On 24 February, Bruce Adamson will be presenting on "Waterfalls and Landslides in Northwestern Ontario: A History.”
Kakabeka Falls exists because of a hard cap rock underlain by softer shale material. Erosive forces, freeze-thaw damage and changes in the rock formation, were changing the falls into a rapids. In order to preserve the historical appearance, to protect the infrastructure in the area and to keep a prime tourist attraction, a project was undertaken in 1989 to slow down the erosion and improve the visual effect of the limited water available.
The unique engineering challenges related to rock mechanics, concrete technology, construction and doing the work so viewers wouldn't know anything had been done. The second part of the presentation concerns an April 1990 landslide into the Nipigon River. The displaced clay and silt totally filled the 8 m deep river. Man-made disturbances in the area could have led to the landslide. They were investigated and decisions had to be made about actions to restore "normal" conditions in the area.
The speaker, Bruce Adamson, is a professional engineer. From 1974 to 1998 he was MNR's Regional Engineer responsible for providing civil engineering services to MNR's various programs. This included managing the two projects described in the talk.
Since 1908, the Thunder Bay Historical Museum Society has been regularly holding talks on a wide range of topics on the fourth Tuesday of each month at the Thunder Bay Museum (425 Donald Street East) from September to April.
The 2014-15 TBHMS Lecture series is sponsored by the Department of History.