The Maule River estuary outfalls at Constitución, one of the hardest hit communities following the tsunami in 2010. Extreme pulses of inundation are common to estuarine environments where marine sand meets river silt. At present, many estuaries along the Chilean coast are infilled by coastal concretization that intervenes between marine and terrestrial realms. The wave action following an earthquake brought silty inundation, erosion, and deposition to the estuarine coast, a disturbance that is neither unprecedented nor particularly unique. The lineage of estuary formation across time is described by paleo-geological analysis which confirms that the southwest coast of Chile is a remarkably active area o
In genuinely oral traditions, the perceptible boundaries of a story rise and fall as speech, gestures, and social customs change with the times. The experience of the world is layered with details, made multiple in the stories we tell each other. According to Yamada-sensei, the forests did not prosper because the image of the soaring bird was so compelling or because Hirotaka showed rare vision. Rather, a second layer of magic propels the story:
The village knew that the punishment for taking down or killing one of the pines was death. This made them cautious about how many to plant, to be careful about how to take care of them. The trees were replaced, when necessary, but people were reticent because they were already exhausted from tending their own crops. So, they planted few, but cared a lot.4
Cycles of succession are embedded within patch dynamics, a concept linked to disturbance ecology. Under the pines, any sprouting saplings are removed by hand, to refine the sculptural nature of the black pines. While disturbance is often attributed to weather, events or natural causes, the hand-weeding performed by the community over hundreds of years is a horticultural technique that acts as a kind of disturbance. Weeding under the pines entangles humans as an agent of disturbance.
A rupture twenty-five kilometers deep beneath the Nazca plate, produced the earthquake, triggering a tsunami that traveled along the fault at tectonic junctions. The magnitudinous waves spread beneath the coast until making landfall along the shores between Constitución and Concepción. Magnitude is relative power, and its measurement takes into account the energy released at the source. By comparison, intensity is the strength of the shaking produced by the magnitude.