The highest tsunami in history

• The highest tsunami in the history of

Writes blogger masterok: "When I read about the height of the waves caused by the tsunami in 1958, could not believe his eyes. I rechecked once, twice. Everywhere one and the same. There is probably still with the wrong places, and all copy each other. Or, in the unit?

But otherwise, this is how you think, may be the wave of the tsunami in the 524 meter tall? Half kilometers!

Now we learn that there really was. "

The highest tsunami in history The highest tsunami in history

That's what the witness says:

"After the initial shock, I fell out of bed and looked toward the beginning of the Gulf, where the noise was. The mountains were shaking badly, rocks and avalanches swept down. And especially struck a glacier in the north, it is called the Glacier Lituya Bay. Usually it is not visible from the place where I was anchored. People shake their heads when I tell them that I saw him that night. I can not help it if they do not believe me. I know that the glacier is not visible from the place where I was anchored in the bay Anchorage, but I also know, and what I saw him that night. Glacier took off and moved forward, so that it became visible.

He must have climbed several hundred feet. I'm not saying that he just hung in the air. But he was shaking and jumping like crazy. Large lumps of ice falling from the surface of the water. The glacier is located six miles from me, and I saw great pieces that dumped him like a huge truck. This went on for some time - it's hard to say how long - and then suddenly the glacier disappeared from view over the place and a big wall of water rose. Wave went our way, and then I was too busy to say what else was going on. "

The highest tsunami in history

9 July 1958 extremely strong catastrophe occurred in the Gulf of Lituya Bay in the south-east Alaska. In this bay, whose penetration is more than 11 km, geologist Dr Miller found a difference in the age of the trees on the hillsides surrounding the bay. The annual rings of trees it is estimated that over the past 100 years in the Gulf at least four times there is a wave with a maximum of a few hundred meters. Miller reacted to a conclusion with a large grain of salt. And July 9, 1958 to the north of the Gulf was a strong earthquake on the fault Mount Fairweather, causing the destruction of the buildings collapsed coast, the formation of numerous cracks. A huge landslide on a hillside above the bay sparked a record high (524 m), which at a speed of 160 km / h swept through the narrow, similar to the Fjord. Lituya Bay is a fjord located in the Mount Fairweather fault in the north-eastern part of the Gulf of Alaska. This T-shaped bight length of 14 kilometers and up to three kilometers in width. The maximum depth is 220 m. A narrow entrance to the bay has a depth of only 10 m. Bay Lituya Bay descend glacier two, each of which has a length of about 19 km and a width of 1, 6 km. Over the previous century the events described in Lituya Bay several times observed wave heights over 50 meters: in 1854, 1899 and 1936.

An earthquake in 1958 caused a rockfall at the glacier subaerial Gilbert mouth in the Gulf of Lituya Bay. As a result, a landslide of more than 30 million cubic meters of rock crashed into the Gulf and led to the formation of mega-tsunami. From this disaster killed 5 people: three on the island Hantaak and two other blown away in the bay. In Yakutat, the only permanent settlements near the epicenter, infrastructure facilities were damaged: bridges, docks and oil pipelines.

After the earthquake surveyed subglacial lake located in the north-west of the bend of the glacier Lituya Bay at the beginning of the Gulf. It turned out that the lake has dropped by 30 meters. This fact has served as the basis for the formation of a hypothesis of a giant wave height of over 500 meters. Possibly, during descent glacier large volume of water hit the bay through a tunnel under ice glacier. However, the flow of water from the lake could not be the main cause of the mega-tsunami.

