ALEUT project:

Alaska Langseth Experiment to Understand the megaThrust


Our project focuses on the subduction zone off southern Alaska, which produces large and destructive earthquakes. The Good Friday earthquake in 1964 was the second largest earthquake ever recorded (magnitude 9.2). The primary purpose of our study is to use marine seismic reflection and refraction data to:  (1) estimate the size of the seismogenic zone, the portion of the fault that controls the magnitude of earthquakes, off southern Alaska, and (2) determine how the properties of the seismogenic zone change downdip and along the subduction zone, such that some areas produce large earthquakes and others do not. In particular, we are concentrating on the Semidi segment, which last ruptured in a great earthquake (magnitude 8.2) 72 years ago in 1938. This area has a recurrence interval of ~50-75 years, and thus might be due to produce another big earthquake soon. We acquired a suite of geophysical data using the R/V Marcus G. Langseth in July-August 2011, including deep-penetration multi-channel seismic reflection data, wide-angle reflection-refraction data , high-resolution data (swath bathymetry, 3.5 kHz, etc) and oceanographic data.

Donna J. Shillington, Anne Bécel, Spahr Webb, Jiyao Li, John Diebold

Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

Mladen Nedimović, Harold Kuehn

Dalhousie University

Matthias Delescluse, Pierre-Henri Roche

Ecole Normale Supérieure

Map showing data acquired during the summer of 2011 as a part of the ALEUT program.

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