King tides roil the coast
King tides mixed with strong storm surge brought spectacle and danger to the Oregon and Washington coasts Jan. 10 and 11. Pamplin Media photographers Jaime Valdez and Keith Sheffield traveled to Cape Disappointment to capture dramatic scenes as ocean water and wind slammed into the basalt cliffs of Washington's iconic Light and North Head lighthouses.
To punctuate the forces of nature at work when high tides combine with storm surge, Oregon State University Professor Kipp Shearman offered his thoughts on the event: "Assume that wave is a triangular mountain of water 40 feet high, 80 feet at its base and 100 feet wide. That mountain of seawater weighs 10.2 million pounds! Even though the whole 'mountain' isn't being dropped on you at once and it's not a solid object, the forces would still be enormous (and potentially deadly), if you were underneath it as it broke. Always a good opportunity to remind ourselves to be careful of waves at the coast!"
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.