A dramatic earthflow, slow-moving landslide, occurred in Qinghai province's Dimye village, Tibet on September 7, 2017 and was captured on video.
Geophysicist and disaster researcher Mika McKinnon said the flow might be associated with the melting permafrost, following a tip from Tibet that said the event happened in a permafrost region and is comparable to local glacier flow.
Dr. Dave Petley of the Landslide Blog said the video does not show any obviously frozen soil or ice blocks. "To me, this is quite reminiscent of the landslides that we see in peat in the uplands of Europe."
"The soils involved in the Dimye village landslide are extremely dark in color, which suggests that they are rich in organic matter. In a recent open access paper, Yang et al. (2017) describe peat areas in the Qinghai-Tibetan area, noting that there is significant environmental degradation occurring in these places, causing rapid peat loss," Petley said, adding that it is not possible to say whether this is indeed a peat landslide, or something similar in an organic soil, or a permafrost slide.
"Unfortunately, I doubt that more information will become available in the near future. But it is a great video."
Featured image: Large slow-moving landslide in in Dimye village, Qinghai Province, Tibet, China on September 7, 2017. Credit: YE Tibet Xi