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Aftershocks have become a part of daily life in Southcentral since the magnitude 7.0 earthquake. Each one brings us back to the moment we felt the world rumble under our feet, stirring up feelings of fear or prompting a desperate search for a safe place to ride out the next wave of energy emitted from the constantly moving ground underneath Alaska.
While these tremors are normal, dealing with them is not. U.S. Geological Survey research geologist Rob Witter is working to get a better understanding of exactly what happened on Nov. 30 and how residents can have peace of mind moving forward.
After a big earthquake, the ground is left unsettled. From the tectonic plates to the soil beneath our feet, it all went through an incredible change after the Earth ruptured during the magnitude 7.0. After any big shift, things need to settle and that’s what aftershocks are — settling. Each shake felt here on the surface is the ground, deep beneath our feet, settling back in to an equilibrium.