ABSTRACT

Landslides in the Thompson River valley, British Columbia have the potential to adversely impact vital national railway infrastructure and operations, the natural environment, cultural heritage features, communities, public safety and the economy. To better manage geohazard risks in the primary national transportation corridor, government agencies, universities and railway industry partners are focusing research efforts on the Ripley Landslide, 7 km south of Ashcroft. The internal composition and structure of this very slow-moving landslide as revealed by geophysical surveys and terrain mapping provides contextual baseline data for interpreting slope stability monitoring results and guiding geohazard mitigation efforts. Terrestrial and waterborne geophysical surveys were undertaken using subsets of the following methods: electrical resistivity tomography, frequency electromagnetic conductivity, ground penetrating radar, primary-wave refraction and multispectral analysis of shear-waves, natural gamma radiation, induction conductivity and magnetic susceptibility. Small and irregular anomalies, areas of complex subsurface geometry and groundwater-rich zones are resolved along all terrestrial geophysical survey lines. Terrain mapping and geophysical surveys indicate a high relief bedrock sub-surface overlain by a 10 m to >30 m thick package of complex fine-grained sediments containing groundwater. Planar sub-surface features revealed in surface exposures, borehole logs and geophysical profiles include tabular bedding and terrain unit contacts. Profiles also show discrete curvilinear features interpreted as rotational-translational failure planes in clay-rich beds in the main body of the slide beneath the rail ballast and retaining wall. Integrating data from surficial geology mapping and an array of geophysical methods provided significantly more information than any one technique on its own.

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