Glacier Bay’s geology reads kind of like a recipe for giant waves: It’s a recently glaciated area that’s still rebounding from ice cover. It freezes and thaws. There are steep slopes above deep water in an active fault zone.
In fact, the biggest wave ever recorded anywhere was on the park’s outer coast, in Lituya Bay in the 1950s. Geologists say the conditions that can lead to landslides are only getting more pronounced in Alaska.