It released at least twice as much energy as the San Francisco earthquake of 1906 and was felt on land over an area of almost 502,000 square miles (1,300,000 square km). The Alaska Earthquake of 1964. According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the earthquake was as powerful as all subsequent American earthquakes combined and “so large that it caused the entire Earth to ring like a bell.” More than 1,000 miles away in Seattle, the Space Needle swayed from the vibration, and water-level recorders in every state except for Rhode Island, Delaware and Connecticut registered the quake. Rapidly move one hand up and one hand down and you’ll notice you will create a wave. The subduction zone produces very large earthquakes—as large as anywhere in the world—including three of the twelve largest earthquakes ever recorded. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! Geologists have now determined that the Pacific Plate pushes against the North American continent at the rate of 2.3 inches per year, and when the irresistible force finally overwhelmed the immovable object on Good Friday in 1964, it slid underneath the continental plate and violently unleashed centuries of pent-up energy in the Great Alaska Earthquake. I am the founder of Science Trends, a leading source of science news and analysis on everything from climate change to cancer research. A 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck off the Alaska Peninsula on Monday afternoon, triggering a tsunami … Due to the remote location, there were no fatalities and only a few injuries. The earthquake’s hypocenter was 17 miles below the surface of the Earth, fairly shallow when it comes to earthquake depths. Geologists who studied the quake gathered reams of data that provided a greater scientific understanding of earthquakes. Two days after a magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck near Anchorage, Alaska is still shaking. The powerful earthquake even permanently altered the Alaskan landscape. This 7.9 Mw earthquake was the largest recorded in the United States in 37 years (after the 1965 Rat Islands earthquake). The shock was the strongest ever recorded in the interior of Alaska. Scientists learned more about soil liquefaction and tidal waves, which spurred the development of the National Tsunami Warning Center. Summary of the earthquake’s cause and effects from the Alaska Earthquake Information Center. Last night, a magnitude 7.9 earthquake struck southeast of Kodiak Island in the Gulf of Alaska, prompting a tsunami warning that forced people … In the first day alone, 11 aftershocks with magnitudes of greater than 6.0 shook the state. Anchorage was severely damaged in March 1964 by the Great Alaska Earthquake, a 9.2-magnitude quake with its epicenter about 75 miles east of the city. That quake, which lasted for about 4½ minutes, was the most powerful earthquake recorded in U.S. history. The location and type of earthquake were ideal to limit potential damage and casualties. © 2020 A&E Television Networks, LLC. Trees whipped so viciously that their tops touched the ground. In Seward, the earthquake had ruptured oil tanks that were set ablaze, and when the tsunami arrived, it created a terrifying wave of fire. As residents of the peninsula went to high ground to protect themselves from a potential tsunami, they were in luck that the motion of this earthquake was largely horizontal and not vertical. This subduction between the two plates produces earthquakes, volcanoes, and mountains from Mexico to Alaska. While there was initially a tsunami warning, that warning was canceled by 12:30 a.m. Wednesday morning. A monster wave more than 200 feet tall knifed through the Valdez Inlet before slamming into the Alaskan coastline. You may opt-out by. 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