Normally the geological timeline is so beyond our comprehension of time that watching mountains grow or fall is like an absurdly longer version of watching paint dry.
That is except for one peak in Alaska, which just experienced a single landslide the likes of which hasn’t been seen in a long time. According to KTOO, the landslide broke off a 4,000 foot peak near Glacier Bay, Alaska and ultimately ran 6 and 1/2 miles long into the Lamplugh Glacier. The slide was first witnessed by Paul Swanstrom of Mountain Flying Service but The Alaska Earthquake Center is saying the slide was triggered at 8:21am on Tuesday June 28th.
A research professor at the Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University, Colin Stark is already on his way to see the landslide in person. Once there, he will collect samples with his team to hypothesize a reason for the event. Stark indicated that most likely the large rock avalanche was caused by shifting tectonic plates, which are causing the mountains in the region to grow at an augmented rate.
“So, mountains are being built very fast and they’re also being destroyed very fast because the rocks are weak and glacial erosion is very powerful.” – Colin Stark, Columbia University
Stark went on to say that his initial estimates put the slide at nearly 150 million metric tons. That’s roughly 100 million SUV’s falling down the mountain– all at once, which according to Seismologist Michael West, “shook a decent amount of our planet.”
Find the entire KTOO article here: Monster landslide rocks Southeast Alaska