Earth  ID: 2969

Glaciers Spur Alaskan Earthquakes

In a new study, NASA and United States Geological Survey (USGS) scientists found that retreating glaciers in southern Alaska may be opening the way for future earthquakes. The study examined the likelihood of increased earthquake activity in southern Alaska as a result of rapidly melting glaciers. As glaciers melt they lighten the load on the Earth's crust. Tectonic plates, that are mobile pieces of the Earth's crust, can then move more freely, which increases the probability of earthquakes occurring in this region.

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Visualization Credits

Alex Kekesi (Global Science and Technology, Inc.): Lead Animator
Stuart A. Snodgrass (GST): Animator
Marte Newcombe (GST): Animator
Jeanne Sauber (NASA/GSFC): Scientist
Bruce Molnia (USGS): Scientist
Sarah DeWitt (NASA/GSFC): Writer
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio, USGS/National Earthquake Information Center

Science Paper:
Journal of Global and Planetary Change (July issue)

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Data Used:
1/18/1993 - 8/2/2003
Terra/MODIS/Blue Marble
The Blue Marble data is courtesy of Reto Stockli (NASA/GSFC).
USGS/NEIC/Earthquake Activity
National Earthquake Information Center
Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details nor the data sets themselves on our site.

This item is part of this series:
Glacier Earthquakes

Goddard TV Tape:

SVS >> Earthquake
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Solid Earth >> Seismology
GCMD >> Location >> Alaska
SVS >> For Educators
SVS >> Seismic Activity
SVS >> Fault Boundaries
SVS >> Geology
SVS >> Physical Geography
SVS >> Tectonic Plates
SVS >> Glaciers
NASA Science >> Earth

GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation: Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version