Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Alaska Science Center

The mission of the Alaska Science Center is to provide objective and timely data, information, and research findings about the earth and its flora and fauna to Federal, State, and local resource managers and the public to support sound decisions regarding natural resources, natural hazards, and ecosystems in Alaska and circumpolar regions. We have offices in Anchorage, Juneau, and Fairbanks. 

News

Mechanisms by Which Heatwaves Impact Seabirds and Marine Ecosystems

Mechanisms by Which Heatwaves Impact Seabirds and Marine Ecosystems

Unveiling Earthquake History

Unveiling Earthquake History

USGS Firelight: PHIRE Edition - Vol. 2 | Issue 2

Publications

Accelerating glacier volume loss on Juneau Icefield driven by hypsometry and melt-accelerating feedbacks

Globally, glaciers and icefields contribute significantly to sea level rise. Here we show that ice loss from Juneau Icefield, a plateau icefield in Alaska, accelerated after 2005 AD. Rates of area shrinkage were 5 times faster from 2015–2019 than from 1979–1990. Glacier volume loss remained fairly consistent (0.65–1.01 km3 a−1) from 1770–1979 AD, rising to 3.08–3.72 km3 a−1 from 1979–2010, and the
Authors
Bethan Davies, Robert McNabb, Jacob Bendle, Jonathan Carrivick, Jeremy Ely, Tom Holt, Bradley Markle, Christopher J. McNeil, Lindsey Nicholson, Mauri Pelto

Boulders modulate hillslope-channel coupling in the northern Alaska Range

Active orogens balance tectonic rock uplift with erosion, commonly via river incision coupled to landslide denudation of “threshold” hillslopes, but sediment’s role in this feedback is unclear. We report fluvial geometry, and sediment size, prevalence, and mobility across two ≤600-m-tall gneissic northern Alaska Range anticlines that sustain steep landslide-clad hillslopes but differ 10× in late P
Authors
Adrian Bender, Richard O. Lease

Understanding sea otter population change in southeast Alaska

IntroductionThe Southeast Alaska (SE) stock of northern sea otters (Enhydra lutris kenyoni) ranges from Cape Yakataga on the north to the Dixon Entrance on the south. During the maritime fur trade, sea otters were commercially harvested to near extinction in SE for their pelts and were presumed unlikely to naturally repopulate the region.
Authors
Joseph Michael Eisaguirre, Toshio D. Matsuoka, George G. Esslinger, Benjamin P Weitzman, Paul A. Schuette, Jamie N. Womble

Science

Alaska Earthquake and Tsunami Hazards

Alaska has more large earthquakes than the rest of the United States combined. More than three-quarters of the state’s population live in an area that can experience a magnitude 7 earthquake. Our research provides objective science that helps stakeholders prepare for and mitigate the effects of future earthquakes and tsunamis, which bolsters the economic health and well-being of Alaska and the...
link

Alaska Earthquake and Tsunami Hazards

Alaska has more large earthquakes than the rest of the United States combined. More than three-quarters of the state’s population live in an area that can experience a magnitude 7 earthquake. Our research provides objective science that helps stakeholders prepare for and mitigate the effects of future earthquakes and tsunamis, which bolsters the economic health and well-being of Alaska and the...
Learn More

Characterizing the Active Queen Charlotte-Fairweather Fault System

This research aims to better characterize the earthquake potential of the southern Fairweather Fault in order to provide more accurate fault source data for the USGS National Seismic Hazard Map. Our approach interrogates lidar data and satellite imagery, applies paleoseismological methods to examine earthquake history, and leverages partnerships with USGS scientists from Colorado and California...
link

Characterizing the Active Queen Charlotte-Fairweather Fault System

This research aims to better characterize the earthquake potential of the southern Fairweather Fault in order to provide more accurate fault source data for the USGS National Seismic Hazard Map. Our approach interrogates lidar data and satellite imagery, applies paleoseismological methods to examine earthquake history, and leverages partnerships with USGS scientists from Colorado and California...
Learn More

Seabird Die-offs in Alaska

Beginning in 2015, large numbers of dead seabirds have been appearing on beaches in most marine areas of Alaska. Although seabird die-offs are known to occur sporadically (e.g. 1970, 1989, 1993, 1997/1998, and 2004) in Alaska, these recent die-offs have been distinguished from past events by their increased frequency, duration, geographic extent, and number of different species involved.
link

Seabird Die-offs in Alaska

Beginning in 2015, large numbers of dead seabirds have been appearing on beaches in most marine areas of Alaska. Although seabird die-offs are known to occur sporadically (e.g. 1970, 1989, 1993, 1997/1998, and 2004) in Alaska, these recent die-offs have been distinguished from past events by their increased frequency, duration, geographic extent, and number of different species involved.
Learn More