Tectonics of the March 27, 1964 Earthquake   [open pdf - 133MB]

"The March 27, 1964, earthquake was accomp anied by crustal deformation-including warping, horizontal distortion, and faulting-over probably more than 110,000 square miles of land and sea bottom in south-central Alaska. Regional uplift and subsidence occurred mainly in two nearly parallel elongate zones, together about 600 miles long and as much as 250 miles wide, that lie along the continental margin. From the earthquake epicenter in northern Prince William Sound, the deformation extends eastward 190 miles almost to long 142° and southwestward slightly more than 400 miles to about long 155°. It extends across the two zones from the chain of active volcanoes in the Aleutian Range and Wrangell Mountains probably to the Aleutian Trench axis. Uplift that averages 6 feet over broad areas occurred mainly along the coast of the Gulf of Alaska, on the adjacent Continental Shelf, and probably on the continental slope. This uplift attained a measured maximum on land of 38 feet in a northwest-trending narrow belt less than 10 miles wide that is exposed on Montague Island in southwestern Prince William Sound. Two earthquake faults exposed on Montague Island are subsidiary northwest-dipping reverse faults along which the northwest blocks were relatively displaced a maximum of 26 feet, and both blocks were upthrown relative to sea level. From Montague Island, the faults and related belt of maximum uplift may extend southwestward on the Continental Shelf to the vicinity of the Kodiak group of islands. To the north and northwest of the zone of uplift, subsidence forms a broad asymmetrical downwarp centered over the Kodiak-Kenai-Chugach Mountains that averages 2½ feet and attains a measured maximum of 7½ feet along the southwest coast of the Kenai Peninsula. Maximum indicated uplift in the Alaska and Aleutian Ranges to the north of the zone of subsidence was l½ feet. Retriangulation over roughly 25,000 square miles of the deformed region in and around Prince William Sound shows that vertical movements there were accompanied by horizontal distortion, involving systematic shifts of about 64 feet in a relative seaward direction. Comparable horizontal movements are presumed to have affected those parts of the major zones of uplift and subsidence for which retriangulation data are unavailable."

Report Number:
Geological Survey Professional Paper No. 543-I
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
U.S. Geological Survey: http://www.usgs.gov/
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