Effects of the March 1964 Alaska earthquake on glaciers

Professional Paper 544-D



The 1964 Alaska earthquake occurred in a region where there are many hundreds of glaciers, large and small. Aerial photographic investigations indicate that no snow and ice avalanches of large size occurred on glaciers despite the violent shaking. Rockslide avalanches extended onto the glaciers in many localities, seven very large ones occurring in the Copper River region 160 kilometers east of the epicenter. Some of these avalanches traveled several kilometers at low gradients; compressed air may have provided a lubricating layer. If long-term changes in glaciers due to tectonic changes in altitude and slope occur, they will probably be very small. No evidence of large-scale dynamic response of any glacier to earthquake shaking or avalanche loading was found in either the Chugach or Kenai Mountains 16 months after the 1964 earthquake, nor was there any evidence of surges (rapid advances) as postulated by the Earthquake-Advance Theory of Tarr and Martin.

Study Area

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Effects of the March 1964 Alaska earthquake on glaciers
Series title Professional Paper
Series number 544
Chapter D
DOI 10.3133/pp544D
Year Published 1967
Language English
Publisher U.S. Government Printing Office
Publisher location Washington, DC
Contributing office(s) Menlo ParkCalif. Office-Earthquake Science Center
Description vi, 42 p.
Larger Work Type Report
Larger Work Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Larger Work Title The Alaska earthquake, March 27, 1964: Effects on the hydrologic regimen (Professional Paper 544)
Country United States
State Alaska
Other Geospatial Alaska Range
Additional Online Files (Y/N) Y
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
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