No Earthquake, No Extreme Weather, so why did this happen?
Earlier in November for whatever reason this road in Santa Clarita, California rose up and buckled in around 4 hours. Why it did this nobody really knows and the movement continues for a few days after with the peak of the road height reaching around 15 feet (4.5 metres). A road collapsing like this can usually be attributed to earth movements (quakes) or extreme weather. Geologists have ruled this out so what exactly caused this as we are more used to sink holes appearing nowadays?
“There was no big rainstorm that triggered this. There was no big earthquake that triggered this,” University of California, Los Angeles geologist Jeremy Boyce told CBS news.
Boyce took the opportunity to get his students out on the field to see a rare example of how geological events can happen surprisingly quickly – turns out Earth’s bits and pieces don’t always move at a glacial pace.
“When we think about geology, we think about processes that happen over millions and billions of years, so the opportunity to bring students out and see something happening over a scale of hours gives them the idea that not only does geology take forever, it can also happen almost instantaneously,” he said.
The best hypothesis scientists have been able to come up with is that the crumbling, buckling road is the result of a progressive landslide in the surrounding hills. Satellite images going back to 2011 show obvious cracks in the surface of the road, as well as significant shifts in the shape of the hills, perhaps due to getting saturated by a great deal of water at some point.