Skip to comments.Creeping landslide devouring part of Wyoming town
Posted on 04/20/2014 1:11:00 AM PDT by blueplum
JACKSON, Wyo. -- What's happening in this Wyoming resort town might be better described as a land creep than a landslide, but the lack of speed has not hindered the sheer power of the moving earth.
Over the past two weeks, a piece of East Gros Ventre Butte has slowly collapsed toward the west side of Jackson shearing one hillside home in half, threatening to devour several others and looming ever more ominously over a cluster of businesses below.
By Saturday morning, the shifting earth had caused bulges in a road and a parking lot at the foot of the hill that were as big as 10 feet. The groundswell pushed a small town water pump building 15 feet toward West Broadway, the town's main drag.
Because of its more stable geology, the slope is unlikely to suddenly collapse like the March 22 landslide in Oso, Wash., that killed 39 people, experts said. More likely, large blocks of earth would tumble down piece by piece.
The ground had been moving initially at a rate of an inch a day. That's is expected to speed up as time goes on, said George Machan, a landslide specialist consulting for the town.
(Excerpt) Read more at sacbee.com ...
Cutting roads and such into the sides of hills always carries a risk. Sometimes you can have enough knowledge and design for it. Sometimes not. And sometimes people don’t even know or worry about the hazards until too late.
But at some point even the Grand Teton will end up on the valley floor.
They talk about the higher rainfalls this year. The buildings, roadways, parking lots, etc. also reduce the amount of open land to allow the rain to soak in slowly. Looking at the one house on the nose of the ridge, I can imagine the roof drains and driveway taking all of the water and loading into one portion of the property, and overloading the soils in that area, which would increase the risk of movement.
I understand the desire to live on high points of land like that, or out on the edge of the coast where I live. But one runs a risk depending on the geology.
A buddy of mine had a cabin perched 5 feet from the edge of a 60-foot cliff that dropped down to the water. Solid granite though and all bolted into solid rock.
I don’t know. Made me think of the thread on the earth crust and the earthquake swarms, which ultimately leads to Yellowstone - but hopefully not.
Would a gravel xeriscape of the downside of the slope around the house in the last photo have helped keep that hill stable? We’ve got drains separate from the driveway that channel runoff 300 feet down to either the lowest pasture or the street. I have yet to find a ground cover the gophers won’t eat, the rabbits won’t eat, and the rattlers won’t hide in, so grass has become a relic of my youth and we gravel everything.
Not my fault!
My M.O. isn’t creeping piles of land.
Everyone in Jackson is getting a piece of Butte. Thanks blueplum.
Climate change is responsible. If we would all drive the Chevy Volt and buy carbon credits from Al Gore and put solar panels on our houses and put windmills on aircraft carriers and improve cow farts,, we could keep the climate from changing. The world would become static: we could preserve it as it is: no mudslides; no El Nino; no hurricanes; no tornadoes; no melting ice caps; no unhappy polar bears; no volcanoes; no earthquakes; and no mudslides; no smog in Beijing; no continental drift. The world would be eternally placid and stuck on neutral.
EVERY DAY WOULD BE EARTH DAY. Oh, the endless possibilities for celebration of the Dirt Spirits!
The downside of stasis, however, is that New York would be stuck with all those potholes forever. Oh, that’s already the case. isn’t it? My bad.
I’m Praying for the town of Jackson Hole.
I have a soft spot in my heart for that place. Got married in the little log-cabin church in the park back in 1970 and spent our honeymoon backpacking up the String Lakes area.
Is this happening to Jackson or Jackson Hole? They’re close but not the same place. Also, surprised that no one has mentioned the Yellowstone caldera which is just north.
I have always thought that there is just one town, called by both names. If you do a search on Goggle maps, both names point to the same town (the little town with the elk antler arch in the town square)
Not too far from my home the county highway department removed a half?-century old rock wall(and some of the hillside behind) that adjoined the road,claiming the wall “deflected the snow from the plows back onto the road”. Within two weeks the hillside slumped ,bringing utility poles to near 45 degrees ,and the road had to be closed briefly.
Today’s “engineers” act as though all the old knowledge is to be disregarded.
In other cases,that road across the face of a hillside stayed put for the horses and wagons but not once 20 ton trucks began pounding it!
The mountain side is seeking it’s natural angle of repose
Jackson is the name of the town which is the county seat of Teton County, WY. Jackson Hole is the name of the name of the valley in which the town is located. The two are often used interchangably.
A similar situation occurs in my local: Berkeley Springs, WV. The maps show Berkeley Springs and the post office is Berkeley Springs but the actual incorporated town is Bath, WV. I am not a native but it is my understanding that long ago, in the days before zip codes and we were part of VA, since there was already a post office in VA called Bath, they had to call ours something else and our post office was named Berkeley Springs.
Jackson Hole will just be Jackson because of those creeps.
Any one live in the East Bay and drive along I-80 -580?
Look at the homes in the Berkeley -Oakland hills?
Eventually,all that will come down.
The earth moves.