SUMMARY OF 1959 HEBGEN LAKE, MT EARTHQUAKE

SUMMARY OF HEBGEN LAKE 1959 EARTHQUAKE

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Name:                    Hebgen Lake, MT     
Local Date (Time):       Aug 17, 1959 (11:37 p.m.)
GMT Date (Time):         Aug 18, 1959 (0637)
Location:                ~15 mi N of West Yellowstone, MT 
Epicenter:               44 50.40   111 01.80   [6] 
Magnitude:               7.5 [6] 
Intensity:               X [7]
Felt Area:               1,175,000 Sq. Kilometers [7] 

Significant aftershocks: Name: Hebgen Lake, MT Local Date (Time): Aug 17, 1959 (11:37 p.m.) GMT Date (Time): Aug 18, 1959 (0637) Location: ~15 mi NNW of West Yellowstone, MT Epicenter: 44 52.80 111 06.60 [6] Magnitude: 6.3 [6] Intensity: not available Felt Area: not available Name: Hebgen Lake, MT Local Date (Time): Aug 18, 1959 (12:56 a.m.) GMT Date (Time): Aug 18, 1959 (0756) Location: near Mammoth, WY Epicenter: 45 00.00 110 42.00 [6] Magnitude: 6 1/2 [6] Intensity: not available Felt Area: not available Name: Hebgen Lake, MT Local Date (Time): Aug 18, 1959 (1:41 a.m.) GMT Date (Time): Aug 18, 1959 (0841) Location: ~15 mi SE of Virginia City, MT Epicenter: 45 04.80 111 48.00 [6] Magnitude: 6 [6] Intensity: not available Felt Area: not available Name: Hebgen Lake, MT Local Date (Time): Aug 18, 1959 (4:03 a.m.) GMT Date (Time): Aug 18, 1959 (1103) Location: ~25 mi. SSE of Virginia City, MT Epicenter: 44 56.40 111 48.00 [6] Magnitude: 5 1/2 [6] Intensity: not available Felt Area: not available Name: Hebgen Lake, MT Local Date (Time): Aug 18, 1959 (8:26 a.m.) GMT Date (Time): Aug 18, 1959 (1526) Location: ~10 mi. NNW of Norris Junction, WY Epicenter: 44 51.00 110 42.00 [6] Magnitude: 6.3 [6] Intensity: not available Felt Area: not available Name: Hebgen Lake, MT Local Date (Time): Aug 18, 1959 (9:04 p.m.) GMT Date (Time): Aug 19, 1959 (0404) Location: ~25 mi. W of West Yellowstone, MT Epicenter: 44 45.60 111 37.20 [6] Magnitude: 6 [6] Intensity: not available Felt Area: not available Name: Hebgen Lake, MT Local Date (Time): Oct 21, 1964 (12:38 a.m.) GMT Date (Time): Oct 21, 1964 (0738) Location: ~30 mi. WNW of West Yellowstone, MT Epicenter: 44 51.60 111 36.00 [6] Magnitude: 5.8 [6] Intensity: V [7] Felt Area: 65,000 Sq. Kilometers [7]

Numbers in brackets indicate source of information. See Reference List

Click here for an explanation of Local/GMT Date, Epicenter/Location, Intensity, Felt Area, Foreshock/Aftershock.

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Newspaper Accounts

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  Billings Gazette (MT)        

  Bozeman Daily Chronicle (MT)        

  Deseret News (Salt Lake City, UT)        

  Montana Standard (Butte, MT)        

  Salt Lake Tribune (UT)        

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Photographs Available

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     Description:     Madison Canyon landslide (labeled)
     Source:          Deseret News (Salt Lake City, UT)
     Info Categories: G

     Description:     Red Canyon fault scarp near Red Canyon Creek
     Source:          U.S. Geological Survey
     Info Categories: G

     Description:     Red Canyon fault scarp near Blarneystone Ranch
     Source:          U.S. Geological Survey
     Info Categories: G

     Description:     Structural damage to buildings astride Red Canyon fault at Blarneystone Ranch
     Source:          U.S. Geological Survey
     Info Categories: B, G

