Wednesday’s Alaska landslide possibly the biggest in North American recorded history

Even by Alaska standards, the rock slide in Glacier Bay National Park was a huge event.

It was a monumental geophysical event that was almost overlooked until a pilot happened to fly over where the cliff collapsed and snapped some photographs nearly a month later.

When the cliff collapsed in the national park in southeast Alaska on June 11, it sent rock and ice coursing down a valley and over a lovely white glacier in what perhaps was the largest landslide recorded in North America.

The rumbling was enough so that it showed up as a 3.4-magnitude earthquake in Alaska. The seismic event also was recorded in Canada. The massive landslide occurred in a remote valley beneath the 11,750-foot Lituya Mountain in the Fairweather Range about six miles from the border with British Columbia.


“I don’t know of any that are bigger,” Marten Geertsema, a research geomorphologist for the provincial Forest Service in British Columbia, said Thursday, when comparing the landslide to others in North America.

Read more from this story HERE.

Photo credit: NOAA Photo Library of area where 1958 landslide created the largest recorded wave in history.