Mexico earthquake creates ‘desert tsunami’ in Death Valley National Park

Mexico earthquake creates ‘desert tsunami’ in Death Valley National Park

A 7.6 magnitude earthquake that rattled Mexico on Monday despatched shockwaves that triggered a “desert tsunami” in a cave system 1,500 miles away in Demise Valley Nationwide Park in Nevada, officers mentioned.

The quake rocked Mexico’s central Pacific coast, killing not less than one individual. About 22 minutes after the quake struck, the tremors induced 4-foot-high waves to slosh in Devils Gap, the Nationwide Park Service (NPS) mentioned.

Devils Gap is {a partially} water-filled limestone collapse Nye County, Nevada, and is tons of of ft deep, in response to the NPS. 

It’s house to the endangered Devils Gap pupfish, which rely on algae that develop on a shallow, sunlit shelf as a meals supply.

Officers described the “shocking quirk of geology” as a “desert tsunami,” however mentioned it’s correctly often called a “seiche.” A seiche is a standing wave in an enclosed physique of water. 

The waves stirred the rocks and sediment on the shallow shelf and eliminated a lot of the algae progress, limiting the quantity of meals out there to the pupfish within the brief time period, the NPS mentioned.

An earthquake in Mexico triggered a “desert tsunami” in Demise Valley Nationwide Park. Kayla McCraren

The 7.6 magnitude earthquake killed not less than one individual. Anadolu Company by way of Getty Photos

“The pupfish have survived a number of of those occasions lately,” mentioned Kevin Wilson, Nationwide Park Service aquatic ecologist. “We didn’t discover any lifeless fish after the waves stopped.”

Officers mentioned the Devils Gap pupfish inhabitants has been steadily rising, with 175 fish residing in Devils Gap in March, in comparison with simply 35 9 years in the past.

On Thursday morning, a second earthquake measuring at a magnitude 6.8 struck western Mexico, killing not less than two individuals. It was not instantly clear whether or not Devils Gap skilled the identical phenomenon. 

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