Aftershocks continue after largest earthquake on record for North Slope
Early Sunday morning a magnitude 6.4 earthquake rattled the North Slope. No damage was reported but the 6-mile deep quake was felt as far south as Fairbanks.
The Alaska Earthquake Center says they've recorded more than 4,000 earthquakes in this region since 1970, but Sunday's quake was the largest to ever strike in Alaska, north of the Brooks Range.
More than 36 hours later, dozens of aftershocks continue to strike. The largest aftershock as of Monday evening is a magnitude 6.0 that hit at 1:15 p.m. Sunday, which is now the second largest earthquake on record for this region. There were also more than two dozen aftershocks greater than magnitude 4.0 and two aftershocks at magnitude 5.0 and 5.4.
Mike West, the State Seismologist with the Alaska Earthquake Center at UAF says aftershocks will likely continue from this quake for months if not years before eventually tapering off. West calls the quake a gift for earthquake research. He says it was a low impact earthquake, given there was no damage and the initial quake along with the aftershocks will help shine a light on a fault system which has never been mapped.
"This earthquake will be extremely important for understanding North Slope seismicity and more generally, how seismic waves travel throughout Alaska," said Ian Dickson, Alaska Earthquake Center Communications Specialist.
The earthquake was detected by instruments across the state. You can see the first 30 minutes of ground motion following the 6.4 earthquake in the visualization below.
New technology is helping scientists monitor and record this earthquake and others around Alaska.
Stay tuned to the KTVA 11 Weather team for your latest weather forecast.
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