The USGS recorded more than 270 earthquakes in Alaska's North Slope on Sunday, August 12 and Monday, August 13, 2018, including M6.4, the most powerful earthquake ever to hit the region. The previous most powerful quake in the North Slope was M5.2 registered in 1995.
State seismologist Mike West said that Sunday's M6.4 earthquake hit an area 26 km (42 miles) E of Kavik River Camp and 213 km (343 miles) NE of Fairbanks at a depth of about 6 miles (10 km).
"It was the biggest recorded quake in the North Slope by a substantial amount. This is a very significant event that will take us some time to understand," West told the Anchorage Daily News.
"The jump from M5.2 to M6.4 is significant because earthquakes rapidly grow in strength as magnitude rises. That's why at 6.4 this changes how we think about the region," he said. "It's a little early to say how, but it's safe to say this earthquake will cause a re-evaluation of the seismic potential of that area."
Thirty minutes of ground motion data from seismic stations across Alaska. The red star is the epicenter, and the dots are stations. The animation includes two aftershocks, a M4.9 at 7:14 am and a M4.7 at 07:18. pic.twitter.com/Q7Wy0ikGRj— AK Earthquake Center (@AKearthquake) August 12, 2018
The USGS recorded a total of 274 earthquakes between 14:58 UTC on August 12 and 18:25 UTC on August 13. Magnitudes ranged from 1.8 to 6.4 with depths up to 87.3 km (54 miles).
Image credit: Google. Data provider USGS. Edit: The Watchers
Featured image credit: USGS