Skip to comments.How the 1964 Alaska Earthquake Shook Up Science (50 Years ago Good Friday)
Posted on 04/17/2014 12:21:35 PM PDT by BuckeyeTexan
The earthquake struck at 5:36 p.m. Alaska Standard Time on Good Friday. When the first shaking hit, many parents were in the kitchen, fixing dinner. For more than 4 minutes, the earth buckled and lurched all across southern Alaska. Few people returned home to their meals that night. In Anchorage, the ground cracked open and giant fissures swallowed children whole, killing them in front of their siblings. Landslides launched tsunamis that swept away coastal villages before the shaking even ended. In Seward, spilled oil slicked the water and caught fire. When the earthquake-triggered tsunami hit minutes later, the wave was blazing. "It was an eerie thing to see a huge tide of fire washing ashore," survivor Gene Kirkpatrick told National Geographic magazine in 1964.
In 50 years, no earthquake since has matched the power of the March 27, 1964, Great Alaska earthquake. Now ranked a magnitude 9.2, the second-largest ever recorded, the earthquake radically transformed the young state. Important coastal ports, roads and rail lines were destroyed. The liquefied ground in Anchorage led to the country's strictest seismic building codes (now outpaced by California). President Lyndon Johnson ordered a comprehensive scientific study of the earthquake.
(Excerpt) Read more at m.livescience.com ...
If it happened today, Liberals would blame either Tea Party members, Bush, global warming/climate change or fracking and support throwing a few billions to see what caused it and how to prevent it.
A Biblical world view led to tectonic theory.
Ya, the liberals have been saying we’re getting earthquakes in places where fracking is going on. And they blame the fracking. It’s one of the liberals new bullet points.
They’d blame Sarah Palin.
We all know now, the Alaska Earthquake was caused by pre-fracking.
The Alaskan Earthquake of 1964 provided a lot of evidence for the theory of plate tectonics, a new refinement of the older continental drift theory. It gave dramatic evidence of what happens at subduction zone plate boundaries. One thrust fault moved the shoreline up some 38 feet and established a new shoreline a couple hundred yards away.
Similar earthquakes happen frequently often just off shore but eventually one will happen again in an urban area. That will certainly be labeled catastrophic and will be for those effected.
I remember a proposal to effectively “frack” fault lines to have continuous “mild” quakes, rather than having all that pent-up tensioned kinetic energy released at once.
It was a really interesting article. As a fan of Simon Winchester, I sure hope he writes about that earthquake someday.
It would be a good topic for him. The Alaska quake was even more critical to advancing understanding than Krakatoa.
Winchester is, IMHO, one of the greatest writers of our time. (He is a proud, newly-naturalized, American citizen.)
The amount of energy to effect the the miles upon miles of rock is not in the capacity of man.
Depends on what you mean by "new". I remember learning about this in 1957.
("Very big earthquake! In Alaska!")
Tectonic theory grew out of Wegener’s continental drift, period.