Magnitude 1.6 - 38 miles NW of Yakutat




September 12, 2023 15:50:46 AKDT (September 12, 2023 23:50:46 UTC)
59.9917°N 140.3442°W    Depth 5.9 miles (9 km)

This event has not been reviewed by a seismologist





Tectonic Setting of the Yakutat Block

The Yakutat microplate is the latest addition to the assemblage of accreted terranes that make up southern Alaska. The microplate was transported northward along margin-parallel transform faults, including the Queen Charlotte and Fairweather faults. Eventually, the microplate encountered the continental margin of southern Alaska, where the ongoing collision creates complex seismotectonic interactions resulting in a very active seismic belt. Two great earthquakes in 1899 (M8.1 and M8.2) re-arranged landforms in the Yakutat Bay area, resulting in up to 40 feet of uplift and 6 feet of land subsidence. Another notable event in this region was the 1958 M7.7 Lituya Bay Earthquake, which ruptured from the head of Yakutat Bay along the entire length of the Fairweather Fault. This earthquake caused a massive landslide that crashed into Lituya Bay, creating a tsunami wave 1,720 feet high. The most recent major earthquake in the region was the 1972 M7.4 Saint Elias Earthquake. In the offshore zone, the most notable structures are the Transition Fault that separates the Yakutat microplate from the Pacific Plate and the northern Gulf of Alaska fault zone. A sequence of strong earthquakes in the Gulf of Alaska, including a M7.7 in 1987 and a M7.8 in 1988, produced significant ground motions that were felt along the entire southeast and southern Alaska coast. The Transition Fault is not known to have produced significant earthquakes except for a 1973 M6.7 event along the southeastern end of the fault. This region has a high level of background seismicity, with hundreds of earthquakes recorded each year, the majority of which are shallow and located within the 50-mile-wide coastal zone.