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UAF researchers head to Anchorage for nation’s largest seismology conference

University of Alaska Fairbanks seismologists, staff and students will be in Anchorage next week for the annual national meeting of the Seismological Society of America.

The SSA, the nation’s leading seismology organization, last held its annual meeting in Anchorage in 2014. Organizers say this year’s meeting will be the largest ever for the society, with nearly 1,100 people registered.

This year’s meeting, at which scientists will present their latest research and hear from seismology colleagues and others at a variety of sessions, runs April 29 through May 3 at the Dena’ina Civic and Convention Center.

The meeting is chaired by two UAF seismologists: research professor Michael West, head of the Alaska Earthquake Center at the UAF Geophysical Institute, and professor Carl Tape of the Geophysical Institute and the UAF College of Natural Science and Mathematics. Tape is also a member of the SSA board of directors.

“This is a once-in-a-generation seismology conference in Alaska in terms of the number of attendees, the breadth of the program and the field trip opportunities,” Tape said.

The event will include more than 1,000 oral and poster presentations along with workshops and several plenary sessions. It includes two field seminars: one on Prince William Sound with presentations by experts in tectonics, geology, cryo seismology, tsunamis and landslides and another to see a GPS station in Palmer and a multi-instrument seismic station just north of Palmer in Glacier View.

The meeting will present seismology research about subjects around the globe, including many about Alaska.

Among the many Alaska-specific subjects being presented by UAF researchers:

• Moving toward earthquake early warning in Alaska

• Is there a tsunami threat to Anchorage?

• Investigating seismic signals from the Barry Arm landslide

• Investigation of tremor and explosion sequences from the 2021-2022 eruption of Pavlof Volcano

• Seismic and infrasound signals from the 2023 Shishaldin Volcano eruption

• Revisiting the enigmatic magnitude 7 Denali fault earthquake of July 7, 1912

• Enhancing real-time detection of tsunami-causing landslides in Alaska 

"The Seismological Society of America aligns with the mission and goals of the University of Alaska and the UAF Geophysical Institute,” said West, who is also the Alaska state seismologist. “Earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides, volcanoes, Earth’s structure, plate tectonics and the evolving geology around us — this is the meeting for it.”

The seismology meeting is an opportunity not only for veteran scientists but also for student scientists working toward graduate degrees.

“The relevance of the SSA meeting to the university is demonstrated by the fact that we have several students presenting research at the meeting,” West said.

In a related event, students in the Earth Observation Club, an after-school program hosted by several rural Alaska high schools, will present their research at a Wednesday luncheon at the seismology meeting. Students will also show their work at 5 p.m. Sunday in a public presentation in room 106 of the Allied Health Sciences Building at the University of Alaska Anchorage as part of a separate Earth Observation Student Symposium.

Students will come from Bethel, Chevak, North Pole, Quinhagak, Seward, Shishmaref, Sitka, Wrangell and the Kusilvak Career Academy in Anchorage.

The Earth Observation Club is part of the Teaching Through Technology Alaska program, also known as T3 Alaska. The program is an alliance of students, educators and community partners, and is run by the UAF College of Engineering and Mines.


• Michael West, UAF Alaska Earthquake Center,;

• Carl Tape, University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute,

• For information about the Earth Observation Student Symposium, contact Gabriel Low, 907-712-4255,

• Rod Boyce, University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute, 907-474-7185,