Four month of data remain unprocessed at this time (January-April, 2003). It illuminates earthquake mechanics and hazards of large strike-slip faults. Additional instruments were deployed after the Denali Fault quake, and as of December 2002, a total of 26 temporary seismic stations were gathering data on the quake's aftershocks. Yellowstone National Park had the most energetic swarm of triggered earthquakes. The aftershock zone terminates !10 km west of After the Nenana Mountain earthquake, AEIC installed several temporary seismographs, including some ANSS instruments. Mountainsides gave way, burying the valleys and glaciers below in deposits of rock and ice as much as 15 feet thick. Multiple land slides and rock avalanches occurred in the Alaska Range with the largest slide on the Black Rapids Glacier. No oil spilled, and pipeline operations resumed after … The second largest instrumentally recorded earthquake in the world occurred along the eastern Aleutian subduction zone, the Mw9.2 Great Alaskan earthquake of 1964. Our research team examines major fault systems in Alaska capable of generating large earthquakes, including the Alaska-Aleutian subduction zone, the Denali Fault system, and the Queen Charlotte-Fairweather Fault system. Compiled By Gary S. Fuis and Lisa A. Wald, Edited by James W. Hendley II and Peter H. Stauffer Graphic design by Susan Mayfield, Sara Boore, Eleanor Omdahl, and J. Luke Blair; Web layout by Carolyn Donlin, COOPERATING ORGANIZATIONS Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys Alaska Earthquake Information Center, Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks Alaska Volcano Observatory Alyeska Pipeline Service Company California Institute of Technology Central Washington University Humboldt State University University of California Berkeley West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center, For more information contact: Earthquake Information Hotline (650) 329-4085 U.S. Geological Survey, Mail Stop 977 345 Middlefield Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025 Visit the USGS Earthquake Hazards Program website to learn more, PDF version of this fact sheet (2.2 MB) REDUCING EARTHQUAKE LOSSES THROUGHOUT THE UNITED STATES, For questions about the content of this report, contact Gary Fuis, Download the current version of Acrobat Reader for free, | Help | PDF help | Geopubs main page | Fact Sheets |, | Department of the Interior | Privacy Statement | Disclaimer | Accessibility | URL of this page: https://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2003/fs014-03/ Maintained by: Michael Diggles Created: February 5, 2003 Last modified: May 17, 2005 (mfd), the pipeline did not break in the quake, the 2002 Denali Fault earthquake occurred on a "strike-slip" fault, Denali Fault quake is similar to three earthquakes that ruptured the San Andreas Fault in the past few centuries, USGS Earthquake Hazards Program website. AEIC receives data from more than 370 seismic stations, integrating all seismic networks in Alaska. These effects were the result of a phenomenon called "liquefaction," in which strong, prolonged earthquake shaking transforms loose, water-saturated sediments into a liquid slurry. These include the magnitude 7.8 San Francisco earthquake in 1906, the magnitude 7.9 Fort Tejon earthquake in 1857 north of Los Angeles, and a quake that struck east of what is now Los Angeles in about 1685. The November 2002 earthquake had a magnitude of 7.9 and caused a surface rupture 325 km (~200 miles) long, mostly on the central Denali Fault (see red line on map below). The temporary network was dismantled in June, 2003. Looking west along Denali fault photo: Wesley K. Wallace 2002: Mw = 7.9 Rupture length = 330 km Maximum RL offset = 8.8 m Denali Fault 2002 Denali Quake Caused huge landslide from an unnamed 7,000-foot-high peak in the Alaska Range, less than 10 miles west of the Trans- Alaska Oil Pipeline Was triggered by the 2002 Denali Fault earthquake. It began with thrusting on the previously unrecognized Susitna Glacier fault… Many geologists who study evidence of ancient earthquakes in deposits and landforms along the southernmost San Andreas Fault, where the 1685 earthquake occurred, have concluded that a major quake on this segment of the fault is likely to happen again in the near future. The locations of the Nenana Mountain and Denali Fault earthquakes and their aftershocks were determined by the Alaska Earthquake Information Center (AEIC) at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"155","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"369","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"480"}}]], white line - mapped rupture | red lines - fault traces | dashed black line - Trans-Alaska Pipeline | black lines - roads | blue lines - major rivers, This high-altitude view shows the approximate locations of the earthquake epicenters. The fault's rate of displacement varies from 1 mm to 35 mm per year. Its epicenter was located on the Denali fault 22 km east of the M 7.9 event epicenter. But there's still a lot scientists don't know about it. The Denali Fault earthquake ruptured the Earth's surface for 209 miles, crossing beneath the vital Trans-Alaska Oil Pipeline, which carries 17% of the U.S. domestic oil supply. This event caused significant damage to the transportation systems in central Alaska. The pattern of landsliding may help to better estimate levels of shaking along the length of the fault, especially because of the sparsity of seismic instruments in this rugged mountainous region. The largest aftershock (M 5.8) occurred 20 minutes after the main shock and was located 95 km east of the mainshock's epicenter (~10 km east of the Richardson highway crossing). 