Grand Mesa landslide still active

Visual of debris field including downed trees, boulders, and massive amount of displaced mountain side. [Photo/Caption Credit: Mesa County Sheriff's Office]

Visual of debris field including downed trees, boulders, and massive amount of displaced mountain side. [Photo/Caption Credit: Mesa County Sheriff’s Office]

According to Mesa County Operations Section Chief Pete Baier: “We are trying to outsmart a mountain.”

And the mountain remains on the move as a debris pond fills up putting additional pressure on the unstable berm which has built up since the initial landslide activity occurred on May 25. Geologists from USGS have determined that the potential for more slide activity is extremely high. Local residents are on the alert and many are choosing to evacuate.

Landslide-created lake endangers Mesa County town
Lake forming near landslide could break and rush towards Collbran. Residents of the area are warned to be ready to evacuate.

GOLDEN – The massive landslide that poured down from Colorado’s Grand Mesa on Sunday reshaped part of the geography in that area and also created a brand new lake.

According to members of the United States Geological Survey based out of Golden, a makeshift dam holding that lake in place has the potential to break and flood nearby creeks as well as the town of Collbran.

“Our fear is that the water breaching might mix with a lot of [debris] and form a large volume, high speed, debris flow – going down West Salt Creek and then eventually into … Plateau Creek that goes in to Collbran,” said Edwin Harp, a research geologist with the USGS in Golden.

Harp has worked for the USGS for more than 40 years. He doesn’t recall ever seeing a lake form behind a landslide in Colorado.

“Nothing where a big lake formed. There may have been small streams, but nothing as big as this has happened,” Harp explained.

No one’s quite sure how large the lake is or how fast it’s growing. Geologists say two waterfalls are pumping more water into the lake every second …

There was a town meeting in Collbran Thursday night. Video clips here:
KREX-TV video:  Town Meeting in Collbran to Discuss Mudslide Status

Q&A for Mesa County mudslide

Mesa County Sheriff’s Dept update for May 29, 2014

Twitter updates on Mesa County mudslide

Some residents in path of massive mudslide near Collbran pack up

Click on this to see seismic data from the 2.8 magnitude landslide on May 25: Seismic Readings From #MCMudslide

At first the 2.8 magnitude seemed high for a landslide. However on the lower right side of the page they show actual earthquake data to compare to the landslide data. There is a difference and this convinces me that the landslide caused the 2.8 magnitude.

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