March 27, 2014

Visualization: the Oso landslide in Seattle

From Frank Ducote: “This analysis by a young urban designer in Seattle, Sean McCormick, helps put the magnitude of the Oso, Washington landslide in readily understandable terms. 


What if you put the volume of debris in downtown Seattle?

An official made an estimate of the amount of material that dropped down into the Stillaguamish River.  15 million cubic yards…  Even looking at the aerial photos of the scene it’s hard to get a sense of exactly how much earth moved on Saturday.

If you took 35 blocks of downtown Seattle and filled them with 15 million cubic yards of debris the blocks would be 200 feet high.
That is almost all the blocks within downtown bounded by Pine Street on the North and Jackson to the south and from 1st Avenue to Interstate 5.
A coworker figured out about how long it would take you to move this amount of soil with a wheelbarrow, working 5 days a week, eight hours a day.  Only 6,000 years … more or less.

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  1. Area description Correction: The area is actually from Spring Street south to Yesler Way, and from 1st Avenue east to Interstate 5.