PST by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: thackney

I know they want to call this a “landslide”. To me, it sure seems a lot like a glacier. What we have here (IMO) is a case where the glaciers are advancing — and it’s all because of Global Warming!!!!!


5 posted on 12/03/2012 9:41:58 AM PST by ClearCase_guy (Global Warming is a religion, and I don't want to be taxed to pay for a faith that is not mine.)
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To: BenLurkin

That sounds like a shovel ready job. Someone call the Whitehouse.


6 posted on 12/03/2012 9:44:45 AM PST by Nashvegas (What do you get if you offer a liberal a penny for their thoughts? Change)
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To: thackney
cheese-um-kee-ripes...!!!!!!!!!!!

Didn't they ever hear of soil ‘heaving’?

Are they not teaching ANYTHING in schools anymore? Do we have to re-discover the obvious over and over?

“Climate change” [formerly known as “Global Warming” before it started to get colder] had nothing to do with this, since it has been observed both before and after the fake data models they used

When water freezes it expands. That is why you need anti-freeze in your car -so you don't crack your solid metal engine block.

When soil has a lot of water in it, it expends when the water in it freezes, then moves when it melts. Soil on top of a hill expands and contracts more frequently than deeper buried soil, and gravity carries it downhill.

This can appear to be a creeping ‘motion’ over decades.

Go look at an old set of telegraph posts- they USED TO BE straight up and down

7 posted on 12/03/2012 9:46:54 AM PST by Mr. K (some days even my lucky rocketship underpants don't help...)
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To: thackney
cheese-um-kee-ripes...!!!!!!!!!!!

Didn't they ever hear of soil ‘heaving’?

Are they not teaching ANYTHING in schools anymore? Do we have to re-discover the obvious over and over?

“Climate change” [formerly known as “Global Warming” before it started to get colder] had nothing to do with this, since it has been observed both before and after the fake data models they used

When water freezes it expands. That is why you need anti-freeze in your car -so you don't crack your solid metal engine block.

When soil has a lot of water in it, it expends when the water in it freezes, then moves when it melts. Soil on top of a hill expands and contracts more frequently than deeper buried soil, and gravity carries it downhill.

This can appear to be a creeping ‘motion’ over decades.

Go look at an old set of telegraph posts- they USED TO BE straight up and down

8 posted on 12/03/2012 9:46:54 AM PST by Mr. K (some days even my lucky rocketship underpants don't help...)
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To: BenLurkin; DuncanWaring

From the article:

- - - - - -

Simply hauling the mud, rocks and trees away might not work.

Digging away the face of the lobe might cause it to move even more quickly toward the highway — a problem common to efforts to combat landslides, Darrow said.

“If you take out the toe, you remove the part that’s holding it back and it just makes it go even faster,” she said.


9 posted on 12/03/2012 9:47:15 AM PST by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: thackney
In case anybody is wondering where the money is coming from to study this:

scientists suspect climate change may have caused...

Our results indicate that frozen debris-lobes have responded to climate change...

And, in case anybody thinks this money was justified...

But in terms of really understanding what is going on? No. We are not there yet...

10 posted on 12/03/2012 9:48:10 AM PST by C210N (In favor of private rights and public happiness)
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To: 2banana
In the article replies:
Hate to break it to you but, this is nothing special. The "frozen debris lobes" have a scientific name, Gelifluction Lobes. These form in areas of both stable an unstable permafrost. The only real reason for acceleration might be because its moving down a steep part of the slope. The chances of this taking out the road are very slim since it requires a slope of at least 15-20 degrees to move. The flat sides of the road will eventually stop it. No need for a bridge or wasting millions of dollars to fix something that will not be an issue. Once the lobe reaches the flat part it will spread out into a piedmont type lobe. Any new material coming down the slope will just overlap the first and so on. This is a natural process and trying to stop it is as stupid as referring to climate change as "global warming".

---

Yep. This is nothing new. Also called 'slumping'. (BTW, the headline in the paper was "Mysterious Moving Blob Threatens Dalton Highway" - really ADN? Could you possibly be any more sensational?)


11 posted on 12/03/2012 9:50:17 AM PST by D-fendr (Deus non alligatur sacramentis sed nos alligamur.)
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To: thackney

It’s moving a centimeter a day - three inches per week, a foot per month.

