‘Desert tsunami’ hit Death Valley’s Devils Hole after M7.6 earthquake in Mexico

'Desert tsunami' hit Death Valley's Devils Hole after M7.6 earthquake in Mexico

Although more than 2 400 km (1 500 miles) away, the M7.6 earthquake in Mexico on September 19, 2022, triggered 1.2 m (4 feet) tall waves in Death Valley’s Devils Hole. A colloquial term for the event is a ‘desert tsunami.’

Devils Hole is a cave or a pool of water about 3 m (10 feet) wide, 21 m (70 feet) long, and more than 150 m (500 feet) deep. It’s located in Amargosa Valley, Nevada.

The cave is a window into a vast aquifer and an unusual indicator of seismic activity around the world.

According to the National Parks Service, ‘large earthquakes as far away as Japan, Indonesia and Chile have caused the water to ‘slosh’ in Devils Hole like water in a bathtub. Waves may splash as high as 2 meters (6.5 feet) up the walls, sweeping clean the shallow shelf so important to the pupfish.’

Featured image credit: National Parks Service/ A. Chaudoin

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