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Microfossil evidence for land movements associated with the AD 1964 Alaska earthquake

Zong, Y.; Shennan, I.; Combellick, R.A.; Hamilton, S.L.; Rutherford, M.M.


Y. Zong

I. Shennan

R.A. Combellick

S.L. Hamilton

M.M. Rutherford


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.


Zong, Y., Shennan, I., Combellick, R., Hamilton, S., & Rutherford, M. (2003). Microfossil evidence for land movements associated with the AD 1964 Alaska earthquake. Holocene, 13(1), 7-20.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2003-01
Deposit Date Nov 17, 2006
Journal Holocene
Print ISSN 0959-6836
Electronic ISSN 1477-0911
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 13
Issue 1
Pages 7-20
Keywords Diatom, Pollen, Earthquake, 1964, Pre-Seismic, Land Subsidence, Alaska.