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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Liquefied Soils

Liquefied Soils

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Monday, October 8, 2018/Categories: natural history, video, space science, sustainability, environment

                            Soil Liquefaction Flowing into Palu Bay, Indonesia, 10-1-2018 (credit: Landsat-8)

Soil liquefaction occurs when the strength of soils is impacted by an earthquake. The phenomenon has historically caused major damages around the world. The process happens when soils are super-saturated by water which increases the pressure on individual soil particles. The saturated situation affects the particle's rigidity and ability to stick together. In an earthquake the water pressure increases to the point where the soil simply liquefies.

The most recent example of this dramatic affect just occurred on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi where an earthquake measuring 7.5 on the Ricter Scale hit the island. Particularly hard hit was the regional city of Palu where an entire mountainside liquefied, carrying many of town's houses, shops, and inhabitants into a nearby bay.

The Landsat-8 environmental satellite, operated by NASA and the US Geological Service, captured a series of photographs during the mud-flow event allowing the environmental process to be animated. It doesn't make for a 'pretty picture'.



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