View interactive map>reports that a magnitude 6.9 earthquake – a very strong earthquake – struck in Alaska’s Aleutian Islands late Sunday night (morning of July 26, 2015, UTC). There were no immediate reports of injuries. No tsunami warning was issued.
Details of the quake from USGS follow:
2015-07-27 04:49:46 (UTC)
73km (45mi) SW of Nikolski, Alaska
1538km (956mi) WSW of Anchorage, Alaska
1556km (967mi) SE of Anadyr’, Russia
1569km (975mi) WSW of Knik-Fairview, Alaska
2280km (1417mi) W of Whitehorse, Canada
Earthquakes are common in Alaska’s Aleutian arc. USGS explains:
The Aleutian arc extends approximately 3,000 km [2,000 miles] from the Gulf of Alaska in the east to the Kamchatka Peninsula in the west. It marks the region where the Pacific plate subducts [dives below] into the mantle beneath the North America plate.
This subduction is responsible for the generation of the Aleutian Islands and the deep offshore Aleutian Trench.
The curvature of the arc results in a westward transition of relative plate motion … accompanied by westward variations in seismic activity, volcanism, and overriding plate composition.
Bottom line: Strong earthquake in Aleutian arc region of Alaska on July 26-27, 2015. This region is located on the Pacific Ocean’s so-called ring of fire – where great land plates meet and one dives beneath another – and so is subject to frequent earthquakes.
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.