The Alaskan Earthquake Of 1964 Essay Research

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The Alaskan Earthquake Of 1964 Essay, Research Paper The Alaska earthquake of 1964 and following tsunami took 125 lives (tsunami 110, earthquake 15), and caused about $311 million in property loss. It is the biggest earthquake ever measured with an intensity of 9.2 on the Richter Scale. Earthquake effects were big in many towns, including Anchorage, Chitina, Glennallen, Homer, Hope, Kasilof, Kenai, Kodiak, Moose Pass, Portage, Seldovia, Seward, Sterling, Valdez, Wasilla, and Whittier. To give an overview of where all these places are in Alaska, here is a map taken from Microsoft Encarta:- Even though the map is not very detailed, you can see which areas this great earthquake hit. An earthquake is all to do with Plate Tectonics. As two massive plates collide against each

other, pressure builds up until one plate finally gives way. At this point massive pressure is released and seismic waves travel through whatever they meet. If water is near to an earthquake a Tsunami can occur. These can be devastating. The two plates which caused the Anchorage earthquake was the Pacific Plate (Oceanic plate) and the North American Plate (Continental Plate.) These two plates have caused a subductive margin in which the thinner and denser oceanic plate dives under the thicker and less dense continental plate. Over the years pressure would have built up when the two plates got stuck moving, and when one gave way the Anchorage Earthquake began. Below is a diagram in which the oceanic plate travels underneath the continental plate, like with the North American Plate

and the Pacific Plate. Anchorage was about 120 kilometers northwest of the epicenter and suffered the most severe damage to property. About 30 blocks of houses and flats and business buildings were damaged or destroyed in the city center. The J.C. Penny Company building was damaged beyond repair and a new six-story structure collapsed, and many other multistory buildings were damaged badly. The schools in Anchorage were almost devastated. The Government Hill Grade School suffered a landslide and was almost a total loss. Anchorage High School was damaged severely. The shock lasted for an estimated 3 minutes. Landslides in Anchorage caused a lot of damage too. Huge slides happened in the main business section. The largest and most devastating landslide occurred at a place called

Turn again Heights. An area of about 130 acres was devastated by displacements that broke the ground into many blocks that were collapsed and tilted at all angles. This slide destroyed about 75 private houses. Water mains and gas, sewer, telephone, and electrical systems were damages throughout the area. The earthquake was accompanied by vertical displacement over an area of about 520,00 square kilometers. The worst part of the displacement centered northeast from southern Kodiak Island to Price William Sound and carried on east-west. Vertical displacements ranged from about 11.5 meters to 2.3 meters. Off the southwest end of Montague Island, there was a vertical displacement of about 13 – 15 meters. Uplift also happened along the southeast coast of Kodiak Island . This zone of

subsidence covered about 285,000 square kilometers, including the north and west parts of Prince William Sound and the west part of the Chugach Mountains, This shock made a tsunami that devastated many towns along the Gulf of Alaska, and left serious damage along the West Coast of the United States (15 killed), and in Hawaii. The maximum wave height recorded was 67 meters. . The earthquake was felt over a large area of Alaska and in parts of western Yukon Territory and British Columbia, Canada. Below is a map, which I retrieved from the United States Geological Survey Web site on the Internet. The map clearly shows where the epicenter of the earthquake was, and which areas were hit the hardest. The Precise place, time and size for the earthquake was Prince William Sound, Alaska