The enormous earthquake that rocked Alaska yesterday afternoon has been rippling across the country in a series of related events.
The magnitude-7.9 quake opened 6-foot cracks in highways, shook up homes and buildings across the state and triggered the automatic detection system on the trans-Alaska pipeline leading to the manual shutdown of the oil pipeline. The system is still down today while operators check for leaks.
More than 1,400 miles south in Seattle, the quake reportedly shook some houseboats loose from their moorings in Lake Union. In Louisiana, 3,000 miles away, residents reportedly saw water sloshing in the bayous, bouncing around watercraft. And some 2,000 miles away, yesterday's Alaska quake is triggering hundreds of small earthquakes at Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. These far-reaching effects are due to the extremely shallow nature of the quake, only at a depth of about 3 miles.
Centered on the Denali Fault 90 miles south of Fairbanks and 270 miles north of Anchorage, the magnitude-7.9 quake is the largest earthquake on that fault since at least 1912. While the instrumentation at that time was not sophisticated enough to specifically pinpoint the earthquake's location, reports place the magnitude-7.2 quake about 50 miles to the east of yesterday's epicenter. About two weeks ago, on Oct. 23., a smaller, magnitude-6.7 quake hit the area along the same fault system.
Read more at the links below, and look for full coverage of this earthquake and other geophenomena in the December Geotimes.
Compiled by Lisa M. Pinsker
Earthquake Information Center
Associated Press story at Fox News
Associated Press story at Yahoo News
Associated Press story at ABC News