Tags: alaska | earthquake | tsunami | warning

Alaska Earthquake Measuring 7.9 Triggers Tsunami Warning

By    |   Tuesday, 24 Jun 2014 09:07 AM

A 7.9 magnitude earthquake off Alaska's Aleutian Islands on Monday set off a tsunami warning, but it generated only a small wave and there were no reports of damage or injuries.

The earthquake occurred about 12:53 p.m. local time with officials sending out initial tsunami warnings for coastal areas from Nikolski to Attu, along with the Pribilof Islands to the north, according to the Anchorage Daily News. The tsunami warning was downgraded to an advisory a couple of hours after it struck, and the advisory was canceled by 4:45 p.m.


Jeff Freymueller, with the Alaska Volcano Observatory, told the Daily News that the observatory monitored seismic activity in the Aleutians following the earthquake for any evidence that it triggered "earthquake swarms." He said there was no evidence of volcanic activity tied to the earthquake as of Monday afternoon.

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"The Aleutian arc extends approximately 3,000 kilometers from the Gulf of Alaska in the east to the Kamchatka Peninsula in the west," the U.S. Geological Survey says about the area. "It marks the region where the Pacific plate subducts into the mantle beneath the North America plate. This subduction is responsible for the generation of the Aleutian Islands and the deep offshore Aleutian Trench."

Brent Ward, earth scientist at Simon Fraser University, told the Vancouver Sun that he believed the earthquake happened in the subduction plate as opposed to along the subduction zone. Ward said that meant it would not have had much seafloor movement, lacking the action it would need to cause a large tsunami.

"You need the seafloor movement to generate a tsunami," Ward told the Sun. "When you move the seafloor – punching up from the bottom – it displaces the water and that's what generates the wave."

Ward added, though, that the earthquake's magnitude was still a significant seismic event.

"Anything over 8.0 we call a great earthquake and we only get about 15 or so of those a year of that magnitude around the world," said Ward.

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A 7.9 magnitude earthquake off Alaska's Aleutian Islands on Monday set off a tsunami warning, but it generated only a small wave and there were no reports of damage or injuries.
alaska, earthquake, tsunami, warning
379
2014-07-24
Tuesday, 24 Jun 2014 09:07 AM
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