Earthquakes in Alaska in 2016

We have completed processing of earthquakes for 2016. Here are some numbers:

  • We reported a total of 37,762 seismic events. That's more than 100 events per day, or about one event every 15 minutes!
  • The largest earthquake was the 24 January M7.1 Iniskin event in Cook Inlet. This was the most damaging and most widely felt earthquake in recent memory, with four homes lost to gas explosions in Kenai and considerable, less serious damage elsewhere.
  • There were 45 earthquakes with magnitudes 5 or greater.
  • In 2016 we reported about 10% more events than in 2015, mostly due to the 70 newly installed EarthScope Transportable Array stations. On the map, this is most apparent in the Brooks Range and in Southwest Alaska, where we used to locate far fewer earthquakes due to sparse network coverage.
  • The 2016 total was about 10% less than in 2014, mostly because there were no major seismic sequences outside of the M7.1 Iniskin earthquake. By contrast 2014 was an extremely active year, with several large earthquakes with active aftershock sequences.

We would like to thank our analysts for their hard work on timely and accurate reporting of earthquakes in Alaska.