In 1899, there were two big earthquakes in a row, an 8.1 and an 8.2 magnitude, says Enkelmann pointing to a photo of the resulting shoreline lift that still stands today. These earthquakes resulted in up to 14 meters of co-seismic uplift on the shore, so the shoreline basically popped up 14 meters (45 feet) and it happened immediately.
Our biggest concern today is the continued potential for earthquakes that can also result in tsunamis,
Enkelmann appreciates the challenge of collecting samples here because this range has the highest peaks of any coastal mountain range and is only 20 kilometers from the Pacific Ocean, but she points out that it is a tough area to study because of the big ice sheets.
So as geologists, we go to the area and take samples and do measurements in the field on the mountain ranges that stick out, says Enkelmann. One approach is to sample the material that comes out of the glaciers that has transported the eroded sediment and analyze that sediment.
By going to all of these individual glaciers, we can get a much better understanding of what has happened and what was moved on the entire mountain range.
- $5 million funding through the NSF Continental Dynamic Program for a project called STEEP (St. Elias Erosion and Tectonics Project), which included 15 different universities across the US (before coming to Cincinnati, Enkelmann worked as a postdoc in STEEP with her advisor and PI, Peter Zeitler at Lehigh University).
- $400,000 funding from the German Research Foundation (DFG = Deutsche Forschungsgesellschaft), awarded during her previous position at the University of Tuebingen in Germany.
UCs nationally ranked
Department of Geology
conducts field research around the world in areas spanning quaternary geology, geomorphology, tectonics, sedimentology, stratigraphy, environmental geology and paleontology.
Geological Society of America
, founded in 1888, is a scientific society with more than 26,500 members from academia, government, and industry in more than 100 countries. Through its meetings, publications, and programs, GSA enhances the professional growth of its members and promotes the geosciences in the service of humankind.