Effects of the Earthquake of March 27, 1964 at Seward, Alaska   [open pdf - 29MB]

"Seward, in south-central Alaska, was one of the towns most devastated by the Alaska earthquake of March 27, 1964. The greater part of Seward is built on an alluvial fan-delta near the head of Resurrection Bay on the southeast coast of the Kenai Peninsula. It is one of the few ports in south-central Alaska that is ice free all year, and the town's economy is almost entirely dependent upon its port facilities. The Alaska earthquake of March 27, 1964, magnitude approximately 8.3-8.4, began at 5:36 p.m. Its epicenter was in the northern part of the Prince William Sound area ; focal depth was 20-50 km. [...] Thirteen people were killed and five were injured as a result of the earthquake. Eighty-six houses were totally destroyed and 269 were heavily damaged. The harbor facilities were almost completely destroyed, and the entire economic base of the town was wiped out. The total cost to replace the destroyed public and private facilities was estimated at $22 million. Seward lies on the axis of the Chugach Mountains geosyncline. The main structural trend in the mapped area, where the rocks consist almost entirely of graywacke and phyllite, is from near north to N. 20 [degrees] E. Beds and cleavage of the rocks commonly dip 70 [degrees] W. or NW. to near vertical. Locally, the rocks are complexly folded or contorted. No major faults were found in the mapped area, but small faults, shear zones, and joints are common."

Report Number:
Geological Survey Professional Paper No. 542-E
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
U.S. Geological Survey: http://www.usgs.gov/
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