2004; Doser 2004). Although comparable in size and type to the quake that devastated San Francisco in 1906, the Denali Fault earthquake caused no deaths and little damage to structures because it struck a sparsely populated region of south-central Alaska. The MW (moment magnitude) 7.9 Denali fault earthquake on 3 November 2002 was associated with 340 kilometers of surface rupture and was the largest strike-slip earthquake in North America in almost 150 years. Bedrock geologic map of the eastern Denali Highway area, Mount Hayes, Healy, and Talkeetna Mountains quadrangles, Alaska - RI 2020-7 New release! If we’re talking sheer magnitude, the largest recorded earthquake on North American soil hit Alaska on November 3, 2002. A rupture there caused a magnitude 7.9 earthquake on November 3, 2002, tearing a 200-mile line across the face of Alaska, through soil and glacial ice. 2). The earthquake began at 1:12 p.m. Alaska local time, and was centered approximately 135 kilometers (84 miles) south of Fairbanks and 283 kilometers (176 miles) north of Anchorage. Called the Denali Fault earthquake, this shock was the strongest ever recorded in the interior of Alaska. This powerful shock may have been triggered by a magnitude 6.7 temblor, the Nenana Mountain earthquake, that occurred nearby on the same fault 10 days earlier. It started on the previously unrecognized Susitna Glacier Thrust fault, a splay fault south of the McKinley strand of the Denali fault system (DFS). Starting on the Susitna Glacier Thrust Fault, the rupture raced along the Denali Fault System and continued 220 kilometers until it reached the Totschunda Fault, rattling 70 more kilometers. A few of these stations are part of the new Advanced National Seismic System (ANSS) being deployed by the USGS and cooperators. The M7.9 was the largest earthquake to occur in the interior of the state in recorded history. In 2002, the Denali Fault ruptured in a sequence of earthquakes that commenced with the October 23 M6.7 Nenana Mountain right-lateral strike-slip earthquake and culminated with the November 3, M7.9 Denali earthquake which started as a thrust earthquake along a then unrecognized fault and continued with a larger right … earthquake is believed to have ruptured at least part of the same segment of the Denali Fault in 1912 (Carver et al. Due to Alyeska’s earthquake protection, the Denali Fault earthquake did not compromise the integrity of the pipeline. The onslaught of the data has created processing delays. The earthquake began about 80 km (50 miles) east of the Denali Visitor Center, and ruptured eastward along the Denali Fault, … Many active faults in Alaska are capable of generating large tsunamis that threaten coastal communities … On November 3, 2002 a devastating earthquake rattled Alaska. One facility that was badly damaged by the earthquake was the runway at Northway Airport, 40 miles from the eastern part of the November 3, 2002, fault rupture. It occurred a little before 3:30 p.m. The principal rupture was a 210-kilometer-long section of the Denali fault, with horizontal shifts of up to nearly 9 meters (26 feet). Following the Mw 7.9 earthquake on the Denali and Totschunda faults on 3 November 2002, we conducted a reconnaissance of the region to investigate geotechnical and surface rupture features of the event. The magnitude of completeness mc of the aftershock catalog varies along the rupture zone. Gedney, Larry, and Estes, Steve, 1982, A Recent earthquake on the Denali Fault in the southeast Alaska Range, in Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys, Short Notes on Alaskan Geology - 1981: Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys Geologic Report 73J, p. 51-54. The estimated magnitude of this earthquake ranges from the body wave magnitude mb of 7.0 to the moment magnitude MW of 7.9 to the surface wave magnitude MS of 8.5. While on average for October-December data mc is 1.4, it is as low as 1.1 at the western end of the rupture and as high as 2.2 at the eastern end. The Great M7.9 Denali Fault, Alaska earthquake of Nov 3, 2002: Geotechnical Engineering Reconnissance Report - A Slide Presentation. Then the rupture transferred onto the main strand of the DFS and continued as a right-lateral strike-slip event for ~220 km until it reached the Totschunda fault near 143W longitude. The Denali Fault event was felt as far as Washington and caused seiches in pools and lakes as far as Texas and Louisiana. It started on the previously unrecognized Susitna Glacier Thrust fault, a splay fault south of the McKinley strand of the Denali fault system (DFS). They already know huge earthquakes happen on the fault. Geotechnical Observations of the November 3, 2002 M7.9 Denali Fault Earthquake. In the distance, the rugged peaks of Mts. 40Ar/39Ar data from the Richardson mining district, Big Delta Quadrangle, Alaska - RDF 2020-11 7.9 magnitude earthquake hits! In contrast, the 1994 Northridge, California, earthquake, which had the same magnitude, caused 67 deaths and $40 billion in damage when it struck the densely populated Los Angeles region. The majority of landslides clustered in a narrow