A new study will be presented at a summit of the Geological Society of America about the Collbran landslide. KVNF’s Jake Ryan talked with the study’s author about what made this slide so different.
The landslide happened three months ago. Jeff Coe is a geologist with the US Geological Survey, and he’s been working with a few other groups to monitor the slide since then. A abstract of their findings can be seen here.
Last week the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission met with industry members and scientists to look at the current state of the slide.
"When this earth flow failed, a large mound of disturbed bedrock had rotated back and created a large depression. There's a pond in there now," said Jonathan White, a senior engineering geologist for the Colorado Geological Survey.
West Salt Creek used to flow through the valley, but now that runoff just feeds this pond, held back only by loose soil and debris.
On this week's Local Motion, KVNF's Laura Palmisano takes us on a drive around Grand Mesa with geologist Andres Aslan. On the drive, Aslan talks about the geological history of the mesa and why it's landslide prone. He also discusses May's massive landslide on the edge of the Grand Mesa near Collbran that claimed the lives of three men.
Officials said energy resources in the area were also threatened by debris and energy companies had to bring in a bulldozer on Monday to try and clear a road for workers to access condensate tanks, which are used in natural gas production in a process known as hydraulic fracturing, in order to drain them.