The highest tsunami in history

A huge mass of ice, rocks and earth (a volume of about 300 million cubic meters) with ice rushed down, exposing the hillsides. The earthquake destroyed many buildings, cracks, slipped down the coast in the land. Moving mass struck the northern part of the bay, you will cover it, and then another, crawled to the opposite side of the mountain, tearing off his forest cover to a height of more than three hundred meters. Landslide spawned giant waves that literally rendered Lituya Bay bay toward the ocean. Wave was so great that perehlestnula entirely across the sandbank at the mouth of the bay. Witnessed the accident were the people who were on board the ships that anchored in the bay. From the terrible shock of all their emissions with bunks. Leaping to his feet, they did not believe their eyes: the sea reared up. "Giant landslides, raising dust clouds and snow on the way, began to run on the mountain slopes. Soon their attention was attracted quite a fantastic spectacle: the mass of glacier ice Lituya Bay, located far to the north and are usually hidden from the eyes of the peak, which stands at the entrance to the bay, as it rose above the mountains, and then majestically descended into the waters of the inner bay.

All this was like a nightmare. In the eyes of the shocked people I climbed up a huge wave that engulfed the northern foot of the mountain. Thereafter, it is swept along the bay, tearing trees from the slopes; Water rained down a mountain on the island Cenotaph ... rolled over the highest point of the island, rises 50 meters above the sea level. All this weight suddenly thrown into the waters of the Gulf of close, causing a huge wave, the height of which, obviously, it reaches 17-35 m. Her energy was so great that the wave rushed furiously on the bay, spilling over slopes. In the inner basin of the waves hitting the shore, probably proved to be very strong. The slopes of the northern mountains, facing the bay were bare: where once grew a dense forest, were now bare rock; this pattern was observed at an altitude of 600 meters.

The highest tsunami in history

A barge was raised high, easily moved through the shallows and dumped into the ocean. At a time when the boat is transferred through the bank located on the fishermen have seen it under a stand of trees. Wave literally tossed people across the island in the open sea. During a nightmarish horse racing on a giant wave craft shaking of trees and debris. Barge sank, but the fishermen just miraculously survived and after two hours were saved. one successfully withstood the wave of the other two barges, but the other drowned, and people were on it were missing. Miller discovered that the trees growing at the upper limit of naked area below 600 m above the bay, bent and broken, their fallen trunks directed to the top of the mountain, but the roots are not pulled out from the soil. Something pushed up the trees. The tremendous power, it has come to pass, could not be anything other than riding a giant wave that swept the mountain in the July evening in 1958. "

The highest tsunami in history

Mr Howard J. Ulrich on his yacht, which is called "Edri" entered into the waters of the Gulf of Lituya Bay about eight in the evening and anchored on the penalty depth in a small cove on the south shore. Howard says that the yacht suddenly start to wobble badly. He ran out on the deck and watched as the north-eastern part of the Gulf of rock began to move because of the earthquake and the water began to fall huge block of rock. After about two and a half minutes after the earthquake, he heard a deafening sound of breaking rock.

"We definitely have seen that the wave has gone by Hilbert bay, just before the earthquake is over. But first, it was not a wave. At first, it was more like an explosion, as if the glacier split into parts. Wave grew out of the water, at first it almost was not clear who would have thought that after the water will rise to half a kilometer height. "

Ulrich said that he watched the entire process of development of the wave, which had reached their yachts for a very short time - something about two or three minutes to as long as it could be seen for the first time. "Because we do not want to lose an anchor, we are fully etched anchor chain (about 72 meters) and started the engine. Halfway between the north-eastern Gulf Lituya Bay edge and Cenotaph island you could see water tridtsatimetrovoy wall height which is extended from one bank to another. When the wave came to the northern part of the island, it is divided into two parts, but after passing south of the island, the wave again become one. It was smooth, but the top was a small comb. When the water went up the mountain to our boat, its front was fairly steep and the height of it was from 15 to 20 meters. Before the wave came to a place where our boat, we did not feel any decrease in water or other changes, except for the slight vibration, which is transmitted through the water from the tectonic processes that have started to operate in the earthquake. As soon as the wave came up to us and began to lift our boat, anchor chain rattled heavily. Yacht suffered towards the southern shore, and then, on the return stroke of the waves, towards the center of the bay. The top of the waves was not very broad, from 7 to 15 meters, and the trailing edge was less steep than the front.

