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Thistle, Utah Landslide

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Corinne Armstrong

on 8 November 2012

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Transcript of Thistle, Utah Landslide

Thistle, Utah 1983 Landslide Mitch Adams, Kailey Dilworth, Julia Farmer, Joshua Fletcher, Vinny Halasz, Corinne Santiago, Elly Stahl In April of 1983, Thistle Utah was the setting place for the most expensive landslide in U.S history. The landslide amounted in millions of dollars in destruction, and destroyed the small town of Thistle. http://luirig.altervista.org/cpm/albums/geolus-56/30166-Thistle--Utah--landslide-April-1983--New-railroad-tunnel-and-wat.jpg http://geology.utah.gov/surveynotes/geosights/thistle.htm) The landslide took place near the town of Thistle, Utah, blocking US 89, US 6 and the railroad that ran through the area. Background (Image Courtesy of Google earth) Above average precipitation fell at the end of 1982, causing there to be excessive snow-pack which then melted rapidly to cause this landslide in April 1983. We can see from this picture how geographically large the damage was. The landslide ended up being an astounding 1000 feet wide, 1 mile long, and 200 feet in thickness. Once it reached the bottom, it created a 220-foot dam in the way of the Spanish Fork River. (Image courtesy of http://geology.utah.gov/surveynotes/geosights/thistle.htm) Background Continued Intensity Science Continued Reached a maximum speed of 3.5 Feet per hour and dammed the Spanish Fork River within days
Severed Railroad services between Denver and Salt Lake City
U.S. 6 and U.S. 89 were flooded because of Thistle lake
Reached 1000 Feet in width, 200 feet in thickness and over 1 mile long
The town of Thistle was drowned under the flood waters This landslide of Thistle disconnected railroad facility between Denver and Salt Lake City. It also flooded a couple of main highways (U.S. 6 and U.S. 89), and destroyed the town of Thistle. http://landslides.usgs.gov/learning/photos/more_usa/thistle__utah_landslide Science Continued It is likely for this event to repeat itself. The area has kept moving sporadically since the year this tremendous disaster happened. Minor mudslides are caused by its movement occasionally. In spring of 1998 almost the entire side moved, caused by a wet winter, heavy rains and spring runoff. The outcome of this event was that the head of the slide was enlarged by an area of several football fields (15 million cubic yards). A large slide like this can repeat itself many times, depending on the amount of water contributed in the winter. http://landslides.usgs.gov/learning/photos/more_usa/thistle__utah_landslide http://geology.utah.gov/surveynotes/geosights/thistle.htm http://geology.utah.gov/surveynotes/geosights/thistle.htm Science Continued The main contributing factor, which caused this landslide to be so intense, was the water of the snow which was added the winter before the landslide happened. The water was the reason for the speed of this landslide, as well as added weight, which cause it to tear away everything in its path. http://geology.utah.gov/surveynotes/geosights/thistle.htm http://www.distancescalculator.com/US/distance-between-Thistle-UT-and-Minersville-UT Science Continued The destruction of this event, and the cost which it instigated resulted in Utah’s first Presidential disaster declaration. http://geology.utah.gov/surveynotes/geosights/thistle.htm http://landslides.usgs.gov/learning/photos/more_usa/thistle__utah_landslide Damage The landslide created a dam that severed railways and flooded two major highways
Flooded Thistle Creek leading to burying homes along beside it
Lahars moved through and buried the town in gray water
Caused floods from Denver to Salt Lake City http://geology.utah.gov/surveynotes/geosights/thistle.htm http://geology.utah.gov/surveynotes/geosights/thistle.htm http://utahcommhistory.wordpress.com/2012/04/13/flood-watch-1983-newspaper-coverage-of-the-flooding-of-thistle-and-salt-lake-city/ http://www.google.com/imgres?hl=en&sa=X&biw=1276&bih=639&tbm=isch&prmd=imvns&tbnid=cwYMmQp4wPi0HM:&imgrefurl=http://landslides.usgs.gov/learning/imagepreviews.php&docid=vgLJQ-BpwKlWgM&imgurl=http://landslides.usgs.gov/learning/images/slides/slide3.jpg&w=800&h=543&ei=OimYUIvqHezgigK0g4CwCw&zoom=1&iact=rc&dur=255&sig=109115396539791638914&page=1&tbnh=137&tbnw=215&start=0&ndsp=15&ved=1t:429,r:4,s:0,i:84&tx=111&ty=76 http://geology.utah.gov/surveynotes/geosights/thistle.htm In the fall of 1982 there was record-breaking precipitation, then a deep winter snow pack, then a warm spring and rapid snowmelt in 1983 prepped the land for the landslide.The land was so susceptible because of the hillside and then all the climate factors. http://geology.utah.gov/surveynotes/geosights/thistle.htm Physical Features http://luirig.altervista.org/pics/index4.php?search=Thistle,+Utah,+landslide+April+1983.+New+railroad+tunnel+and+...&page=1 Economic Impact Costs exceeded $200 million dollars at the time ($400 million in the current economy)
The most expensive landslide in U.S. history http://utahcommhistory.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/p0261n09.jpg http://geology.utah.gov/surveynotes/geosights/thistle.htm Human Toll Miraculously, the mass wasting did not harm or kill anyone
It’s main impact on the human population was the damage and complete loss of homes
Residents of Thistle filed lawsuits over their lost property http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thistle,_Utah#Economic_effects Eyewitness Account “The lakes started to form and it covered the houses. A lot of the roofs were lifted off the homes and floated around on the lake for long amounts of time in different areas. I remember an old barn was picked up and when the lake was finally recited it was put back down, and it was quite a distance from where it was originally located." Art Chidester (resident engineer) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xicUtjkKsbg http://kanat.jsc.vsc.edu/student/dowerr/mainpage.htm http://atlasobscura.com/place/thistle-ghost-town The Thistle Utah landslide of 1983 forever impacted the small town and those who lived there. Although the town died and to this day is a ghost town, miraculously no human lives were spared. Many were greatly affected by this tremendous disaster, and will never forget this great event. http://geology.utah.gov/surveynotes/geosights/thistle.htm) http://www.soest.hawaii.edu/dinosaurs/images/thistle_ruins.jpg http://geology.utah.gov/surveynotes/geosights/thistle.htm http://geology.utah.gov/surveynotes/geosights/thistle.htm
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