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Arroyo Seco

by Martin Mergili

General information

The Arroyo Seco - also known as Arroyo El Tigre - is shown here as an example of the numerous tributaries to the valley of the Río Mendoza, which can produce debris flows particulaly during and after heavy rainfall events which are often related to El Niño periods. The rails shown in the title image were dragged down in summer 2016, when a debris flow destroyed the bridge crossing the lower part of the gully. However, not only the railway bridge - which had been abandoned decades ago anyway - was affected by this debris flow, triggered by a heavy rainfall event.

Click into the title image to see how the same railway bridge looked like in 2006, ten years before its collapse.

The road bridge across the Arroyo Seco

15 February 2018

Click on the arrows or into the photograph and travel two years into the past.

Also the road bridge was destroyed by the same debris flow which caused the collapse of the railway bridge. Due to the high importance of the road connection, a temporary replacement bridge had already been completed two days later. The new bridge was completed two years later, so that the damage could not be recognized any more. This type of events, which can happen at various places along the valley of the Río Mendoza, disturb the traffic between Argentina and Chile from time to time.

References and links

Moreiras, S.M. (2004): Landslide incidence zonation in the Rio Mendoza valley, Mendoza province, Argentina. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 29(2): 255-266 [Access source]

Moreiras, S.M. (2005): Landslide susceptibility zonation in the Rio Mendoza valley, Argentina. Geomorphology 66(1-4): 345-357 [Access source]

Moreiras, S.M. (2005): Climatic effect of ENSO associated with landslide occurrence in the Central Andes, Mendoza province, Argentina. Landslides 2(1): 53-59 [Access source]

Moreiras, S.M. (2006): Frequency of debris flows and rockfall along the Mendoza river valley (Central Andes), Argentina: Associated risk and future scenario. Quaternary International 158(1): 110-121 [Access source]

Wikipedia article on the Transandine Railway [Access source]