The biography of Dr. Stig Bernander reads like that of a ‘Rock’ Star except in his case, he is better known for his work with clays rather than rocks, especially “Quick Clay”. Some of this “sensitive” material is present at the North Spur, the projection of land creating the natural dam at Muskrat Falls. It is one of the issues which threaten the viability of the project.
Dr. Bernander, you ask? Who is he and why would you be interested? I will get to those questions in a moment. First, what are “Quick Clays”?
Quick Clays are unique, sensitive glaciomarine clays. The clay deposits occurred when sea water levels were much higher. They are unstable clays. Their peculiar characteristics are known to cause landslides. When Quick Clay is subjected to sufficient stress, the material may liquefy. At Muskrat Falls, Quick Clay could undermine the structural integrity of the North Spur. Remediation is potentially a money pit. It is a public safety issue, too.
One of the best known and large Quick Clay landslides occurred at Rissa, Norway. The slide was videoed as it progressed. The event is as exciting as it is horrifying. If you choose to follow the Link, just be patient for the first couple of minutes and the Rissa video will demonstrate why Quick Clay should be taken very seriously. It is the perfect primer in advance of Dr. Bernander’s Lecture.
Bernander is neither politician nor bureaucrat. He is a scientist; one with long industry experience.