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Jul 25 2013

New at Rosetta Stones: I’m Bluffing

Want to know what a coastal bluff’s got to do with Mount St. Helens? I ‘splain over at Rosetta Stones. With bonus baby seal!

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  1. 1
    rq

    How’d you know I was wondering about the coastal bluff?? Thought you’d never get to it! ;)
    Lovely photos, the stratigraphy is so elegant and aesthetic! To think it’s a lot of rubbing and scraping and pressure from glaciers. It looks so peaceful and harmonious. It looks so quiet and at rest, and then – landslide! Nice.
    Oh, and summer being what it is right now, all that toe-dabbling in the sea is fine by me. ;)

  2. 2
    Trebuchet

    Lighthouse! Seal! Bluff! Wonderful.

    I too have seen a seal on that same beach at the lighthouse. In fact, it must have been around the same time. The lighthouse, incidentally, is West Point. You didn’t mention the huge, but pretty well camouflaged, sewage treatment plant just above it!

    Those bluffs are indeed treacherous, and people building on top of them tend to make them even more so. They put in lawns, and water them, run roof drains into the back of the lot next to the bluff, and worst of all, put in septic tanks. The wetter the bluff gets, the less stable it is. That wet clay is slippery stuff.

    Our second home (1974 mobile home!) is near Discovery Bay, which is nowhere very near Discovery Park. The development’s shoreline is all this same type of bluff, and there are houses along almost every foot of it. When we first moved in, one of those houses was red-tagged, due to the entire back yard having fallen into the sea. Eventually they tore it down and, to my surprise, built another one. Which is now red-tagged as well.

    For all of those houses, whether or not they’ll eventually fall into the sea isn’t at issue. It’s just when.

    (We’re 1/2 mile back and 250 feet up.)

    1. 2.1
      Lithified Detritus

      I’ve seen similar stuff along Lake Michigan. Beautiful view, and people making heroic (and ultimately futile) efforts to save their homes from a fate that any fool could have predicted. Gravity happens, 24/7. Eventually it wins.

  3. 3
    heptakaidecagon

    I followed the link from this article to your “Nothing lasts, Eternal” poem. It made me feel the way Ursula K. LeGuin’s “Light is the left hand of darkness” poem does, all light and hollow and floating along somewhere vast and full of stars. You are slowly getting me hooked on geology, but I also want to read your SF stories. Where can I find them, please?

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