Topic: ASU Student Night
OSO MUDSLIDE - GEOLOGICAL EXPLANATION AND MONITORING PROGRAME
Speaker: FRED M. NELSON, P.E., WHITE IST STRUCTURAL SPECIALIST
A large landslide occurred near Oso, Washington, Saturday morning, March 22, 2014. The landslide buried multiple houses and other structures and automobiles travelling on State Route 530. State Route 530 is blocked preventing travel between the communities of Oso and Darrington. Multiple casualties are confirmed as a direct result of the landslide and many people remain missing. The landslide, which is estimated to have moved about 10 million cubic yards of debris, covers an area of about one square mile. Observations from the ground and the air confirm that the landslide travelled rapidly over an unusually long distance given its size. The remarkably long travel distance is key factor in loss of life and damage to property.
The possibility of additional movement of the landslide poses a threat to ongoing search and recovery operations and to nearby areas. At this time, the only additional movement that has been observed is minor erosion of the landslide scar. The situation is being monitored visually to assure the safety of search operations. Instrumentation is being installed to detect the movement of areas adjacent to the landslide scar. Information from the monitoring will be used to better understand the threat to search operations.
FRED M. NELSON
Fred has been Vice President and Forensic Director at Gervasio & Associates (Civil and Structural Engineers and Land Surveyors) since mid-1989. For the 12 years prior to that he was an employee/vice president with Hastain and Deatherage, where he learned principles of forensic engineering from a master engineer, James H. Deatherage. Prior to that time, he designed interstate highways with Dibble & Associates for 1-1/2 years and participated in the design and construction of nuclear power plants with Bechtel Power. In his role as forensic engineer, he has walked through the debris of hundreds of collapsed and otherwise distressed buildings, and has designed repairs to many of them, notably buildings with large wood trusses; and he has testified over 150 times. He is also a bridge engineer, including one full bridge and one partial bridge over the Salt River in Maricopa County. He grew up in Tucson, ultimately being graduated from Tucson High in 1965, where he ran track and anchored the 1965 AZ State Champion Mile Relay Team, and was recently selected as a member of the THS Sports Hall of Fame. He attended BYU where he also ran track, lettering as a Freshman on the No. 2 team in the country, and pursued engineering studies, interrupted by 2+ years in Mexico in 1966-68. He obtained his bachelor's and master's degree in Civil Engineering and Structural Engineering, respectively, from BYU in 1972 and has done additional graduate studies at ASU. In 1994, Fred became a member of the Phoenix Fire USAR FEMA team (AZ TF-1) and was part of the initial Oklahoma City rescue in 1995. He was also deployed with AZTF-1 to the 1996 Atlanta Olympics (on standby); the 2001 WTC collapse and the 2005 Hurricane Rita. He is currently the lead structural specialist at Phoenix Fire, and serves on the FEMA’s national Incident Support Team (IST) as a structural alternate and on the national Structures Working Group. Most recently he was deployed at the Oso Washington landslide that took 43 lives as FEMA’s national structural specialist on the IST. Fred has been President of the ASCE Phoenix Branch and Arizona Section and is currently chairman of the Structural Engineers Emergency Response (SEER) Committee of SEAOA (Structural Engineer's Association of Arizona). He serves on various ASTM committees, including ASTM E54 on Homeland Security (with emphasis on robot use in search and rescue efforts). He is married to Lorraine Mosdell, with 8 (Brady Bunch) children (6 married) and 20 grandchildren.
Heavy hors d'oeuvres will be served.