Recognize a fault when you see it (Alaska travel tip)

"Mt. McKinley "Denali" elevation 20,320 feet" by Timothy Wildey is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Signs of a fault

Faults are visible by ripped tree roots, and a break in the soil characteristics like, for instance, an abrupt change from sand to gravel. These features are the signs of a former rupture on the fault. The 7.9 Alaska earthquake of 2002 occurred along the Denali fault near Cantwell, which is close to the Denali National Park. This earthquake relieved the pressure of several hundred years that build up due to the sliding plates.

"Fault Core" by pennstatenews is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0
“Fault Core” by pennstatenews is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Denali Fault

The Denali fault slips about more than 1/4 inch (1 cm) each year near Cantwell. During the 2002 earthquake, it offset streams by more than 25 ft (7.6 m). You can easily see an example near the clear-running Schist Creek in form of a deep gully running east to west. In a road house on the Denali Highway – an unpaved road outside of Denali Park – you can see how the earthquake had offset the big logs carrying the roof. The earthquake also caused that some mountainsides of Alaska Range glaciers slided onto the ice. However, to see the latter you will have to fly in a small aircraft.

To determine the movement along a fault geologists have various options. One of the cheapest is to place red flags along the borders of the each side of the fault. Revisiting the site and measuring the displacement allows to calculate the speed of movement as speed is distance divided by time.

Fun facts

Before I forget, did you know that Denali was called Mt. McKinley for quite some time?

Yes, you can see Denali from Fairbanks on a bright clear sunny day, Denali will glow beautifully in the evening Sun when the Sun illuminates it from behind.

New red and brown OOTD

over 50 years old fashion blogger in leather on leather

details of motorcycle jacket

Alaskan fashion blogger in winter outfit
Outfit deatils: Winter white LeatherCoatsEtc beret, unbranded floral scarf, Andrew Marc shearling motorcycle jacket, G-III suede skirt, GNW tight, GNW cotton cardigan as a top under a tailored brown BeBe leather jacket, Ray Ban aviator sunglasses, Yves Saint Laurant bag, and Coach chelseas (all own)

This OOTD shows how to wear leather on leather. Why does this look work? I paired my red suede skirt with my brown tailored leather jacket. Both are thrift store finds. I used a winter white cotton cardigan as top. To elongate the legs I added red tights. The brown smoky quartz of the necklace, brown booties and brown Gucci belt tie the outfit together. For the commute to work I added my shearling motor cycle jacket, a winter white beret, a floral scarf and matching gloves. I always try to style the outerwear also as an outfit. Alaska winters are so long that having fun with the outerwear is needed to not get bored. Tweet this.

More leather on leather outfit examples

You can find other examples of how to style a shearling motorcycle jacket, with leopard print tights, and white leather pants. How do you wear your shearling jacket? Let me know, I am curious.

Focus Alaska is a series on Alaska lifestyle, events, curiousa, insider travel tips, and Alaska street style.

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Photos: G. Kramm

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