     Description:     Crater resulting from a sand spout north of Hebgen Lake
     Source:          U.S. Geological Survey
     Info Categories:G

     Description:     Rockslide in Yellowstone National Park
     Source:          Deseret News (Salt Lake City, UT)
     Info Categories: G, L

     Description:     Boulders fell into campsite.  Cliff Lake Campground
     Source:          U.S. Forest Service
     Info Categories: G, P

     Description:     Hebgen Lake Dam (aerial view showing dam, lake, new fault scarp on far left)
     Source:          U.S. Forest Service
     Info Categories: G, L

     Description:     Demonstrating maximum height of waves that overtopped Hebgen Dam
     Source:          Montana Power Company
     Info Categories: L, G

     Description:     Hebgen Lake Dam's damaged spillway
     Source:          MT. Bureau of Mines and Geology
     Info Categories: L

     Description:     Hilgard Lodge residence floating in lake
     Source:          U.S. Forest Service
     Info Categories: B, G

     Description:     South shore of Hebgen Lake and newly exposed boat docks
     Source:          U.S. Geological Survey
     Info Categories: G, I

     Description:     Flooded units of Hilgard Lodge on northeast shore of Hebgen Lake
     Source:          Deseret News (Salt Lake City, UT)
     Info Categories: B, G

     Description:     Driftwood deposited on road by seiche in Hebgen Lake
     Source:          Montana Historical Society
     Info Categories: G, L, P

     Description:     West Yellowstone school damage
     Source:          Salt Lake Tribune file, Utah State Historical Society
     Info Categories: B

     Description:     Building damage; West Yellowstone, MT
     Source:          Salt Lake Tribune
     Info Categories: B

     Description:     Interior West Yellowstone shop
     Source:          Salt Lake Tribune
     Info Categories: N

     Description:     Packing car to evacuate tourist cabin
     Source:          Salt Lake Tribune file, Utah State Historical Society
     Info Categories: P

     Description:     Car blocked by fault scarp
     Source:          Salt Lake Tribune file, Utah State Historical Society
     Info Categories: L, P

     Description:     Highway 287 broken into Hebgen Lake
     Source:          U.S. Geological Survey
     Info Categories: L

     Description:     Truck tires caught in cracks in Highway 191
     Source:          Deseret News (Salt Lake City, UT)
     Info Categories: G, L

     Description:     Campers waiting for rescue
     Source:          Deseret News (Salt Lake City, UT)
     Info Categories: P

     Description:     Smokejumper descending between landslide and Hebgen Dam
     Source:          U.S. Forest Service
     Info Categories: A

     Description:     Helicopter evacuating injured among trapped campers
     Source:          U.S. Forest Service
     Info Categories: A, P

     Description:     Aerial of Hebgen Dam with the SOS-OK sign and vehicles with stranded campers
     Source:          Deseret News (Salt Lake City, UT)
     Info Categories: L, P

     Description:     Injured being carried to First Aid Station
     Source:          Salt Lake Tribune
     Info Categories: P, A

     Description:     Rescuers with man on stretcher
     Source:          Salt Lake Tribune
     Info Categories: P, A

     Description:     Reporters interviewing injured woman
     Source:          Salt Lake Tribune file, Utah State Historical Society
     Info Categories: I, P

     Description:     Divers coming out of new lake formed by landslide
     Source:          Deseret News (Salt Lake City, UT)
     Info Categories: A, P

     Description:     Rescuers search dry Madison River bed adjacent to slide
     Source:          Deseret News (Salt Lake City, UT)
     Info Categories: A, P

     Description:     Circle of rescuers offer prayer
     Source:          Deseret News (Salt Lake City, UT)
     Info Categories: A, P

     Description:     Men and equipment working on spillway atop landslide as waters begin to flow
     Source:          Deseret News (Salt Lake City, UT)
     Info Categories: G, P, R

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Individual Accounts Available

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     Description:      Family camping at Rainbow Point, Hebgen Lake, MT
     Author:           Orton, Jean E.
     Info Categories:  E, G, N, P

     Description:      Two individuals, dog, and parrot in Idaho Falls, ID
     Author:           Loosli, Stuart
     Info Categories:  E, N, P

