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Major Earthquakes in Alaska

Alaska's Earthquake History

The earth's most active seismic feature, the circum-Pacific seismic belt, brushes Alaska and the Aleutian Islands, where more earthquakes occur than in the other 49 States combined. More than 80 percent of the planet's tremors occur in the circum-Pacific belt, and about six percent of the large, shallow earthquakes are in the Alaska area, where as many as 4,000 earthquake at various depths are detected in a year. (read more ..)

On March 27, 1964, at 5:36 p.m. ADT a great earthquake of magnitude 9.2 occurred in Prince William Sound region of Alaska. The epicenter was about 10 km east of the mouth of College Fiord, approximately 90 km west of Valdez and 120 km east of Anchorage. The epicenter was located at Lat. 61.04N, Lon. 147.73W, at a depth of approximately 25 km. This earthquake is the second largest earthquake ever recorded in the world, after a M9.5 earthquake in Chile in 1960. The duration of rupture lasted approximately 4 minutes. (read more..)

Magnitude 9.2: The 1964 Great Alaska Earthquake Video - 4 min. video relating how the largest quake in U.S. history had profound and lasting impacts on our lives. The video features USGS geologist George Plafker who, in the 1960's, correctly interpreted the quake as a subduction zone event. This was a great leap forward in resolving key mechanisms of the developing theory of plate tectonics. Loss of life and destruction from the quake and accompanying tsunamis was the impetus for things like the NOAA Tsunami Warning Centers and the USGS Earthquake Hazards Program.

  • Notable Earthquakes in Alaska and Aleutians

A list of over 38 notable earthquakes since 1964. (read more..)

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Earthquakes in Alaska
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About Us

The Alaska Earthquake Alliance, which is composed of member groups and organizations, coordinates earthquake awareness and preparedness activities in Alaska. The Alliance is a part of a statewide alliance linking organizations and individuals that provide earthquake information and services.

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Last modified: May 24, 2018