June 25th, 2011

goldenwolf

Unlucky 7

I have been reading up on Alaska since it's now less than 2 months away from my cruise up there. I think I have already mentioned that I have this fear of being in port if a massive earthquake hits. I have seen the video from the great quake of '64 of a ship in the harbor which fell over when all of the water was suddenly sucked out to sea in advance of the massive tsunami which hit seconds later. In terms of plate tectonics, Alaska will produce the largest earthquakes due to the subduction zone that forms the entire southern boundary of the state. I guess it's not possible to build up that much stress on transform or spreading boundaries to cause anything greater than an M8 but subduction zones can build up enough stress to cause an M9 e.g. like we just saw in Japan.

Anyway, I was reading about earthquakes being a fact of life in AK, almost moreso than in CA. The thing that blew my mind was that the state averaged at least one M7 PER YEAR! Well, it looks like the other day they had their M7 for the year! Of course it was way out in the Aleutian Islands over 1000 miles from Anchorage, but it still counts! They briefly put out a tsunami warning, but the quake was too small to generate one. It also looks like there was an M5 not too far out of Anchorage earlier in the week. Wheee! Now that would be fun to experience! I know. I'm a geo-geek. Every year I hope for one during FC. Then I think about a collapsing hotel and having rescue workers going "WTF?!?" as they pull hundreds of fursuiters out of the wreckage. *lol*