Geologic Effects of the March 1964 Earthquake and Associated Seismic Sea Waves on Kodiak and Nearby Islands Alaska   [open pdf - 22MB]

"Kodiak Island and the nearby islands constitute a mountainous landmass with an aggregate area of 4,900 square miles that lies at the western border of the Gulf of Alaska and from 20 to 40 miles off the Alaskan mainland. Igneous and metamorphic rocks underlie most of the area except for a narrow belt of moderately to poorly indurated rocks bordering the Gulf of Alaska coast and local accumulations of unconsolidated alluvial and marine deposits along the streams and coast. The area is relatively undeveloped and is sparsely inhabited. About 4,800 of the 5,700 permanent residents in the area live in the city of Kodiak or at the Kodiak Naval Station. The great earthquake, which occurred on March 27, 1964, at 5:36 p.m. Alaska standard time (March 28,1964, 0336 Greenwich mean time), and had a Richter magnitude of 8.4-8.5, was the most severe earthquake felt on Kodiak Island and its nearby islands in modern times. Although the epicenter lies in Prince William Sound 250 miles northeast of Kodiak-the principal city of the area, the areal distribution of the thousands of aftershocks that followed it, the local tectonic deformation, and the estimated source area of the subsequent seismic sea wave, all suggest that the Kodiak group of islands lay immediately adjacent to, and northwest of, the focal region from which the elastic seismic energy was radiated. The duration of strong ground motion in the area was estimated at 21[and a half]-7 minutes. Locally, the tremors were preceded by sounds audible to the human ear and were reportedly accompanied in several places by visible ground waves."

Report Number:
Geological Survey Professional Paper No. 543-D
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
U.S. Geological Survey: http://www.usgs.gov/
Media Type:
Help with citations