I’m fairly certain a few bulldozers, front-end loaders and dump trucks can keep up with that, even if it speeds up by a factor of 10.


12 posted on 12/03/2012 9:51:09 AM PST by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: thackney

Global climate change—it began over 6 Billion years ago...


13 posted on 12/03/2012 9:54:14 AM PST by RavenATB
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To: thackney

It would take more than a landslide to stop Alex Debagorski.


14 posted on 12/03/2012 9:56:25 AM PST by circlecity
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To: thackney
The wave of frozen mud, snow and plants slowly spilled from the mountains within the past 5,000 years, researchers said.

So... it's been on the move for 5000 years but the blame is laid on global warming. BS.

15 posted on 12/03/2012 9:57:50 AM PST by SunTzuWu
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To: C210N
But in terms of really understanding what is going on? No. We are not there yet..

It's the birth pangs of what is to come. Obviously, none of them are bible readers.

extreme weather such as floods, storms and unusual snowfall.

What about earthquakes, tornadoes, one of a kind hurricanes, etc., etc.

16 posted on 12/03/2012 10:02:00 AM PST by presently no screen name
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To: SunTzuWu

These “researchers” are a bunch of clueless dimwits (probably with pinheads) who can’t figure out what to do with a 1-cm-advancing-per-day bit of dirt and rocks!!!!!! Maybe they could take their worthless dissertations and pile them up as some sort of dam. Or better yet...why don’t they just lie down there like cord wood for eons to come?


17 posted on 12/03/2012 10:05:56 AM PST by hal ogen (First Amendment or Reeducation Camp?)
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To: thackney

{Blob approaching Alaska Pipeline}

Alaska should get a restraining order against Michael Moore.


18 posted on 12/03/2012 10:11:19 AM PST by Mi-kha-el ((There is no Pravda in Izvestiya and no Izvestiya in Pravda.))
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To: thackney
A mysterious blob of frozen soil, rocks and trees

Uh, sounds more like your garden variety moraine than a "mystery".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moraine

19 posted on 12/03/2012 10:37:06 AM PST by Moltke ("I am Dr. Sonderborg," he said, "and I don't want any nonsense.")
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To: 2banana

Could the “frozen blob” be a new glacier forming that the DBM doesn’t want to admit still exist!??

Global warming, ya know!


20 posted on 12/03/2012 10:47:50 AM PST by DustyMoment (Congress - another name for white collar criminals!!)
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To: thackney
“If you take out the toe, you remove the part that’s holding it back and it just makes it go even faster,” she said.

Sounds to me like the plot for a new Godzilla movie - "Godzilla versus the Frozen Blob" (American title) or "Godzirra versus the Frozen Brob" (Japanese title)!

21 posted on 12/03/2012 10:51:46 AM PST by DustyMoment (Congress - another name for white collar criminals!!)
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To: 2banana

My God, this climate change triggered blob is going to kill all the polar bears in Alaska? So the polar bears will all be stuck on little pieces of ice and helplessly float away from land and starve or be crushed by this landslide in their sleep.

Oh the horror!!


22 posted on 12/03/2012 10:55:33 AM PST by House Atreides
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To: DuncanWaring

even if it speeds up by a factor of 10.

- - - - -

And if it speeds up by a factor of a few thousand?


23 posted on 12/03/2012 11:06:48 AM PST by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: thackney

She is correct that you never want to cut the toe of a slope.

But sooner or later its going to be in the right of way...and will have to be moved no matter what.


24 posted on 12/03/2012 11:08:59 AM PST by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both)
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To: Mr. K
Are they not teaching ANYTHING in schools anymore?

Absolutely. Recycling, climate change, political correctness, queer and womyn's studies top the curriculum.

Do we have to re-discover the obvious over and over?

Yes. Of course they're not really re-discovering it: they're just placing old knowledge in shiny new packages designed to advance certain "progressive" political goals.

25 posted on 12/03/2012 11:11:57 AM PST by Bernard Marx
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To: Mi-kha-el
Alaska should get a restraining order against Michael Moore.


26 posted on 12/03/2012 11:23:14 AM PST by Brandonmark (OWCM is The new American Minority!)
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To: thackney
And if it speeds up by a factor of a few thousand?

Doesn't matter. As someone who lives in a "bottom" I can state with absolute, 100% certainty that, frozen or thawed, $#!+ flows downhill...always has...always will.

