The 1964 Alaska Earthquake

The 1964 Alaska Earthquake emerged from a rapture along the thrust fault. It occurred between the Pacific and the Northern American plates where an 800 by 250-kilometer area moved with a horizontal displacement of 20 meters to the Southeast (Haeussler et al. 141). The outcome was extensive trembling and tectonic deformation that affected the areas located close to the plates. A local tsunami emerged due to the vibration and the deformation experienced in the areas. The displacement of the ocean floor after the occurrence led to the emergence of the tsunami. Primarily, the earthquake led to the subsequent development of the following outcomes. The overriding of the Pacific Plate by the North American plate establishes the overall impact experienced in the region. As Brocher et al. (2), the plate convergence caused the Earth to mantle along the Aleutic Trench. After the North American Plate overrode the Pacific Plate, a “megathrust fault” was created along the two plates (Brocher et al. 2). Thus, the Alaska earthquake can be deemed a relative motion emerging from opposite sides of an earth’s surface.

Geological and hydrologic conditions expose a surface to a possible natural occurrence such as an earthquake. Research shows that an earth’s surface dislocation leads to tremors when the vertical and horizontal surfaces collide (Fckel 1). Seismic vibrations caused a large segment of the landmass and the seafloor to move to the Gulf of Alaska. Mass movements of rock, snow, and Earth components occurred because of the two plates’ tectonic events. A high-intensity level was felt along areas with thick and saturated unconsolidated deposits, while the least effect was experienced across bedrocks and permanently frozen ground (Fckel 1). The emergence of the Alaska Earthquake showed that geological and hydrological factors play a vital role in the development of earthquakes globally.



Works Cited

Brocher, Thomas Mark, et al. The 1964 Great Alaska Earthquake and Tsunamis: A Modern Perspective and Enduring Legacies. Earthquake Science Center, US Geological Survey, 2014.

Eckel, Edwin Butt. The Alaska earthquake, March 27, 1964: Lessons and conclusions. Vol. 546. US BorGovernment Printing Office, 1970.

Haeussler, Peter, et al. “Geophysical advances triggered by the 1964 Great Alaska earthquake.” Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union 95.17 (2014): 141-142.

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