Utah copper mine landslide largest in modern North American history

The 10 April 2013 rockslide at Kennecott’s Bingham Canyon open-pit copper mine in Utah is the largest non-volcanic landslide in modern times of North American history.

A study conducted by scientists at the University of Utah says the landslide in an ore pit west of Salt Lake City was an exception among all the earthquakes occurred in the recent times in North America. The quake had triggered around 16 small earthquakes, the researchers said.

utah landslide

The landslide took place in two intervals, each lasting less than two minutes. About 65 million cubic meters of rock with a total mass of 165 million tons turned into debris and slid nearly 3 km (1.8 miles) into the open pit floor.

Landslides are one of the most hazardous forms of natural calamities that claim thousands of deaths and billions of dollars every year. These natural phenomenon offer very little warning for the geologists and so they do not have the option to collect important data to better understand the behavior of these dangerous events.