Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Magnitude 3.8 Earthquake rattles Anchorage, Alaska.

The United States Geological Survey recorded a Magnitude 3.8 Earthquake at a depth of 35.1 kmabout 40 km to the east of Anchorage, Alaska, slightly before 4.30 am local time (slightly before 12.30 pm GMT) on Tuesday 30 May 2016. There are no reports of any damage or casualties associated with this event, but people have reported feeling it locally.

The approximate location of the 30 August 2016 Anchorage Earthquake. Earthquake Report/Google Maps.

Alaska lies on the North American Plate, with the Pacific Plate underlying the ocean to the south. The Aleutian Trench runs along much of the south coast of Alaska, with the Pacific Plate being subducted beneath this and passing under Alaska as it sinks into the Earth. The 4 January quake occurred in the far southeast of the state; east of the extent of the Aleutian Trench. Off the coast of southeast Alaska the Pacific and North American Plates pass one-another horizontally, with the Pacific Plate moving northward and the North American to the south (a transform plate margin). This is not a smooth process, and the plates frequently stick together, then break apart as the pressure builds up, causing Earthquakes.

Model of the subduction of the Pacific Plat beneath the North American Plate along the southern coast of Alaska and the Aleutians. United States Geological Survey.

Witness accounts of quakes can help geologists to understand these events and the rock structures that cause them. If you felt this quake (or if you were in the area but did not, which is also useful information) you can report it to the USGS here.

See also...

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Eruption on Mount Pavlof causes severe disruption to flights over Alaska.               Mount Pavlof, a 2.5 km high stratovolcano (cone-shaped volcano made up of layers of ash and lava) on the Alskan Peninsula, underwent a significant...

Eruptions on Mount Pavlof, on the Alaskan Peninsula.                                                  Mount Pavlof, a 2.5 km high stratovolcano began erupting on Saturday 31 May 2014, for the first time since the preceding September, according to the Alaska Volcano Observatory. This...

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