Spectacular landslide caught by many cameras

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On Jan. 21, a large landslide roared down one of New Zealand’s tallest mountains: Mount Dixon in the Mount Cook National Park. Like so many things these days (like giant exploding meteors, for instance) this natural event was not missed by cameras both near and far.

NASA’s Earth Observatory just released the before-and-after images shown here from the Advanced Land Imager on NASA’s Earth Observing-1 satellite (many thanks to Mike Carlowicz and his team for publishing them). The image above was shot on Feb. 5, and shows the dark swath of material that was witnessed flowing down the mountain (see it happening in this impressive video). The image below was captured on March 13, 2012, to give a “before” view.

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This landslide is believed to be the largest in the “Southern Alps” in more than 20 years. More images and videos of the event along with expert commentary can be found on geologist Dave Petley’s The Landslide Blog. 

Author’s Note: Full disclosure — In addition to being a correspondent for DNews, I am also currently under contract to manage the AGU blogosphere, home to Petley’s great blog. It’s very hard to avoid some overlapping interests in this business, which makes disclosure all the more important.