Magnitude 1.3 - 14 miles NW of Anchorage

November 17, 2022 15:32:03 AKST (November 18, 2022 00:32:03 UTC)
61.3151°N 150.2574°W    Depth 25.9 miles (41 km)





Tectonic Setting of Southern Alaska

Earthquakes in Southern Alaska are produced by a number of different tectonic features. (1) The strongest earthquakes in Southern Alaska are generated by the megathrust fault that marks the contact zone between the subducting Pacific and overriding North American plates. The 1964 M9.2 Great Alaska Earthquake, which is still the second largest earthquake ever recorded worldwide, began under Prince William Sound. (2) Intermediate depth seismicity (below 20 miles) occurs in the so-called Benioff Zone, where the subducting Pacific Plate descends towards the mantle beneath the North American Plate. This zone extends along Aleutian Arc, Alaska Peninsula and Cook Inlet and terminates beneath the northern foothills of the Alaska Range. In southern and central Alaska, this seismicity abates at a depth of approximately 140 miles, reflecting the down-dip extension of the Pacific Plate. Historically, magnitude 6+ earthquakes of this type have been recorded beneath Cook Inlet. (3) Crustal seismicity in this region can be attributed to three major sources: the faults and folds of the Cook Inlet basin, the Castle Mountain Fault, and the wide band of diffuse seismicity extending from northern Cook Inlet to the Denali Fault. Mapped geological structures in upper Cook Inlet are capable of generating strong earthquakes. The April 1933 M6.9 earthquake, which caused considerable damage in Anchorage, appears to have occurred on such a structure. The Castle Mountain Fault, which passes 25 miles north of Anchorage, exhibits geological evidence of Holocene offsets and generated the M5.6 1984 Sutton earthquake. The diffuse zone of seismicity between Cook Inlet and the Denali Fault may mark a deformation zone between the Bering microplate to the west and the southern Alaska block to the east. This broad zone of seismicity includes a series of predominantly thrust faults, and a 1943 M7.0 earthquake may have originated in this band.

Contributed by:
1Alaska Earthquake Center
2USGS National Earthquake Information Center
Learn more about magnitude types here