Melting glaciers are the reason for earthquakes in Alaska
In 1958, an earthquake led to a landslide in the southeastern region of Alaska, which caused a tsunami. It rose 1,700 feet up the side of the mountain and then rushed out to sea. Now researchers believe that the loss of glacial ice in this region could have caused the earthquake.
In a research article that was recently published, scientists found out that the melting of ice influenced the time and place of upcoming earthquakes.
Scientists have long understood that the melting of glaciers is leading to earthquakes in other regions, such as parts of Canada and Scandinavia, but in Alaska, this was more challenging to discover because earthquakes are typical in the southern regions of the state.
The fact is that Alaska is the place where some of the world’s largest glaciers are located, which can be thousands of feet in thickness. Moreover, it can cover hundreds of square miles. The weight of the ice causes the earth under it to sink, and when the glacier finally melts, the ground literally jumps back. There is the so-called “elasticity effect” when the earth instantly returns to its original position after the removal of the ice mass, scientists explain.
Researchers have connected the expanding mantle movement to strong earthquakes which happen in southeastern Alaska, where icebergs have been melting for over 200 years. During this period of time, more than 1200 cubic miles of ice have been lost.
In addition to the San Andreas Fault located in California, the melting of glaciers has also led to various earthquakes. Although the melting of glaciers is not the main cause of earthquakes, it does affect both the timing and power of seismic events.
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