Researchers have developed a new software tool that predicts the boundaries of where landslides will occur two weeks before they happen.
Landslides—masses of rock, earth, or debris moving down a slope—happen everywhere. The effect on communities, the economy, and most importantly, lives, can be devastating. A recent landslide at a jade mine in Myanmar, for example, claimed at least 27 lives.
In open pit mines, landslides are particularly common. In 2013 a 20 meter towering wall of dirt and rocks, deep enough to bury New York City’s Central Park, came crashing down when Bingham Canyon, one of the largest copper producing mines in the United States, gave way. Astonishingly no one was hurt, thanks to advance warnings.