Brown University

Agency takes tectonics study to earthquake-prone Alaska

Alaska averages 40,000 earthquakes per year, with more large quakes than the other 49 states combined, and America's shakiest state is about to have its ground examined like never before.

A federal agency that supports basic science research is completing installation in Alaska of an array of seismometers as part of its quest to map the Earth's upper crust beneath North America.

When the magnitude 9.2 Great Alaska Earthquake ripped through the state in 1964, there were two seismometers in Alaska. At the end of this summer, there will be 260, swathing the state with instruments that record seismic waves and give geologists a picture of the upper 50 miles (80 kilometers) of...