Friday, January 31, 2014

Valdez Alaska: Massive Avalanche and ice dam in Keystone Canyon

Besides being rather impressive in the near term, the lake formed by this avalanche does cause me to wonder a bit about the deposition behind the ice dam and how some future geologist might interpret a broad silt deposit across the valley floor. Article: highway-to-valdez-to-be-closed.

Big mountains and lots of heavy snow. Valdez is a remarkable location of huge mountains and massive snow. This winter has been mild Valdez setting up massive avalanches.

Valdez is also the terminal for the Alaska pipeline that brings oil to tankers and ultimately to northwest Washington refineries. Apparently geologists and engineers back in the 1970s felt it best to bury the pipeline through this section of the route.  I'll add that I worked on the pipeline project manufacturing insulation jackets for the pipe in Pasco, Washington. The insulation was loaded onto barges that headed down the Columbia River and then up to Valdez. The work did pay for most of my first two years of college; but the 90 plus hour work weeks did take a bit off my early season cross county races.

1 comment:

Geoffrey Middaugh said...

This is one of the most amazing video's I've ever seen, and its so vivid and real. I thought there was a pipeline under it. Is the sedimentation "drift"?