1915 Pleasant Valley Earthquake Centennial Field Trip—Oct 3, 2015
Sign up here for this field trip!
The Pleasant Valley earthquake of October 2, 1915 was the largest earthquake in Nevada’s recorded history. This earthquake ruptured the ground about 50 miles south of Winnemucca, and left a scar along the range front that was more than 35 miles long. In places, the ground surface was offset vertically by as much as 19 feet. The earthquake had a magnitude of 7.3 and was felt throughout Nevada. Damage occurred in many places, but was strongest in Pleasant Valley and in the towns of Kennedy and Winnemucca. This is the story of Nevada’s largest known earthquake and what it means to us. Continue reading.
The Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology will lead a free, half-day field trip to Pleasant Valley and the 1915 fault rupture on Saturday October 3, 2015. The trip will consist of a short overview talk in Winnemucca about the earthquake and a car caravan excursion with two stops in the earthquake area. The excursion is a 100-mile round trip to an area where there are no services, including no cell phone services.
We ask that people car pool as much as possible and make sure any vehicle making this trip is in good condition with good tires, a spare, and a jack. Much of the trip is on gravel roads. The trip will be limited to the first 80 people who sign up, but a guidebook will be available on the 1915 earthquake centennial web page for people wanting to make the trip on their own.
All field-trip participants must fill out and sign a waiver stating that they are responsible for their own safety and for any medical expenses or damages incurred as a result of the trip. Parents must also fill out and sign a waiver for any children accompanying them on the trip. There will be a lunch stop and a short cross-country hike along the fault, so bring a lunch and some sturdy walking shoes and long pants or gators.
The trip will start with a short overview talk at the Sarah Winnemucca Conference Room in the Humboldt General Hospital, 118 E. Haskell Street, Winnemucca, Nevada at 10:00 a.m. Please park on the street or at the park, and do not park in patient parking. At 11:00 a.m. we will leave Winnemucca and travel south to Pleasant Valley. There are two stops. The first one is along the way to get an overview of the fault scarps along the range front, the geology, and the history of the area; we will enjoy lunch at this stop. The second stop is at the fault scarp where it crosses Golconda Canyon. At this stop we will talk about the earthquake, the fault scarp, shaking effects, and the history of the town of Kennedy. For those interested, we will take a short walk along the fault scarp to see the different ways it ruptured the ground and see evidence of paleoearthquakes.