History Of The Earthquake Of 1964

1005 Words 5 Pages
The year is 1964 and what seemed to be like any other normal day in southern Alaska turned out to be anything but. March 24th marked a turning point that would affect many lives in Alaska as well as the lives of those along the coasts of Hawaii and Oregon. It impacted society physically and economically far beyond what anyone could have ever imagined. This day also shed light and created new practices as well as new methods of anticipating future earthquakes. The Earthquake of 1964 claimed the lives of approximately 131 people in Alaska as well as 16 deaths between Oregon and California. For an earthquake this size, the death toll was quite small, due to the low population, the time of day in which it occurred and the fact it …show more content…
It was found, later that at about 5:36 pm (AST) on the 28th the fault between the Pacific and North American plates had ruptured, thus causing the epicenter of the quake to be 12.4 miles north of Prince William Sound, 78 miles east of Anchorage, and 64 miles west of Valdez. The focus actually occurred at a depth of 15.5 miles. These shifts in the ocean floor created a tsunamis that measured an incredible height of 220 feet. Finally, a vertical displacement of up to 38 feet was created that affected approximately 100,000 miles of Alaska. Following this event, three scientists from the US Geological Survey were sent to Alaska, and strangely enough, during the investigation in Alaska, scientists found no obvious faults that could have caused this type of earthquake. After months of research and still no answer as to how this earthquake could have happened, a fresh pair of scientific eyes started a new investigation. During the course of his investigation, George Plafker confirmed the recent and still developing ideas of plate …show more content…
In theory, it is the lithosphere of the earth, divided into a small number of plates which float on and travel independently over the earth?s mantle and much of the earth?s seismic activity that occurs at the boundaries of these plates. This creates the process and dynamics of the tectonic plate movement. Some common products of this type of movement are mountains, earthquakes, and volcanoes. At the conclusion of his work, Plafker found that the events that took place in Alaska had been the product of a megathrust earthquake. This happened when the oceanic plate descends underneath a continental plate. These massive earthquakes happen when there is a slip between the two plates along this type of a plate

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