Alaska Science Center
Evidence for shallow megathrust slip across the Unalaska seismic gap during the great 1957 Andreanof Islands earthquake, eastern Aleutian Islands, Alaska
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Full Publication: https://doi.org/10.1002/2016GL070704
Product Type: Journal Article
Authors: Nicolsky, D. J., J. T. Freymueller, R. C. Witter, E. N. Suleimani, and R. D. Koehler
We reassess the slip distribution of the 1957 Andreanof Islands earthquake in the eastern part of the aftershock zone where published slip models infer little or no slip. Eyewitness reports, tide gauge data, and geological evidence for 9-23 m tsunami runups imply seafloor deformation offshore Unalaska Island in 1957, in contrast with previous studies that labeled the area a seismic gap. Here we simulate tsunami dynamics for a suite of deformation models that vary in depth and amount of megathrust slip. Tsunami simulations show that a shallow (5-15 km deep) rupture with ~20 m of slip most closely reproduces the 1957 Dutch Harbor marigram and nearby >18 m runup at Sedanka Island marked by stranded drift logs. Slip models >20 km deep predict waves that arrive too soon. Our results imply that shallow slip on the megathrust in 1957 extended east into an area that presently creeps.