Ghost Forest

Copalis River, WA - September 2006

  Photo by Michael R. Clapp - 2006  

Ghost Forest - Copalis River, WA

This "ghost forest" of red cedar trunks is thought to be the result of the land's subsidence following a great Cascadia earthquake, which turned a well established forest into a salt marsh. A series of photos, stitched together into this panorama, was taken during an excursion led by Bob Butler (University of Portland) and Brian Atwater (USGS). The trip also included David Yamaguchi (co-author, with Brian, of The Orphan Tsunami of 1700), several TOTLE teachers, and other guests.

For more information about Cascadia earthquakes and Pacifc tsunamis, check out: The Orphan Tsunami of 1700, by Brain Atwater, et. al. (USGS and University of Washington Press, 2005)

See an aerial view of the lower Copalis River. (WA Dept of Ecology - Shoreline Aerial Photos)

Spruce tree roots are reminants of a once thriving forest , killed when the land subsided and the roots became immersed in salt water.
Brian Atwater & David Yamaguchi explain the processes of carbon dating and dendrochronology.
Prof. Robert Buter examines a cross-section of the soil, which reveals a layer of forest material covered by "tsunami sands".
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