Yahoo! News News Home - Yahoo! - Help

Reuters
 Welcome, ghintp Personalize News Home Page   -   Sign Out 
Yahoo! News   Fri, Nov 22, 2002
Search    for     Advanced
News Front Page
Top Stories
Business
World
Entertainment
Sports
Technology
Politics
Science
   Weather News
Health
Oddly Enough
Op/Ed
Lifestyle
Local
Comics
News Photos
Weather
Most Popular
Audio/Video
Full Coverage
Lottery
Crosswords
News for Kids

Full Coverage
More about
Earthquakes and Volcanoes
Related News Stories
Minor quakes jolt northern towns ArabNews (Nov 21, 2002)
Earthquake hits northern Pakistan BBC (Nov 21, 2002)
Geologists: Alaska Quake Caused by Huge Rupture Reuters (Nov 20, 2002)
Feature Articles
Scientists recreate quakes in lab BBC (Nov 16, 2002)
What We Still Don't Know About Earthquakes ABCNews.com (Nov 14, 2002)
Related Web Sites
U.S. Geological Survey National Earthquake Information Center
Digital World Tectonic Activity Map (DTAM)
Natural Hazards: Volcanoes

News Resources
  Providers
  Reuters
  Space.com
  AP
News Alerts
  earthquakes
  U.S. Geological Survey
  earthquake
Search News

Search:

for

Advanced
 
Science - Reuters
Geologists: Alaska Quake Caused by Huge Rupture
Wed Nov 20, 3:36 PM ET
Add Science - Reuters to My Yahoo!

By Dan Whitcomb

PASADENA, Calif. (Reuters) - A 7.9 magnitude earthquake (news - web sites) in Alaska earlier this month was triggered by one of the largest fault ruptures in at least 150 years, rivaling the one that caused the great 1906 San Francisco quake, geologists said on Wednesday.

AP Photo Photo
AP Photo
Slideshow Slideshow: 7.9 Quake Shakes Alaska

The Nov. 3 quake struck a remote and sparsely populated area near Denali National Park and caused only minor injuries, though it damaged three major highways and forced officials to temporarily shut down the Trans-Alaska pipeline.

A team of geologists who spent a week studying the temblor determined that it was largely caused by a rupture of a 130-mile section of the Denali fault, with horizontal shifts of up to nearly 26 feet.

Kerry Sieh a geology professor at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, said that rupture ranks in size alongside those that caused two great earthquakes (news - web sites) along California's San Andreas Fault, including the 1906 San Francisco quake and another major quake in 1857.

Sieh said the Denali and San Andreas are both "strike-slip" faults, meaning that blocks on either side of the fracture move sideways relative to one another. Over millions of years, he said, the shifts have moved southern Alaska miles westward relative to the rest of the state.

He said the shifts have produced a set of large aligned valleys through the middle of the snowy Alaska range, from the Canadian border in the east to Mount McKinley in the west.

Along much of its length, Sieh said, the Denali fault crosses large glaciers and during the quake broke up through the glaciers, offsetting large crevasses and rocky ridges within the ice. The earthquake also shook loose thousands of snow avalanches and rock falls.

He said that in some places enormous blocks of rock and ice fell onto glaciers and valley floors, skidding a kilometer or more out over ice, stream, and tundra.

The team of investigators included geologists from several organizations, including Caltech's Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, the U.S. Geological Survey (news - web sites), Central Washington University, and the University of Alaska.

The rugged range is traversed by just two highways, and so the scientists used helicopters to access the fault ruptures in the remote and rugged terrain.

The scientists were surprised to discover that the fault rupture moved only east from the epicenter and left the western half of the great fault unbroken, Sieh said, prompting them to speculate that the quake could have been the first in a series of large events that will eventually include breaks farther west toward Mount McKinley and Denali National Park.


Mail to Friend  Email Story
Message Boards   Post/Read Msgs
Printer Version   Print Story
Ratings: Would you recommend this story?
Not at all 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 Highly


Next Story: High Seas, Warm Water May Lessen Tanker Pollution (Reuters)

More Science Stories
· ‘Morning Star’: Venus Dominates Predawn Sky All Winter  (SPACE.com)
· Weather Threatens Shuttle Launch   (AP)
· High Seas, Warm Water May Lessen Tanker Pollution  (Reuters)
· NASA Clears Endeavour for Friday Launch Attempt  (SPACE.com)
· Scientists Try to Create New Life   (AP)

 Shopping for a new car? ADVERTISEMENT
Get a free price quote from a dealer in your area. No obligation, no hassle.
  Zip:
Toyota Car
Toyota Trucks
Jeep
Chrysler
Honda
Nissan
Ford Car
Ford Trucks
Chevrolet
Chevy Truck
Buick
Cadillac


Weekly Specials ADVERTISEMENT
· FREE match to pre-screened HOME CONTRACTORS!
· Web hosting. Best quality, 24/7 toll free support. Lowest prices.
· Planning to Sell Your Home? Compare REALTORS® and View Homes!
· Find Old Friends at Classmates.com
· $7.95 Domain Name Registrations & Transfers at Aplus.Net!
· Join Gevalia Kaffe today & Get a Great Gift!
· Low Cost $39.99/Mo. Unlimited Nationwide Calling. www.vonage.com
· $8.95 Domain Name Registrations & $7.75 Transfers at GoDaddy.com
· TD Waterhouse-Special Offer
· Refinance Now! Before Rates Increase!

ADVERTISEMENT

Services
Daily Emails
Free News Alerts

Copyright © 2002 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.
Copyright © 2002 Yahoo! Inc. All rights reserved.
Questions or Comments
Privacy Policy -Terms of Service