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The August 2018 Kaktovik earthquakes: Active tectonics in northeastern Alaska revealed With InSAR and seismology

December 5, 2019

The largest earthquakes recorded in northern Alaska (Mw 6.4 and Mw 6.0) occurred ~6 hours apart on August 12, 2018 in the northeastern Brooks Range. The earthquakes were captured by Sentinel-1 InSAR satellites and Earthscope Transportable Array seismic data, giving insight into the little-known active tectonic processes of Arctic Alaska, obscured until recently by sparse data availability. In this study, InSAR modelling, teleseismic back projections, calibrated hypocentral relocations and regional moment tensor solutions resolve two previously unknown, SSW-dipping right-lateral fault segments. These are the first active faults identified as conjugate to the NE-trending sinistral Canning Displacement Zone directly to the west, which is therefore a more complex zone of diffuse faulting than previously thought. The northeastern Brooks Range has been characterized as an area of low to moderate seismic hazard, but these earthquakes illustrate the potential for larger, possibly destructive events in a region earmarked for rapid resource development.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2019
Title The August 2018 Kaktovik earthquakes: Active tectonics in northeastern Alaska revealed With InSAR and seismology
DOI 10.1029/2019GL085651
Authors E. Gaudreau, E.K. Nissen, Eric A. Bergman, Harley M. Benz, F. Tan, E. Karasözen
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Geophysical Research Letters
Index ID 70207497
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Geologic Hazards Science Center

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