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The Madison Canyon landslide, six miles below Hebgen Dam, was the most devastating result of this earthquake. Nearly half of a mountain fell to the canyon bottom, covered part of Rock Creek campground, blocked State Highway 287, and dammed the Madison River, causing Earthquake Lake to form. Twenty six people were killed by this landslide, but only seven bodies were found. The remaining 19 are presumed buried under the landslide. This photo was taken the day after the earthquake.

1959 Hebgen Lake, MT earthquake; magnitude 7.5





Several new fault scarps formed during the earthquake. The largest was the Red Canyon scarp located north of Hebgen Lake. It is 14 miles long with a maximum height of 21 feet.

1959 Hebgen Lake, MT earthquake; magnitude 7.5





Red Canyon fault scarp crosses the access road to Blarneystone Ranch.

1959 Hebgen Lake, MT earthquake; magnitude 7.5





The remnants of the old Red Canyon fault scarp were hidden by sand and gravel deposits when softwater tycoon, Emmett J. Culligan, built his "Blarneystone Ranch" across it. When the fault was reactivated in this earthquake, the earth dropped 10 -12 feet beneath the ranch, collapsing the storage shed portion on top of the scarp and severely buckling the domestic quarters that were attached. The shed portion was built of unreinforced concrete blocks. The domestic quarters had a wood frame structure on top of concrete blocks. The caretaker family climbed out of windows to escape the building after the earthquake

1959 Hebgen Lake, MT earthquake; magnitude 7.5





The earthquake caused rockfalls and landslides throughout the northwest section of Yellowstone National Park. This one blocked the road at Golden Gate Canyon. A later slide just missed five park workers.

1959 Hebgen Lake, MT earthquake; magnitude 7.5


Click here for page 2 of the 1959 Hebgen Lake, MT earthquake photographs.
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Click here for page 6 of the 1959 Hebgen Lake, MT earthquake photographs.
Click here for page 7 of the 1959 Hebgen Lake, MT earthquake photographs.

Return to Hebgen Lake Earthquake Summary.







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