Alaska Paleoseismology

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Project outline & field work


On March 27, 1964, the Great Alaskan Earthquake ruptured an 800 km-long segment of the Alaskan-Aleutian megathrust, representing the largest measured earthquake in North America (Mw 9.2) and the second largest in the world. This event has demonstrated that it is crucial to understand the seismic hazard of southern Alaska and in particular the more densely populated city of Anchorage.

The aim of the Alaska Paleoseismology project involves constructing a long multi-lake paleoseismic record in southern Alaska for revealing the recurrence rate of megathrust earthquakes along the Alaskan-Aleutian subduction zone. Lake sediments can produce excellent paleoseismological records, since seismically-induced landslides generate distinct resedimentation deposits that are interbedded within the background sediments. For this project, Ghent University collaborates with several experts from different institutions around the world, including the U.S. Geological Survey, the Alaska Pacific University, the Northern Arizona University and the University of Alberta.

Blog posts

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Project sites


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