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Durham University

Department of Geography

Departmental Research Projects

Publication details

Zong, Y., Shennan, I., Combellick, R.A., Hamilton, S.L. & Rutherford, M.M. Microfossil evidence for land movements associated with the AD 1964 Alaska earthquake. The Holocene. 2003;13:7-20.

Author(s) from Durham

Abstract

Microfossil diatom and pollen data from a number of cores at coastal marshes at Girdwood Flats and Kenai Flats in Cook Inlet, Alaska, suggest that there was a phase of gradual land subsidence prior to the main shock of the AD 1964 earthquake. This phase followed a long period of gradual land uplift since the last large earthquake, which occurred about 730-900 years ago. Caesium (137Cs) records indicate that subsidence started approximately 15 years before the 1964 earthquake. This pre-seismic subsidence is evident in the coastal marsh sediment sequences in changes in diatom and pollen assemblages that indicate changes in tidal-marsh environments or a change from raised-bog to marsh conditions. The microfossil evidence indicates ~0.15 m pre-seismic land subsidence at both Girdwood Flats and Kenai Flats and co-seismic subsidence of ~1.8 m and ~0.2 m respectively.

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Department of Geography