band extending about 8 to 12 miles on either side of the rupture. The largest on-land earthquake in North America in almost 150 years occurred along the Denali fault in 2002 and was a powerful reminder of the … USGS studies of the Denali Fault earthquake are part of the National Earthquake Hazard Reduction Program's ongoing efforts to safeguard lives and property from the future quakes that are certain to strike in Alaska, California, and elsewhere in the United States. Violent, prolonged shaking from the quake triggered thousands of landslides, especially on the steep slopes of the Alaska Range. Rupture Directivity of the 3 November 2002 Denali Fault Earthquake Determined from Surface Waves Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America Radiated Energy and the Rupture Process of the Denali Fault Earthquake Sequence of 2002 from Broadband Teleseismic Body Waves The view is eastward along the main strand of the Denali fault, which is marked here by a prominent linear valley along the southern edge of the Alaska Range. The diffuse zone of seismicity between Cook Inlet and the Denali Fault may mark a deformation zone between the Bering microplate to the … They identified the previously unknown Susitna Glacier Fault in the area where the quake began and showed that the rest of the rupture exactly followed an older rupture that geologists had documented in the 1970's. It was the largest inland earthquake to hit North … At that point, it right-stepped onto the more south-easterly trending Totschunda fault and stopped after rupturing nearly 70 km of it. The Denali Fault quake is similar to three earthquakes that ruptured the San Andreas Fault in the past few centuries. Following the Denali Fault earthquake, the analyst processing load increased from an average of 40 events per day in September to an average of over 400 events per day in November. During the 10 days following the Denali Fault earthquake, geologists from the USGS and Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys, as well as several universities, mapped and measured the earthquake rupture on the ground and using aircraft. Alaska’s Denali Fault was on the move, jostling the state with a magnitude 7.9 earthquake. A team of geologists surveyed the total length of the ruptured faults and reported maximum vertical offsets on the Susitna Glacier Thrust of 4 m and maximum horizontal offsets of 8.8 m west of the Denali and Totschunda fault junction. The AEIC located over 1,000 aftershocks of the M 6.7 event prior to the M 7.9 mainshock and over 35,000 aftershocks through the end of 2004. The Trans-Alaska Pipeline suffered some damage, but no oil spills occurred. A magnitude 4.4 foreshock preceded the Denali Fault mainshock by 3.5 hours. (Photo and interpretation by Wesley K. Wallace, Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks), Of the population centers, the hardest hit were the villages of Mentasta and Northway, located at the eastern end of the rupture zone. The data from the dense network should give seismologists a better idea of the Denali Fault’s character. The largest inland earthquake in North America in almost 150 years struck Alaska on November 3, 2002. Instrumental recordings of ground motion near earthquakes like the Denali Fault quake are critical for improving engineering design, but such quakes do not occur often. It started with thrust (upward) motion on a previously unknown fault, now called the Susitna Glacier Fault. Should such a quake occur today, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, and other populations centers in southern California could suffer heavy damage and loss of life. The November 3, 2002, magnitude (M) 7.9 Denali Fault earthquake was the strongest ever recorded in the interior of Alaska. They also located major landslides caused by the quake. It ruptured three different faults ending with a total rupture length of ~330 km. The earthquake began at 1:12 p.m. Alaska local time, and was centered approximately 135 kilometers (84 miles) south of Fairbanks and 283 kilometers (176 miles) north of Anchorage. Here a video about the 1964 Alaskan earthquake, also known as the Great Alaskan earthquake and Good Fr… The Denali Fault is a Strike-Slip Fault Line Aftershocks of over M 5.0 are being felt near the epicenter of the original quake. Alaska's network of faults is a result of tectonic activity; the Pacific Plate is actively subducting (sliding under) the North American Plate, and the Denali Fault is located on the boundary between the two plates. The Nenana Mountain and Denali Fault earthquakes generated a vigorous aftershock sequence. This success is a major achievement in U.S. efforts to reduce earthquake losses. Although slightly damaged by movement on the fault and by intense shaking, the pipeline did not break in the quake, averting a major economic and environmental disaster. The Parks Highway, which connects Anchorage and Fairbanks, lies immediately east of the river north of the fault, but diverges from the river to the south. While the fault rupture lasted for approximately 100 sec from its initiation to the arrest, its distal effects were felt for many days. • The 2002 Denali Fault earthquake – United States Geological Survey However, full ANSS instrumentation on either end of the 2002 rupture is critical if this goal is to be achieved. This event was followed by numerous aftershocks that defined a 45-km-long zone along the Denali