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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





Two people died at Cliff Lake Campground, 15 miles southwest of the Madison Canyon landslide, when a large boulder bounced over the picnic table and landed on their tent. Their three sons, sleeping a few feet away, were not injured.

1959 Hebgen Lake, MT earthquake; magnitude 7.5





The Hebgen Lake Dam is an earth-fill, concrete core dam that was built on the Madison River in 1914. It survived the intense vibrations of the earthquake as well as the repeated waves (seiche) which overflowed from Hebgen Lake. These waves were caused by the sudden down-dropping and tilting of the lake bottom during the earthquake. Notice the newly-formed Hebgen fault scarp to the far left and the small landslide (upper third of photo) that dropped part of Highway 287 into Hebgen Lake.

1959 Hebgen Lake, MT earthquake; magnitude 7.5





George Hungerford, dam caretaker, observed 3-4 foot surges of water overtopping the dam. With each surge water flowed an estimated 10 minutes before withdrawing. The earthquake also caused the earth-fill to drop leaving the concrete core wall exposed. Its sod covering remained in place. The largest of the 16 cracks in the wall was 3 1/2 inches wide. Despite all of this the dam held.

1959 Hebgen Lake, MT earthquake; magnitude 7.5





The spillway of Hebgen Dam was damaged by the ground shaking. Water flowing down the spillway further eroded some of the concrete slabs.

1959 Hebgen Lake, MT earthquake; magnitude 7.5


Click here for page 1 of the 1959 Hebgen Lake, MT earthquake photographs.
Click here for page 3 of the 1959 Hebgen Lake, MT earthquake photographs.
Click here for page 4 of the 1959 Hebgen Lake, MT earthquake photographs.
Click here for page 5 of the 1959 Hebgen Lake, MT earthquake photographs.
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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