Earthflow

mr-1073

Earthflows are common in northern California’s coast range. These are generally very large, deep-seated landslides that slowly creep along, tugged by gravity. As rains saturate the soils, larges blocks can give way, sometimes to dramatic result. Another process common in these highly erodible soils is watercourse formation. In this picture, a creek jumped its channel after a small portion of this large slide complex activated. The creek used to flow directly to the left of the picture, behind the small Douglas-fir tree. I couldn’t help but notice as I was driving on a road below this a new creek draining across, which had deposited a few dump truck loads worth of sediment and gravels on tot he road. I hiked up to find a portion of the earthflow had dropped, blocking the creeks original path.

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