Environment

The deadliest landslide in the history of U.S. in Oso, Washington during March last was not the only event of its kind

The deadliest landslide in the history of U.S. in Oso, Washington during March last was not the only event of its kind

The deadliest landslide in the history of U.S. in Oso, Washington during March last was not the only event of its kind

Scientists associated with the University of Washington while analyzing the Rowan Landslide have said that the land slide as is more than 500 years old.

Latest reports suggest that the geologists working with the University of Washington actually used very high tech radioactive dating techniques to reach the conclusion. According to the scientists they were able to actually find out samples of wood buried deep inside the Rowan landslide, just downstream of the Oso site and at the Headache Creek landslide.

The two slides are very close to Stillaguamish River. Till now there were reports that the two landslides were thousands of years old, nonetheless the latest research suggests that it was not that old and that landslide took place merely 500 years ago.Oso-site-reveals-history-of-landslides

The latest study has been published in the journal Geology on Dec. 22.

Scientists have said that the massive mudslide that buried much of Oso, Washington in March 2014 was the deadliest landslide in U.S. history. But apparently latest reports suggest that this is not the first time that this happened in this part of the world. Apparently this area has experienced major slides before.

While talking about the study Sean LaHusen, a UW doctoral student in Earth and space sciences says, “The soil in this area is all glacial material, so one hypothesis is the material could have fallen apart in a series of large landslides soon after the ice retreated, thousands of years ago…We found that that’s not the case — in fact, landslides have been continuing in recent history.”

On the other hand Alison Duvall, a UW assistant professor of Earth and space sciences while talking about it says that the new study clears many confusions. “When you have a large, catastrophic landslide, it can often uproot living trees which kills them and also encapsulates them in the landslide mass…If you can find them in the landslide mass, you can assume that they were killed by the landslide, and thus you can date when the landslide occurred”, says Alison Duvall.

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