A reconstruction of land movements and changes in sea levels for three massive historic earthquakes in Alaska gives clues that may help scientists forecast future earthquakes and earthquake-triggered tsunami. To be published in this week’s Journal of Quaternary Science¹ the findings should help reduce losses from future catastrophic events.
Investigators Sarah Hamilton and Ian Shennan from the University of Durham, England, studied three earthquakes that occurred around 1400-1500 years ago, about 950-850 years ago, and in 1964 at Kenai, southern Alaska.
They found a pattern of change associated with each earthquake. Land in the area was generally rising, but subsided in the years immediately before each great earthquake. Such pre-seismic land subsidence may be one of the indicators that lead up to a great plate-boundary earthquake. Their data show that while earthquake-induced land subsidence was associated with each earthquake, the exact pattern of this subsidence varied during the different events.
Julia Lampam | alfa
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