Boaters on US’ Lake Powell recently caught on camera a massive sandstone cliff collapsing into the water. According to CNN, the rockslide happened on the Utah side of the lake where water levels have continued to plunge due to the unrelenting drought conditions gripping much of the West.
Shared on Instagram, the dramatic video showed a huge rock on the side of the reservoir tilting toward the water below, before collapsing and sending a towering spray into the sky and large waves across the lake.
Speaking to CNN, Mila Carter, who shot the video, said that she was heading to Antelope Point Marina with her husband, Steve Carter, when they noticed rocks and sand falling off the cliff near the entrance of Warm Creek. They stopped the boat and started taking pictures and videos that captured the event unfolding.
Ms Mila said, “We were not expecting anything like that.” She also informed that as the section of the cliff broke off, her husband sped away for safety. Further, she added that once the rock fell into the lake, a big wave formed. “I feel like the video didn’t capture the wave at the end. It was very impressive,” Ms Mila told the media outlet.
According to the Independent, Joseph Cook, from the Arizona Geological Survey, explained that the collapse could have been caused in part by the lake’s recent extremely low water levels. He said that the rock cleaving could have been exacerbated by being saturated with water, and then drying out.
Lake Powell is located in northern Arizona and stretches up into southern Utah. It was formed when a dam was built on the Colorado River. As a result areas of the Glen Canyon wall, naturally far above the riverbed, were surrounded by water. However, a two-decade “megadrought” has now wreaked havoc across the American West and caused Lake Powell’s water level to drop precipitously, leaving the canyon much emptier than before.