On Sunday morning at 6:58 Alaska time, we recorded a magnitude 6.4 earthquake 52 miles southwest of Kaktovik. It was, by a wide margin, the largest earthquake ever recorded north of the Brooks Range in Alaska.
Not only do our remote seismic stations need to survive temperatures far below zero, heavy snows, ice, winds, rains, lightning strikes, and warm, muddy summer months, our stations must also withstand abuse from all variety
For decades, there have been tantalizing clues about how we might know when an earthquake will happen. Sometimes, clusters of small earthquakes called foreshock sequences come in the days or weeks before a large earthquake.
Alaska's most recent deadly tsunami struck without warning on November 3, 1994. Witnesses described new steel sheet piles snapping in half as the railway dock, which was being refurbished, suddenly slid away from the shore.
Two of our field crew, blessed with adequate weather, made the 180-mile flight from Kodiak to Chirikof Island last week. Once there, they replaced two aging seismometers, measured battery voltages and radio signal strength, and t