Swarm of earthquakes in Alaska puzzles scientists - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Swarm of earthquakes in Alaska puzzles scientists

Posted:

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - A moderate earthquake shook northwest Alaska on Monday, the fifth temblor of the same magnitude since April in an area with otherwise little activity, seismologists said.

The magnitude-5.7 quake struck at 4:01 a.m. Monday northeast of the village of Noatak, the Alaska Earthquake Center reported. As with other temblors in the earthquake swarm, the quake was felt in Noatak, an Inupiat Eskimo community of 560 people.

"It woke me up," said resident Alvin Ashby. "Some people slept through it."

People there aren't used to earthquakes, and these have some residents worried, said Ashby, who has lived in the community most of his life.

Before the swarm that began April 18, the last known quake of similar size in the area was a magnitude-5.5 quake that occurred in 1981, earthquake center seismologist Natasha Ruppert said.

The swarm of magnitude-5.7 quakes is connected to more than 300 smaller aftershocks, some with magnitudes in the high 3s, Ruppert said. The first quake and the others of that magnitude have been located in roughly the same area about 20 miles from Noatak. The community is 70 miles north of the Arctic Circle.

Monday's quake was preceded by one minute by a magnitude-4.2 foreshock and followed by at least 10 aftershocks.

Minor damage from the earthquakes includes cracks in walls in Noatak, but no injuries have been reported.

Ruppert said old seismic faults have been mapped in the area, but there are no known active faults, although that doesn't mean there aren't any. She said sometimes surface fault scars could be hidden by vegetation or glacial deposits.

"Obviously, since we are having all this earthquake activity, there must be some active faults in the area," Ruppert said.

Since the first of the swarms occurred, seismic sensors have been installed in Noatak and the regional hub town of Kotzebue, 55 miles south. Ruppert said the sensors help gather more accurate information about the earthquakes.

The series of earthquakes has scientists puzzled about activity that is considered very unusual in the area.

"At this point, we don't really understand the nature of these earthquakes," Ruppert said.

Ruppert said she doesn't believe there is any connection between the quakes and the Red Dog Mine, located about 35 miles north of Noatak.

"All mining activities are very near the surface," Ruppert said. "And all the earthquakes are miles below the surface."

  • NEWSMore>>

  • Persons of Interest Sought in Triple Shooting

    Persons of Interest Sought in Triple Shooting

    Beckley (WVVA) -- Police now say they have persons of interest after a triple shooting in Beckley...More >>
    Beckley (WVVA) -- Police now say they have persons of interest after a triple shooting in Beckley...More >>
  • Teachers at North Tazewell Elementary take the 'ice bucket challenge'

    Teachers at North Tazewell Elementary take the 'ice bucket challenge'

    NORTH TAZEWELL (WVVA) Teachers at North Tazewell Elementary School decided to take the 'ice bucket challenge. More than 20 teachers and staff took part in the challenge Friday...More >>
    NORTH TAZEWELL (WVVA) Teachers at North Tazewell Elementary School decided to take the 'ice bucket challenge. More than 20 teachers and staff took part in the challenge Friday...More >>
  • Firefighter injured in Greenbrier Co. now recovering

    Firefighter injured in Greenbrier Co. now recovering

    A firefighter is recovering at home after being life flighted out on Monday.  The Smoot Volunteer Fire Department in Greenbrier County says one of its men went out to fuel up the truck Monday evening...More >>
    A firefighter is recovering at home after being life flighted out on Monday.  The Smoot Volunteer Fire Department in Greenbrier County says one of its men went out to fuel up the truck Monday evening...More >>
  • WV educational leaders address business summit

    WV educational leaders address business summit

    WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS (WVVA) -Common Core, technology, and dropouts were some of the most controversial topics educators discussed Friday at The Greenbrier Resort.The West Virginia Chamber of Commerce wrapped up its annual summit, but not before those attending heard from the state's educational leaders.The education symposium consisted of a panel of experts in education within the state, from the Board of Education President, Gayle Manchin, to the new superintendent Dr. Michael Martirano and...More >>
    WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS (WVVA) -Common Core, technology, and dropouts were some of the most controversial topics educators discussed Friday at The Greenbrier Resort.The West Virginia Chamber of Commerce wrapped up its annual summit, but not before those attending heard from the state's educational leaders.The education symposium consisted of a panel of experts in education within the state, from the Board of Education President, Gayle Manchin, to the new superintendent Dr. Michael Martirano and...More >>
  • 'The Pride of West Virginia' performs for students in Princeton

    'The Pride of West Virginia' performs for students in Princeton

    PRINCETON (WVVA) The West Virginia University Marching Band performed in front of thousands of schoolchildren in Mercer County.The 400 member band, also known...More >>
    PRINCETON (WVVA) The West Virginia University Marching Band performed in front of thousands of schoolchildren in Mercer County.The 400 member band, also known...More >>
  • Man is arrested for growing pot in his home

    Man is arrested for growing pot in his home

    FAYETTE COUNTY (WVVA) A man is arrested for growing marijuana in his home.Herbert Wayne Bowyer, 62, of Lavista is charged with one count of Cultivation of Marijuana...More >>
    FAYETTE COUNTY (WVVA) A man is arrested for growing marijuana in his home.Herbert Wayne Bowyer, 62, of Lavista is charged with one count of Cultivation of Marijuana...More >>
  • Beckley Police Officer Remembered

    Beckley Police Officer Remembered

    Beckley (WVVA) -- Officers in Beckley reflected on the life of a police officer lost in the line of duty. Friday marked the 8th anniversary of the death of Cpl. Chuck Smith. He was killed during an undercover narcotics purchase on South Fayette Street in 2006. During the purchase, one of the suspects opened fire, fatally wounding Smith. "He was someone who was very eager to learn. He was always very interested in drug work. He took a lot of pride in that. He felt he could make a difference in...More >>
    Beckley (WVVA) -- Officers in Beckley reflected on the life of a police officer lost in the line of duty. Friday marked the 8th anniversary of the death of Cpl. Chuck Smith. He was killed during an undercover narcotics purchase on South Fayette Street in 2006. During the purchase, one of the suspects opened fire, fatally wounding Smith. "He was someone who was very eager to learn. He was always very interested in drug work. He took a lot of pride in that. He felt he could make a difference in...More >>
  • Man Accused of Robbing Kroger Enters Plea

    Man Accused of Robbing Kroger Enters Plea

    Beckley (WVVA) -- A Parkersburg, West Virginia man accused of robbing the Kroger on Harper Road entered a plea in Beckley on Friday. Jonathan James Rager pleaded guilty to 2nd Degree Robbery. Police said he went into the store last March and pulled a gun on the cashier. Authorities were able to track Rager down at a Days Inn in Bradley two days later. He faces up to 18 years in prison when he is sentenced in November.More >>
    Beckley (WVVA) -- A Parkersburg, West Virginia man accused of robbing the Kroger on Harper Road entered a plea in Beckley on Friday. Jonathan James Rager pleaded guilty to 2nd Degree Robbery. Police said he went into the store last March and pulled a gun on the cashier. Authorities were able to track Rager down at a Days Inn in Bradley two days later. He faces up to 18 years in prison when he is sentenced in November.More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WVVA.
All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, Terms of Service and Mobile Privacy Policy & Terms of Service.

Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Administrative Assistant Audrey Sluss at (304) 324-0659. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at fccinfo@fcc.gov.