More than 50,000 earthquakes rattled Alaska last year!
According to the Alaska Earthquake Center, 2019 finished as the second highest year on record!
The Alaska Earthquake Center reported 50,289 events in 2019, making it the second highest year on record.
The largest earthquakes were two M6.4 in the Aleutians, one on April 2 in the Rat Islands and one on November 24 in the Andreanof Islands regions.
Other seismicity was dominated by two swarms northern Alaska – Brooks Range swarm and Purcell Mountains swarm – and three on-going aftershock sequences continuing from 2018 – November 30, 2018 M7.1 Anchorage earthquake, August 12, 2018 M6.4 Kaktovik earthquake and January 23, 2018 M7.9 Kodiak earthquake.
Purcell Mountains Swarm 2019
This swarm began suddenly in early February and has accumulated more than 6,676 earthquakes with magnitudes ranging between M0.4 and M5.5 and contributed over 10% of events towards the 2019 total.
The activity peaked in March and October with a pair of magnitude M5.3-M5.5 earthquakes in each month respectively.
Eastern Brooks Range Swarm 2019
A total of 1,686 earthquakes were recorded within the eastern Brooks Range swarm in 2019, with magnitudes ranging between M0.6 and M3.5.
This swarm is about three times the size of other known swarms in Alaska, covering an area about 40 miles by 60 miles (70 km by 100 km).
The eastern Brooks Range swarm kicked into high gear in the summer of 2018. The activity subsided during winter and spring, but picked up again in late summer and early fall of 2019. The cause of this intriguing seasonal shift is unknown.
Kaktovik Earthquake Aftershocks
On April 12, 2018 a M6.4 earthquake occurred about 50 miles south of Kaktovik in the northern foothills of the eastern Brooks Range.
It was the largest earthquake ever recorded in the region.
It generated a very energetic aftershock sequence with more than 1,412 tremors and magnitudes ranging between M0.5 and M4.9.
The series of aftershock is forecast to continue for at least another year.
Anchorage Earthquake Aftershocks
On November 30, 2018 a M7.1 earthquake occurred about 10 miles north of downtown Anchorage and ruptured a fault between about 20 and 35 miles deep.
It caused the strongest ground shaking in the area since the 1964 M9.2 Great Alaska earthquake.
The Anchorage Earthquake quake caused widespread power outages, structural and non-structural damage to public and private buildings, damage to roadways and railways, and resulted in closures of several schools and multiple businesses.
The resulting aftershock swarm resulted in 4,103 earthquakes recorded in 2019, with magnitudes ranging between M0.5 and M5.0. This sequence is expected to continue for another year.
Today, a swarm of more than 13 earthquakes (M6.1 followed by 12 aftershocks between M4.5 and M5.6) is rattling West of Amatignak Island, Alaska. Two days ago, a M6.2 earthquake hit the Tanaga volcano in Alaska. Find similar headlines on Strange Sounds and Steve Quayle. [Alaska Earthquake Center]