Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Video of seiche in Devils Hole pupfish pond

The USGS has released a video montage from two surveillance cameras that captured the violent shaking from the M7.2 Baja (El Mayor - Cucapah) quake, creating a seiche in the Devils Hole pupfish pond in Death Valley National Park.   The description from the USGS news release says,

For tiny Devils Hole pupfish, startling video shows it must have felt like a “huge tsunami” when violent water-level oscillations from an earthquake 300 miles away disturbed the small ledge they live on in a single Mojave Desert cavern pool for some 15 minutes. 
These water-level oscillations in the cavern in Death Valley National Park were caused by the magnitude 6.9 Baja California earthquake and an immediate aftershock that occurred on April 4.
The video from four U.S. Geological Survey cameras shows significant water-level oscillations, causing great disturbance to the shallow feeding and spawning shelf critical for the continued existence of these fish, said Ambre Chaudoin, a graduate student in fisheries with the USGS Arizona Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at the University of Arizona, Tucson.
“The shelf substrate sediment was largely redistributed as a result of the water oscillations,” said Chaudoin.

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