fault. By studying earthquakes like the 2002 Denali Fault earthquake, scientists and engineers gain the knowledge necessary to reduce the vulnerability of buildings and other structures to damage in these inevitable and terrifying events. When the Denali Fault earthquake struck a few days later, these stations helped to provide crucial data. This places the rupture in the same class as those that produced the San Andreas fault's two historical great earthquakes in 1906 and 1857. Like most earthquakes of its size, it was complex, consisting of several subevents. The focus of our investigation was to characterize the spatial extent and amplitude of ground failures and fault … Like some other large earthquakes, the Denali Fault quake triggered small shocks as far as 2,000 miles away, mainly in volcanic areas. The Denali fault earthquake sequence be-gan with the moment magnitude (M W) 6.7 Nenana Mountain earthquake on 23 Octo-ber 2002 (Fig. In 2002, the Denali Fault in central Alaska ruptured catastrophically, unleashing a magnitude-7.9 earthquake. The November 3, 2002, M w 7.9 Denali Fault earthquake produced about 340 km of surface rupture along the Susitna Glacier Thrust Fault and the right-lateral, strike-slip Denali and Totschunda Faults. Between 1912 and 2002 the level of recorded seismicity on this section of the Denali Fault was very low with the majority of earthquakes M >4.5 occurring on thrust faults to the north or south … Like the Denali Fault quake, the Nenana Mountain shock caused only limited damage because of its remote location. Following the Denali Fault earthquake, Lake Union in Seattle experienced an earthquake-induced seiche, or water sloshing, which knocked many houseboats off their moorings and caused minor damage. UAF is an AA/EO employer and educational institution and prohibits illegal discrimination against any individual. The M 7.9 Denali Fault event was preceded by the magnitude 6.7 Nenana Mountain event on October 23, 2002. The Denali Fault is a major strike-slip fault in western North America, extending from northwestern British Columbia, Canada, to the central region of the U.S. state of Alaska. Deborah and Hess rise to about 12,000 feet (3650 m) just north of the epicenters and the bend in the Denali fault. The epicenter of the November 3 earthquake was approximately 42 miles (68 km) east of the highway. However, the 1906 earthquake near San Francisco killed at least 700 people (the actual death toll was probably 3 to 4 times greater). The runway was rendered unusable by lateral spreading, accompanied by sand boils. Because the 2002 Denali Fault earthquake occurred on a "strike-slip" fault, like the San Andreas Fault, it offers a realistic example of effects likely to accompany the next major earthquake in California. In the 12 days following the Denali fault earthquake, the mean rate of earthquakes above magnitude 1.5 in the Wasatch Front area increased to almost triple the mean rate for the previous three … The Castle Mountain Fault, which passes 25 miles north of Anchorage, exhibits geological evidence of Holocene offsets and generated the M5.6 1984 Sutton earthquake. Alaska’s Denali Fault was on the move, jostling the state with a magnitude 7.9 earthquake. Seiches were seen as far away as Lake Pontchartrain in Louisiana. It ruptured three different faults ending with a total rupture length of ~330 km. Evidence of the 1685 earthquake was only discovered in the past 20 years. Imaging The M7.9 Denali Fault Earthquake 2002 Rupture At The Delta River Using SASW, LIDAR, and RADAR Largest aftershocks of the Nenana Mountain earthquake were the two magnitude 3.8 events. Additional delays have been caused by the necessity of reviewing the earthquake locations a second time when the data from the temporary Denali network were brought back from the field and merged with the bulk of AEIC data. Areas that experienced liquefaction during the earthquake include much of the Tanana River Valley north and east of the rupture and other locations near smaller rivers. The quake was the largest on the Denali Fault since at least 1912 and among the strongest earthquakes recorded in North America in the last 100 years. In response to the magnitude 6.7 and 7.9 events, the Alaska Earthquake Information Center (AEIC) staff installed a network of temporary instruments for the aftershock monitoring. This presents a rare opportunity to catch a major earthquake in the act. The 2002 M7.9 Denali fault earthquake resulted in 340 km of ruptures along three separate faults, causing widespread liquefaction in the fluvial deposits of the alpine valleys of the Alaska Range and eastern lowlands of the Tanana River. The first locatable triggered earthquake was a magnitude 2.6 shock about 12.5 miles east of Salt Lake City. In the left foreground, the Nenana River marks the eastern boundary of Denali National Park. The survival of the Trans-Alaska Oil Pipeline in the 2002 Denali Fault earthquake demonstrates the value of combining careful geologic studies of earthquake hazards and creative engineering in designing and protecting such important structures and lifelines. Shortly after midday on November 3, 2002, a magnitude 7.9 earthquake ruptured the Denali Fault in the rugged Alaska Range, about 90 miles south of Fairbanks. The largest inland earthquake in North America in almost 150 years struck Alaska on November 3, 2002. 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