Picture of the Day: Quake Lake

Quake Lake
Originally uploaded by Jvstin

Today’s picture for you takes us to Gallatin National Forest and the aptly named (via a massive 1959 temblor) Quake Lake.

The earthquake measured 7.3 on the Richter scale (Revised by USGS to 7.6) and caused an 80 million ton landslide which formed a landslide dam on the Madison River. The landslide traveled down the south flank of Sheep Mountain, at an estimated 100 miles per hour (160 km/h), killing 28 people who were camping along the shores of Hebgen Lake and downstream along the Madison River. Upstream the faulting caused by the earthquake forced the waters of Hebgen Lake to shift violently. A seiche, a wave effect of both wind and water, crested over Hebgen Dam, causing cracks and erosion. Besides being the largest known earthquake to have struck the state of Montana in recorded history, it is also the largest earthquake to occur in the Northern Rockies for centuries and is one of the largest earthquakes ever to hit the United States in recorded history.