Whether it's a pipeline, railroad or a road, following along the banks of rivers and streams in mountainous terrain is the easiest, cheapest and fastest way to build. The longevity of the product of those economies however, is another story.

27 posted on 12/03/2012 11:45:50 AM PST by Roccus
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To: Mr. K

Leftists suffer from this weird delusion that everything should remain exactly as it is unless they declare otherwise.


28 posted on 12/03/2012 11:55:41 AM PST by ctdonath2 ($1 meals: http://abuckaplate.blogspot.com)
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To: 2banana

“As permafrost shrinks and summers grow longer in the southcentral Brooks Range, researchers wonder: How do you stop an accelerating, landslide-like ocean of mud and splintered tree”

Idiot reporter. I don’t live in Alaska, but I do know that Dalton is nowhere near the Brooks mountain range.


29 posted on 12/03/2012 11:56:43 AM PST by Rebelbase
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To: 2banana

British Columbia has had landslide problems this year. The difference between Canadian news and US news is that they expect this kind of thing to happen.

http://www.google.com/#hl=en&tbo=d&sclient=psy-ab&q=johnsons+corner+landslide++bc&oq=johnsons+corner+landslide++bc&gs_l=hp.3...7429.7653.3.7980.2.2.0.0.0.0.318.318.3-1.1.0.les%3Bcpsugrpq2..0.0...1.1.1d92-vwIWRU&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&fp=54ddd4d3a7c90dfa&bpcl=39314241&biw=1920&bih=868


30 posted on 12/03/2012 11:58:54 AM PST by Rebelbase
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To: Rebelbase
Idiot reporter. I don’t live in Alaska, but I do know that Dalton is nowhere near the Brooks mountain range

Wrong. The Dalton Highway crosses the Brooks Range at Atigun Pass. ..of Scenic view of the Dalton Highway winding through the Brooks Range...

Scenic view of the Dalton Highway winding through the Brooks Range, Alaska stock photos by . 315FA_EM0003_002_M Fotosearch Stock Photography and Stock Footage helps you find the perfect photo or footage, fast!

fotosearch.com/AKS008/315fa_em0003_002_m/

31 posted on 12/03/2012 12:04:01 PM PST by Alaska Wolf (USA!)
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To: thackney

If it speeds up by a factor of a few thousand, it’ll all be past the road, they can rebuild the road and the issue is done.


32 posted on 12/03/2012 12:09:39 PM PST by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: thackney
“If you take out the toe, you remove the part that’s holding it back and it just makes it go even faster,” she said.

So, begin removing material from the back.

You're welcome.

33 posted on 12/03/2012 1:37:12 PM PST by TigersEye (Who is John Galt?)
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To: DuncanWaring
The area the road sits on is quite flat. It would not be all past the road but a lot of it would be on the road.

Looking down from the debris flow:

34 posted on 12/03/2012 1:59:51 PM PST by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: TigersEye

It would be just as easy easy to click your heals and wish it away, and as productive as your suggestion.


35 posted on 12/03/2012 2:02:20 PM PST by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: thackney

I take it your answer is to throw up your hands and give up. Great.


36 posted on 12/03/2012 3:37:33 PM PST by TigersEye (Who is John Galt?)
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To: thackney
“If you take out the toe, you remove the part that’s holding it back and it just makes it go even faster,” she said.

Ummm, then take out the heel.

37 posted on 12/03/2012 3:45:29 PM PST by hattend (Firearms and ammunition...the only growing industries under the Obama regime.)
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To: thackney

Three possibilities:

1. It stops before the road - no problem.
2. It stops just past the road - dig it out.
3. It speeds up to 10 meters per day (your conjecture) - within a few months, it’s finished flowing - dig it out.


38 posted on 12/03/2012 4:36:30 PM PST by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: TigersEye

No, but your suggestion is as easy as saying, just move the mountain and it will stop flowing downhill.


39 posted on 12/04/2012 5:04:05 AM PST by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: thackney

The peanut gallery always makes a lot of noise but never has any solutions.


40 posted on 12/04/2012 1:35:38 PM PST by TigersEye (Who is John Galt?)
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To: TigersEye

I suspect the solution will be creating a bridge in the road along with space for the pipeline.

As was mentioned in the article...


41 posted on 12/04/2012 1:47:49 PM PST by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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