PubTalk 11/2009 — Geohazards in the Aleutian Islands
Great Earthquakes, Great Waves, and Great Volcanic Explosions!
by Steve Kirby, Geophsicist, and Dave Scholl, Scientist Emeritus
- The Aleutian Islands are discussed with respect to geology, climate change, and the fates of sediments produced by mountain building and glaciation
- These islands, occupied by maritime indigenous cultures known as the Aleuts for 9,000 years, lie over an active crustal subduction zone spawning seven great earthquakes since 1895, resulting in several destructive transoceanic tsunamis
- Over a dozen catastrophic volcanic eruptions have occurred during the time of the Aleuts, forcing cultural separation and differences in Inuit and Aleut languages
- Continued research promises to uncover the Holocene prehistory of such events and aid in future forecasting of mega-earthquake probabilities.