Taxonomy term

alaska

Benchmarks: March 27, 1964: The Good Friday Alaska Earthquake and Tsunamis

During the Cold War, many Americans lived in fear of the day their town would be shaken by an atomic bomb blast. On Good Friday 1964, some Alaskans thought that day had come. Beginning at 5:36 p.m., intense ground shaking continued for almost five minutes as the most powerful earthquake ever recorded in North America struck 22.5 kilometers beneath Prince William Sound, where the Pacific Plate is subducting beneath the North American Plate. The shaking — felt over an area of more than 1.3 million square kilometers — was so severe and long-lived that some survivors later said they first thought the Soviet Union had dropped a nuclear bomb on Anchorage, 120 kilometers northwest of the epicenter.

27 Feb 2014

Tackling "Boundary Faults" across the Alaska-Yukon border: A report from the field

Our two dusty trucks roll across the airstrip, casting long, late-May shadows down the runway. We spot our colleagues from the Yukon Geological Survey and realize we’ve found the right place after an exhausting 12-hour drive from Anchorage punctuated by several U-turns to find the right unmarked access driveway off the Alaska Highway at the south end of Kluane Lake. The evening air is crisp, and the towering peaks to the south are capped with snow.

15 Oct 2013

Benchmarks: July 9, 1958: Megatsunami drowns Lituya Bay, Alaska

The recent disaster in Japan demonstrates the incredible destructive power of a megatsunami in a heavily populated area. But a record-breaking tsunami of a different sort occurred in 1958, in a remote part of Alaska known as Lituya Bay — and was witnessed by only six people, two of whom died. The giant tsunami and the unusual geometry of the bay combined to produce the largest wave run-up ever recorded — deluging the steep forested hills along the edges of the bay to a height of 524 meters. The wave was a powerful reminder of the forces nature can unleash.
 
04 Jul 2011

Down to Earth With: Alexander Stewart

Sgt. Alexander Stewart was brought up to believe serving in the military was an obligation all young men should fulfill. In 1991, at the age of 17, he answered the call of duty and joined the U.S. Army, which took him to Alaska with the 6th Infantry Division (Arctic)(Light). The state’s endless snow and ice fascinated Stewart, and after he left active duty, he pursued a bachelor’s degree in geology. In 2007, he completed a doctorate at the University of Cincinnati — in glacial geology, of course. Now he teaches the subject at St. Lawrence University in New York.
 
04 Apr 2011

Testing methane's potential on the North Slope

Buried beneath the gigantic swath of desolate tundra that forms Alaska’s North Slope are some of the nation’s biggest hydrocarbon resources. For decades, the Trans-Alaska Pipeline has supplied about 20 percent of the nation’s oil. But below the permafrost of the Last Frontier lies another huge fossil fuel resource — and this one is a lot harder to tap.

26 Jan 2010

Scientists assess Redoubt's fury

After a series of five explosive eruptions from Sunday night through Monday morning, Alaska's Redoubt volcano quieted for about 15 hours Monday afternoon — long enough for scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey's Alaska Volcano Observatory to travel to the volcano to make observations and repair equipment (including the Redoubt webcam). A sixth explosive eruption followed Monday night at about 7:40 p.m.

24 Mar 2009

Alaska's Mt. Redoubt erupts at last

Blogging on EARTH

After months of threatening and rumbling, Mount Redoubt finally erupted late Sunday night.

Redoubt began to exhibit increasing unrest last fall, with seismic activity becoming markedly increased in January, and expectations of an imminent eruption were growing. On March 15, researchers detected four hours of continuous volcanic tremor and observed of a brief plume of gas and ash, according to the U.S. Geological Survey's Alaska Volcano Observatory.

23 Mar 2009

USGS finds giant gas hydrate deposits on North Slope

Buried beneath Alaska's North Slope are about 85.4 trillion cubic feet of technically recoverable natural gas hydrates, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey assessment. That would be a significant source of energy to add to the U.S. energy mix — enough natural gas to heat 100 million homes for 10 years, Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne announced Wednesday.

12 Nov 2008

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