Geology in Action

This past weekend, Vermont’s been hampered by a lot of rain. According to my dad, between Friday and Saturday, we got 6 inches on ground that was already saturated with water, and this happened:


Just below my house about a mile



Above my house about a half mile

Yep, the road washed out. That’s the first time it’s ever happened, at least in the years that I spent there. I got a call from my dad at about 8 am on Saturday, saying that they were pretty much cut off from everything, although power wasn’t affected. Apparently, much of this happened Friday, and when crews went in to fix things on Saturday, it was all washed away again in the afternoon with another storm.

The second picture is just part of the washout – it’s a lot worse above where the road curves around a bit – the entire road was cut, washed down to bedrock. When I went up to take a look yesterday, the town’s road crew had put in some temporary measures on both sides, but according to the local paper, about $500,000 in damages had been done.

It’s an interesting, practical lesson in erosional geology – it goes to show just how much power is behind water and what it can do to human infrastructure. It was actually pretty cool to see the bedrock under the roadway (apparently my geology professor had mapped the area, and suspected that there was a bed there, and was just proven right). The canyons that were cut were deep – 6 or so feet in places, with only one lane open for traffic to pass by.

It’s certainly something you don’t see everyday.

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