Posts Tagged With: earthquakes

more earthquakes in Yellowstone

This article from my local news station, located in Seattle, talks about recent swarms of earthquakes in Yellowstone.  Earthquake swarms aren’t all that unusual there, but what fascinated me was the last three paragraphs:

“Smith traced the three recent earthquake swarms to the Hebgen Lake quake [in 1959 — my time traveling hero’s earthquake].

‘These are a really related,’ he said.

‘We think that much of the seismicity is still aftershocks from that event in 1959. It can go on for hundreds of years.'”


Categories: geysers, national parks, outdoors, parks, Repeating History, Yellowstone | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Once upon a time on a trip to Alaska, day 22

Seward, Alaska

Friday, July 6, 1973

More earthquake.  On this day we drove to Seward, on the east side of the Kenai Peninsula.  I very carefully noted that the name is pronounced “soo-ard.”  I don’t remember if this was another spelling/pronunciation disconnect that I disapproved of, but of course the town is named after Lincoln’s then Johnson’s Secretary of State who arranged for the purchase from Russia of the land that later became Alaska back in the 1860s for $7.2 million dollars, or roughly two cents an acre.  He was greatly ridiculed for it at the time, and two of Alaska’s nicknames for years afterward were “Seward’s icebox” or “Seward’s folly.”  I wonder what they’d have called it had they known how valuable all the oil found up there has been.

Seward, Alaska

I have a mental picture of the town of Seward as being a dry, dusty place, although that photo certainly doesn’t look like it.  It may have more to do with the fact that the only campground we could find was behind a Tesoro gas station than anything else.

Seward was another place hit extremely hard by what my diary calls “the great Alaska earthquake.”  One thing we did there that afternoon was attend a slide show presentation at the town library of pictures of the terrible things that happened to Seward during the quake.  Given Seward’s sea level location, it’s not surprising that a lot of damage was done by the tsunami that followed the quake as well as the quake itself.

Just some of the damage from the earthquake.

The whole thing was fascinating, if terrifying.  I’ve been through a few earthquakes myself — it’s hard to live on the west coast of North America for any length of time without feeling the earth tremble occasionally — but the biggest quake I’ve been through was a six-point-something, and the worst thing I’ve ever seen happen personally from a quake was the glass roof of an old-fashioned greenhouse where I’d been working falling in behind me as I ran outside.

After that I suspect the visit we made to the oldest Protestant church on the Kenai Peninsula wasn’t all that impressive.  And, of course, we did our usual groceries and laundry.

True Gold, a novel about the Klondike Gold Rush, is now available through Amazon and Smashwords

Categories: Alaska trip, exploring, history, outdoors, travel, True Gold | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Once upon a time on a trip to Alaska, day 20

Elmendorf Air Force Base, Anchorage, Alaska

Wednesday, July 4, 1973

Today is Independence Day.  We didn’t shoot any fireworks.”  When I was growing up, fireworks were either something you watched being shot off at Disneyland (which was less than 10 miles from our house, so we could see them from my best friend’s roof — my father wouldn’t let us climb up on ours) or something you bought at a fireworks stand that my father set off at the end of our driveway on the Fourth.  I think that’s the first Independence Day of my recollection where we didn’t have fireworks.  No wonder I was disappointed.

We spent part of the day exploring Anchorage.  The most interesting place we went was Earthquake Park.  The Anchorage city parks website does not seem to have separate pages for each park, which is unfortunate.  Anyway, on March 28, 1964, which happened to be Good Friday, the Anchorage area experienced the second most violent earthquake in recorded history.  It was a 9.2 on the Richter scale, and destroyed a good deal of Anchorage and killed a number of people there and elsewhere, as well as causing tsunamis felt all the way down on the Pacific Northwest coast and damage across hundreds of square miles and to other communities in the region.

What I remember of our visit to the park, nine years after the quake, is that the ground was still spongy.  It literally moved under your feet when you stepped on it.  There was a trail, with signs telling about the earthquake and its aftermath, which we followed.  The weather was cool enough that it almost felt like winter to me, who grew up in Southern California, with the wind whipping in off of Cook Inlet.  Supposedly you can see Mt. McKinley from the park, but we’d had our good viewing luck already.

We were going to go to a museum that day as well (my diary doesn’t say which one), but it was closed because of the holiday.  So we went back to my aunt’s and uncle’s house, and the rest of the day was spent being lazy.  I took Gay for a walk, and my aunt took us for a tour of the base.  And that was our second day in Anchorage.

True Gold, a novel about the Klondike Gold Rush, is now available through Amazon and Smashwords

Categories: Alaska trip, exploring, hiking, outdoors, parks, travel, True Gold, weather | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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