See “Geology In Action” As Trees Creep Down Hill At Eagle Landing Park

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BTB Contributor Gregory Rehmke tips us that if you like Burien’s parks, enjoy nature and dig geology (pun intended), you might enjoy visiting Eagle Landing Park over the next few days to see some “Geology In Action,” as two large trees have slid down the hill to the beach just north of the wooden stairs.

Eagle Landing Park is located at the west end of SW 149th Street, where it meets 25th Ave SW, in Burien. The walk from the parking lot to the beach is about a quarter of a mile down a long wooden staircase, dropping 275 feet in elevation.

According to Greg:

“Steady rain has saturated the soil around these trees, and high tides have significantly undermined the four or five large trees right next to the wood stairs.

When those trees go down they will probably take the stairs and perhaps the whole bottom platform with them (see pictures below).

Monday, Feb. 1st, and Tuesday, Feb. 2nd will have very high tides, which could impact these trees:

  • Mon., Feb. 1st: 13.5 at around 6:40am
  • Tues., Feb. 2nd: 13.6 at around 7:15am

Gregory Rehmke
[email protected]

According to a poster at the park entitled “Geology In Action”:

Seeing slow motion
You may not feel the earth move here, but the evidence is all around you. This whole bluff is scoop shaped, the result of a catastrophic landslide sometime in the last century. Small piles of debris show where springs and heavy rains have washed gravel and dirt down from the hillside.

Wetlands at the base of the bluff are a sign that water seeping through the hilltop’s sandy soil has run into something it can’t ooze through. In this case, it’s a layer of hard clay left behind by glaciers during the last Ice Age.

Creeping topsoil tilting trees
Gravity is causing the park’s topsoil to creep toward the beach and it’s dragging the trees down, too. Where the soil is moving slowly, the tree trunks develop a curve that keeps their growing tips pointing toward the sky.

Where the soil is moving faster than the trees can grow, the trunks are still straight. They’re tiled though, in the same direction they – and the soil – are creeping.

Here are some photos Greg took on Sunday, Jan. 31st showing the creeping “Geology In Action”:

If you plan on going to witness nature at work, be sure to take some pics and send ’em to us at [email protected] if you capture anything interesting!

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One Response to “See “Geology In Action” As Trees Creep Down Hill At Eagle Landing Park”
  1. Jim Branson says:

    Geology inaction. Nothing has changed today.

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