Natural Resources


Date: May 25, 1994

Location: Romaines, Port au Port

Easting: 375500

Northing: 5379150

Latitude: 48° 33' 00" N

Longitude: 58° 41' 00" W

Fatalities: 0

Injuries: 0

Source: Memo from Martin Batterson to Bryan Greene Dept. of Mines and Energy

In late May (the exact date is unknown), a period of heavy rain presumably led to saturation of sediment resulting in slope failure. Remnants of the landslide formed a large fan of debris on the beach, and trees were visible up to 100 metres offshore. No loss of life or property damage was reported.

The stretch of coast lying between Stephenville and the Port au Port Peninsula has seen increased development in the last few years. The coastline in this area consists of retreating steep (up to 30 m) cliffs of sand and gravel. Encroachment of house construction into the cliff edge area has resulted in increasing concerns regarding property loss in this area. The Geological Survey of Newfoundland and Labrador has visited the site in recent years at the request of the local council. Following a period of heavy rain in May 1994, rapid head-ward expansion of a gully occurred at Romaines. The slide area measured about 150 by 200 by 30 m, and ended about 50 m from the nearest structure (C. McCarthy, Department of Municipal Affairs, personal communication, November 1994). A large debris fan was formed on the beach. Two smaller failures also occurred during the same storm, 500 m and 1300 m west of the main failure. The Geological Survey of Canada contracted a detailed photogrammetric survey of this area to evaluate erosion rates (Forbes et al. 1995) and showed that erosion was on the order of 0.5-1m/year, but was likely episodic.

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