This blog provides commentary on interesting geological events occurring around the world in the context of my own work. This work is, broadly, geological fluid dynamics. The events that I highlight here are those that resonate with my professional life and ideas, and my goal is to interpret them in the context of ideas I've developed in my research. The blog does not represent any particular research agenda. It is written on a personal basis and does not seek to represent the University of Illinois, where I am a professor of geology and physics. Enjoy Geology in Motion! I would be glad to be alerted to geologic events of interest to post here! I hope that this blog can provide current event materials that will make geology come alive.

Banner image is by Ludie Cochrane..

Susan Kieffer can be contacted at s1kieffer at gmail.com

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Attabad Landslide Videos; Gulf Oil Spill update

Graphic from Dave's Landslide Blog.

Reuters has finally picked up on this situation with some statistics about the number of people displaced and villages at risk.

Events are progressing rapidly on two issues that I've been tracking.  At Attabad, the flow rate over the spillway has increased dramatically (the last data point on the upper right), suggesting a change in the spillway conditions. No photography is yet available. A friend pointed out two videos of interest.  The first is a short and haunting documentary about the conditions in the Hunza Valley--I had not realized that the main road for transportation of goods into China was cut off by the slide. The second is an eyewitness video of the landslide itself. It is amazing to see how long the slide took to be deposited, and also amazing that the photographers didn't start getting out of there!

UCAR has just issued a simulation of the movement of the Gulf oil slick.  The broken BP well is in a relatively stagnant region of the Gulf and so it has been spreading slowly.  Once it gets into the Loop Current, it accelerates to 40 miles per day, and then once it moves around Florida and enters the Gulf Stream, it is projected to reach speeds up to 100 miles per day.  It may reach as far as Cape Hatteras before turning out to the Atlantic.

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