Minor earthquake registered at Cape Nome

An earthquake with a magnitude of 3.1 rocked Cape Nome, about 12 miles east of town, early Sunday morning. The quake had a depth of 12.1 miles, according to U.S. Geological Survey’s Alaska Earthquake Center.

According to USGS, people can feel earthquakes with magnitudes of 3.0-3.9 on the Richter scale, but only if they are in the area it is occurring or on upper floors of buildings. Sunday earthquake did not cause damage.

According to Peter Haeussler, an earthquake scientist with USGS, earthquakes of this magnitude are relatively common on the southern Seward Peninsula. This area is located on the boundary of a small tectonic plate. As plates move, scrape and push against each other, they cause earthquakes. The movement of the small plate is what caused the quake on Sunday. Haeussler said the event was too far from the eruption of the Pavlof volcano to be related.

Despite all the small-scale earthquake activity near Nome, soon, these tremors will likely go unrecorded. Michael West, the Alaska State Seismologist, reported that there is a high probability that Nome will lose its earthquake monitoring system this summer due to landowner stipulations on the land lease.

The Nome Nugget

PO Box 610
Nome, Alaska 99762

Phone: (907) 443-5235
Fax: (907) 443-5112


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