Alaska has already experienced 81 earthquakes this year, with six of them being at 4.5 magnitude or higher. Alaska is the most seismically active state in the USA, as it is located along the Pacific Ring of Fire. The region even experienced the second largest earthquake ever in the US, which was a 9.2-magnitude quake in 1964.
Will there be more earthquakes in Alaska?
Aftershocks will be normal following the huge quake back in November, California Institute of Technology seismologist Dr Lucy Jone said.
She said the average sequence of aftershocks is a 5.8, but it may even be bigger than that average figure.
Dr Jones added: “We think the number dies off with time, but the relative distribution from large to small is constant.”
The 1994 quake in Northridge, California, is an example of this, as the last 5-magnitude aftershock that followed this eruption was three years after the original event.
The US Geological Survey believes there could be between 22 and 120 more magnitude 3 or higher quakes over the next year in Alaska.
Barbara Romanowicz is the former director of the Berkeley Seismological Laboratory and a professor at the University of California at Berkeley.She says Anchorage’s tremors will linger for the time-being.
She said to Oregon Live: “Lots of small non-damaging earthquakes – magnitude 3.0 or greater – are very likely to continue.”
Six earthquakes at magnitude 6 to 7 occur in Alaska every year, as well as forty five magnitude 5 to 6 earthquakes per year.
The area also sees about 300 earthquakes at magnitude 4 to 5 per year, with an average of a 1,000 earthquakes located in Alaska each month.
This is because one of the fastest moving underwater tectonic faults lies in southeastern Alaska, according to the USGS.
USGS geophysicist Randy Baldwin said: “With a slip rate of more than 2 inches per year, this fault may be one of the fastest-moving strike-slip faults in the world.”
The huge 7.0-magnitude earthquake, which hit 30 miles south west of Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city, in November with a depth of 17 miles, sparked fears that another Big One could occur.
A Big One is an earthquake that measures 7.0 magnitude or more.
But scientists are unable to exactly pinpoint when the next Big One will occur, as earthquakes are not easy to precisely predict.
Since the main earthquake, there have been around 350 aftershocks of magnitude 3.0 or higher.
A 5.0 magnitude tremor stuck on Tuesday, January 1 this year, while another 4.2 occurred on Wednesday 2.
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