     Description:      At home in Idaho Falls, ID
     Author:           James, Georgia
     Info Categories:  E, N, P

     Description:      Park rangers and truck drivers at West Yellowstone entrance to Yellowstone National Park
     Author:           Park Rangers, Truck Driver
     Info Categories:  E, G, L, P

     Description:      Manager of Duck Creek cabins near West Yellowstone, MT
     Author:           Yetter, Jerry
     Info Categories:  P

     Description:      Man who drove off fault scarp near Duck Creek Junction, north of West Yellowstone, MT
     Author:           Whitman, Rolland
     Info Categories:  G, L, P

     Description:      Manager of Hilgard Fishing Lodge, Hebgen Lake, MT
     Author:           Miller, Grace
     Info Categories:  B, G, P

     Description:      Caretaker family at Culligan's "Blarneystone Ranch," north of Hebgen Lake, MT
     Author:           Russell, John & Doris
     Info Categories:  B, G, P

     Description:      U.S. Geological Survey geologist camped north  of Hebgen Lake, MT
     Author:           Witkind, Irving J.
     Info Categories:  P

     Description:      Experiences of residents and campers near Hegben Lake and the Madison River Canyon
     Author:           Witkind, Irving J.
     Info Categories:  E, G, L, N, P

     Description:      Camper at Beaver Creek campground on Madison  River
     Author:           Burley, Robert M.
     Info Categories:  A, E, G, L, P

     Description:      1st doctor to reach earthquake area north of West Yellowstone, MT
     Author:           Bayles, R.G.
     Info Categories:  A, B, G, L, P

     Description:      Family camped in trailer near Madison Canyon landslide
     Author:           Bennett, R.F. family
     Info Categories:  G, P

     Description:      Family camped at Beaver Creek campground, Madison River Canyon
     Author:           Smith, Lewis family
     Info Categories:  G, P

     Description:      Family camped at Rock Creek campground, Madison River Canyon
     Author:           Ost, Rev. E.H.
     Info Categories:  G, P

     Description:      Couple who clung to tree in rising Earthquake  Lake, Madison River Canyon
     Author:           Mault, Grover
     Info Categories:  A, G, P

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Additional Sources of Information Available
      
     Title:               Earthquakes In Montana
     Publication:         Seismicity in the United States, 1568-1989 (Revised)
     Info Categories:     B, G, L, N, P

     Title:               The Hebgen Lake, Montana, Earthquake Of August 17, 1959
     Publication:         Billings Geological Soc. 11th Annual Field Conference, West Yellowstone-Earthquake
     Info Categories:     B, E, G, L

     Title:               The Madison Landslide
     Publication:         Billings Geological Soc. 11th Annual Field Conference, West Yellowstone-Earthquake
     Info Categories:     G

     Title:               The 1959 Hebgen Lake Earthquake Alters Yellowstone's Hot Springs
     Publication:         Billings Geological Soc. 11th Annual Field Conference, West Yellowstone-Earthquake
     Info Categories:     G

     Title:               The Earthquake Damage To Hebgen Dam And The Necessary Repair Program
     Publication:         Billings Geological Soc. 11th Annual Field Conference, West Yellowstone-Earthquake
     Info Categories:     A, G, L, S, R

     Title:               The Madison Earthquake And Its Effects
     Publication:         Billings Geological Soc. 11th Annual Field Conference, West Yellowstone-Earthquake
     Info Categories:     E, G, L, P

     Title:               Earthquake--20 Years Later
     Publication:         ENERGIZER; Montana Power Employees Magazine
     Info Categories:     E, G, I, L, P, R

     Title:               Hebgen Lake--Madison River Earthquake Disaster
     Publication:         United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service Region One Report; M--5123
     Info Categories:     A, G, I

     Title:               Earthquake Effects At Yellowstone
     Publication:         National Parks Magazine
     Info Categories:     G, P

     Title:               OK--SOS: Hungerford Remembers '59 Quake
     Publication:         ENERGIZER; Montana Power Employees Magazine
     Info Categories:     E, I, L, P
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