Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2122/579
AuthorsHaeussler, P. J.* 
Schwartz, D. P.* 
Dawson, T. E.* 
Stenner, H. D.* 
Lienkaemper, J. J.* 
Cinti, F. R.* 
Montone, P.* 
Sherrod, B.* 
Craw, P.* 
TitleSurface Rupture of the November 2002 M7.9 Denali Fault Earthquake, Alaska, and Comparison to Other Strike-Slip Ruptures
Issue DateAug-2004
Series/Report no.3/20 (2004)
DOI10.1193/1.1775797
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/2122/579
KeywordsEarth crust
earthquakes
faulting
slip
pipelines
Denali fault
Susitna Glacier fault
Totschunda fault
Surface rupture
November 3, 2002 M7.9 earthquake
Alaska
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.04. Geology::04.04.01. Earthquake geology and paleoseismology 
AbstractOn November 3, 2002, a moment-magnitude (Mw) 7.9 earthquake produced 340 km of surface rupture on the Denali fault and two related faults in central Alaska. The rupture, which proceeded from west to east, began with a 40-km-long break on a previously unknown thrust fault. Estimates of surface slip on this thrust were 3-6 m. Next came the principal surface break, along 220 km of the Denali fault. There, right-lateral offset averaged almost 5 m and increased eastward to a maximum of nearly 9 m. Finally, slip turned southeastward onto the Totschunda fault, where dextral offsets up to 3 m continued for another 70 km. This three-part rupture ranks among the longest documented strike-slip events of the past two centuries. The surface-slip distribution supports and clarifies models of seismological and geodetic data that indicated initial thrusting followed by rightlateral strike slip, with the largest moment release near the east end of the Denali fault. The Denali fault ruptured beneath the Trans-Alaska oil pipeline. The pipeline withstood almost 6 m of lateral offset, because engineers designed it to survive such offsets based on pre-construction geological studies. The Denali fault earthquake was typical of large-magnitude earthquakes on major intracontinental strike-slip faults, in the length of the rupture, the multiple fault strands that ruptured, and the variable slip along strike.
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