Surface subsidence induced by the Crandall Canyon Mine (Utah) collapse: InSAR observations and elasto-plastic modelling

C. Plattner, S. Wdowinski, T. H. Dixon, J. Biggs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations


The Crandall Canyon Mine, Utah, collapse in 2007 August resulted in a total of nine fatalities. We processed data from the ALOS satellite acquired before and after the collapse to quantify surface subsidence associated with the collapse to better understand the collapse process. The deformation shows a steep V-shaped pattern of subsidence with slight asymmetry. We compare the fit of four different models that simulate the subsidence pattern. The first two models use elastic half-space rheology. We find that collapse alone cannot explain the observations, and a component of normal faulting is required to fit the data. The second set of models simulates collapse in elasto-plastic media. Only a small component of normal faulting is required in these models. We suggest that considering elasto-plastic material behaviour is particularly important for shallow deformation modelling, where microfractures and other non-elastic rheology are common. Disregarding this material behaviour can lead to biased model parameter estimates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1089-1096
Number of pages8
JournalGeophysical Journal International
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1 2010



  • Dynamics and mechanics of faulting
  • Elasticity and anelasticity
  • Geomechanics
  • Mechanics, theory and modelling
  • Rheology: crust and lithosphere

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology

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