State publishes landmark report on active faults and seismic hazards in Alaska

Science

The Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys and Alaska Seismic Hazards Safety
Commission have published a report summarizing the current state of knowledge of active faults throughout Alaska.

This is the first report of its kind for Alaska. It was spearheaded by the Alaska Seismic Hazards Safety Commission, which recognized the growing need for a comprehensive, one-stop information resource summarizing the known sources of seismic hazards in Alaska.

Active Faults and Seismic Hazards in Alaska is available for free download on the
division’s website at http://doi.org/10.14509/29705 and the commission’s website at
http://www.seismic.alaska.gov/download/ashsc_meetings_minutes/mp160.pdf

Alaska is the most seismically active region of the United States and large damaging earthquakes pose significant risks to the state’s infrastructure and inhabitants. Despite the hazards associated with high rates of tectonic activity, geologic information on the relative activity of young faults in Alaska is sparse.

“This report will provide guidance for future earthquake research in Alaska, serve as a resource for seismic hazard studies, and complement the Alaska Quaternary fault database,” said
lead author Richard Koehler, earthquake science professor at the University of Nevada and former earthquake hazards manager for the division.

The 65-page report includes previously unpublished observations from many active faults visited during ongoing infrastructure studies by the Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys.

The Alaska Seismic Hazards Safety Commission is charged with advising decision-makers at all levels of state government and in the private sector about ways to reduce earthquake risks, and disseminating information on earthquake risk mitigation to the public. Although additional future studies of active faults are still needed to adequately address seismic hazards and risk in the state, the information presented here contributes to the core charter of the Alaska Seismic Hazards Safety Commission by providing data that will ultimately lead to better hazard evaluations and mitigation practices.

CONTACT:
Barrett Salisbury (DGGS), 451-5974,
barrett.salisbury@alaska.gov,
Laura Kelly (Alaska Seismic
Hazards Safety Commission),
laura.w.kelly@uscg.mil,
Richard Koehler (University of Nevada Reno), 775-682-8763,
rkoehler@unr.edu

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