|The First Art Newspaper on the Net
||Established in 1996
|| Thursday, June 30, 2016
|Did Washington Monument sink or tilt from quake? Government surveyors trying to find out|
A smaller obelisk in a well 12-feet deep which was used as a geodetic marker and referred to as "the mini monument", is seen at the base of the Washington Monument in Washington, Tuesday, March 13, 2012. Government surveyors are collecting data around the Washington Monument and other sites on the National Mall that will reveal whether it has sunk or tilted since last yearís earthquake. AP Photo/Charles Dharapak.
By: Ben Nuckols, Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP).- The Washington Monument cracked and crumbled when a 5.8-magnitude earthquake shook the nation's capital last year. But did it sink or tilt?
A team of government surveyors is trying to find out.
On Tuesday, surveyors were on the grounds of the 555-foot-tall obelisk, taking measurements from several long-established points in the ground known as bench marks where survey work has been done in the past.
They're not expecting to find any major changes perhaps fractions of an inch. But the findings could affect plans for repairing the monument, which is expected to remain closed to visitors until next year.
"Obviously the event was not so significant that we see big cracks in the ground," said David Doyle, chief geodetic surveyor with the National Geodetic Survey, which is conducting the survey. "Whatever changes have occurred here would be much, much more subtle."
The monument sits about 15 to 20 feet above sea level and has sunk about 2 inches into the ground since it was completed in 1884. It is on land that was once underwater. Most of the National Mall was created with soil dredged from the Potomac River. That's one reason why the structures on the mall are prone to settling in the ground, leading to problems that required major renovations of the Jefferson Memorial plaza and the Reflecting Pool.
Several large cracks and dozens of smaller ones formed in the top portion of the monument during the earthquake on Aug. 23, and chunks of stone were shaken loose on the exterior and interior of the structure. Although it remains structurally sound, repairs are expected to cost at least $15 million, and the monument could remain closed until August 2013.
The last survey of the monument was conducted in 2009, so any settling could likely be blamed on the earthquake, although it's impossible to prove what caused it.
"What are the effects of that earthquake? We don't know," Doyle said. "So that's why we're here."
Although the current survey, which started last week, could determine whether the monument has tilted, that likely won't be known until examiners place a global-positioning device on the top of the structure, which last happened in 1999. That won't be done until repairs are under way.
The NGS is a division of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, an agency created in 1807 by Thomas Jefferson that's responsible for the nation's altitude, longitude and latitude measurements.
Among the points where the height of the monument has been measured in the past is a structure beneath a manhole cover near the base that's known colloquially as the "mini-monument." It was put in place when the monument was completed.
The surveyors also use two steel rods drilled into the base of the monument in 1984 that can provide especially accurate measurements.
Preliminary results from the survey are expected in about two weeks.
Follow Ben Nuckols on Twitter at http://twitter.com/APBenNuckols.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.
March 18, 2012
"Culture of Sensuality" at Schiller Museum reveals a view of Weimar Classicism
NGA images, a new collection image resource, and open access policy launched by National Gallery of Art
Rare Marilyn Monroe photos, letters, telegrams and a money clip to be sold at Julien's Auctions
Did Washington Monument sink or tilt from quake? Government surveyors trying to find out
Ambitious Vatican restoration of the statue-topped colonnade that cradles St. Peter's Square moves ahead
New Morgan exhibition explores the relationship between animals and the artistic imagination
Under pressure from phone hacking scandal, James Murdoch leaving board of Sotheby's
United States Art Critics Association announces annual awards to honor artists, curators, museums, galleries
Important books, atlases, and manuscripts: Christie's to offer the library of Kenneth Nebenzahl
Egyptomania reveals the West's enduring romance with Egypt and its dramatic influence on decorative arts
Metamorphosis of Japan after the War: Photography 1945-1964 on view at Berlin's Museum for Photography
Pace Gallery exhibition explores the influence of myths and archetypes of Abstract Expressionism
Masterpieces to celebrate a special occasion: TEFAF Maastricht's silver jubilee
Munier painting, Russian porcelain and Jewelry to highlight Grogan's March auction
Berlin Holocaust memorial undergoing repairs
Jimmy Robert conceives an exhibition at Jeu de Paume that inhabits language as a non-place
Titanic museums to mark anniversary of sinking
New York based artist, writer, and Director of Behavior Michael Portnoy exhibits at Ibid Projects
New York City's Anne Frank Center opens in new location
Most Popular Last Seven Days
1.- Newly discovered Van Gogh sketchbook to be published
2.- Portraits of the Duchess of Cambridge from British Vogue centenary issue acquired by National Portrait Gallery
3.- Foam presents spectacular exhibition of work by Helmut Newton
4.- After 30 years "hidden in plain sight," still life painting is identified as a Gauguin; artwork is highlight of sale
5.- Smithsonian releases Learning Lab for everyone to use museum resources
6.- Angst and deep pockets show state of art market in 47th edition of Art Basel
7.- Christo exhibition falls victim to own success
8.- Sotheby's London Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale totals $151.9 million
9.- The National Gallery explores great paintings from a unique perspective
10.- Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum explores Caravaggio and the painters of the north
Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .
|Royalville Communications, Inc|
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.