When the giant wave swept past us, the surface of the water returned to its normal level, however, we could see a lot of boats around the turbulent eddies and erratic six-meter wave heights, which moved from one shore of the bay to the other. These waves do not form any noticeable movement of water from the mouth of the bay to the north-eastern part of the trip. "

After a 25-30 minutes surface bay relaxed. Near the coast can be seen a plurality of logs, branches and uprooted trees. All this stuff slowly drifted toward the center of the Gulf of Lituya Bay and its estuary. In fact, during the entire incident Ulrich has not lost control of the boat. When at 11 pm "Edri" came up to the entrance of the bay, it was possible to observe the normal course, which is usually caused by the daily tide of ocean water.

The highest tsunami in history

Other eyewitnesses disaster, Swanson married couple on a yacht called "Badger", entered the Gulf Lituya Bay about nine o'clock. First, their ship came to the island Cenotaph, and then returned to the bay of Anchorage on the north shore of the bay, not far from its mouth (see. Map). Swanson anchored at a depth of about seven meters, and went to sleep. Son William Swanson has been interrupted due to severe vibration of the hull. He ran to the control room and began clocking occurring. A little more than a minute from the moment when William first felt the vibration, and probably before the end of the earthquake, he looked toward the north-eastern part of the bay, which was visible in the background of the island Cenotaph. The traveler saw something which he took for the first glacier Lituya Bay, which got off the ground and started moving towards the observer. "It seemed that this mass is hard, but she jumped and swayed. Before this lump in the water constantly falling big chunks of ice. " After a short time, "the glacier has disappeared from sight, and his place in that place there was a big wave and went in the direction of the spit La Gauss, just where was on our boat anchor." In addition, Swenson pointed out that the wave flooded the shore for a very appreciable height.

When the wave passed the island Cenotaph, its height was about 15 meters in the middle of the Gulf and gradually decreased near the coast. It passed the island in about two and a half minutes after the first time it can be seen and reached the yacht "Badger" even after eleven and a half minutes (approximately). Before the arrival of William the waves, as well as Howard Ulrich, I have not noticed any decrease in water level or some turbulent phenomena.

The highest tsunami in history

Yacht "Badger", which still stood at anchor, the waves rose and carried towards the spit La Gauss. Stern of the yacht at the same time is below the crest of the wave, so that the position of the vessel resembled a surfboard. Swanson looked at this point to the place where they were to be seen the trees that grow on the spit La Gauss. At that moment they were hidden by water. William said that on top of the tree there was a layer of water equal to about twice the length of his boat, about 25 meters.

Having plait La Gaussian wave very quickly began to decline. In the place where there was a yacht Swenson, the water level began to fall, and the ship hit the bottom of the bay, staying afloat off the coast. After 3-4 minutes after hitting Swanson saw that the water continues to flow over the oblique La Gauss, carrying logs and other debris of the forest vegetation. He was not sure that it was not the second wave that would move the boat through the braid in the Gulf of Alaska. Therefore, spouses Swanson left his yacht, after moving to a small boat with which they picked up a couple of hours later the fishing boat. At the time of the accident was the third ship in the Gulf of Lituya Bay. It was anchored at the entrance to the bay, and was sunk a huge wave. None of the people on board have survived, who died, presumably two.

The highest tsunami in history

What happened July 9, 1958? That evening, a huge rock has fallen into the water from a steep cliff overlooking the north-eastern shore of the bay Hilbert. The area of ​​collapse is marked in red on the map. Beat the incredible mass of stone with a very high altitude triggered an unprecedented tsunami that wiped out every living thing that was on the shore of the bay throughout Lituya Bay up to the spit La Gauss.

After passing through the waves on both sides of the Gulf remained not only vegetation, but even the soil, on the surface of the shore was bare rock. Field of damage shown on the map in yellow. The numbers along the coast of the Gulf represent the height above sea level of the damaged portion of the land edge and roughly correspond to the wave height was held here.