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  • Print publication year: 2012
  • Online publication date: May 2013

25 - Characterization and management of rockslide hazard at Turtle Mountain, Alberta, Canada



In 1903, more than 30 million m3 of rock fell from the east slopes of Turtle Mountain in Alberta, Canada, causing a rock avalanche that killed about 70 people in the town of Frank. The Alberta Government, in response to continuing instabilities at the crest of the mountain, established a sophisticated field laboratory where state-of-the-art monitoring techniques have been installed and tested as part of an early-warning system. In this chapter, we provide an overview of the causes, trigger, and extreme mobility of the landslide. We then present new data relevant to the characterization and detection of the present-day instabilities on Turtle Mountain. Fourteen potential instabilities have been identified through field mapping and remote sensing. Lastly, we provide a detailed review of the different in-situ and remote monitoring systems that have been installed on the mountain. The implications of the new data for the future stability of Turtle Mountain and related landslide runout, and for monitoring strategies and risk management, are discussed.

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