STANLEY, Idaho — A popular Sawtooth beach, boat launch and fishing area is now under water, and Idaho Gelogical Survey officials say the culprit was likely the 6.5 magnitude earthquake in March.
Geologists from the Idaho Geological Survey reviewed satellite images from before and after the March 31st earthquake and linked the flooding of the area to the geological patterns and liquefaction, a breakdown in the strength of the soil, that occurred during the earthquake.
Claudio Berti, the director and state geologist of Idaho Geological Survey, said the most likely cause of the flooding was caused by " a combination of liquefaction and compaction of saturated sediments and some possible sliding and lateral spreading on the delta toward the deeper part of the lake", causing the water to overtake the area.
"The loss of the inlet beach for fishing and recreation is unfortunate because the area was so popular with visitors at the lake," said Brian Anderson, Deputy Area Ranger for Sawtooth National Recreation Area. "Fortunately, the new boat ramp and campground construction were completed before this event, ensuring access for boaters and campers going forward."
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