The largest non-volcanic landslide in the modern history of North America occurred on April 10, 2013, when two avalanches spilled rock into a famous Utah copper mine. The slide freed enough debris and dust to bury New York City's Central Park 66 feet deep, according to a new University of Utah study that provides the first detailed look at the disaster.
Utahans have mined Bingham Canyon since 1904, excavating a pit three-quarters of a mile deep and 2.5 miles wide. The U.S. park service made it a national historic landmark in 1966. The mine is owned by Rio Tinto-Kennecott Utah Copper.
The first rock avalanche in April 2013 brought down gray bedrock, seen around the margins of the lower half of the slide. The second fall occurred 90 minutes later. Its debris is orange in color, both from bedrock and from waste rock produced during mining. The landslide moved at an average of 70 miles per hour and itself triggered 16 small earthquakes, which scientists had never observed before. No one was hurt in the collapse. Photographer: Kennecott Utah Copper
Visit www.bloomberg.com/sustainability for the latest from Bloomberg News about energy, natural resources and global business.