Mount Wrangell rumbles after Sumatra earthquake

Release Date: 
Friday, May 20, 2005

For Immediate Release

South-central Alaska's Mount Wrangell rumbled for 11 minutes following the Sumatra earthquake in December 2004. A swarm of 14 earthquakes were triggered at Mount Wrangell about one hour after the initial rupture in Indonesia, more than 6,800 miles away.

Mount Wrangell is an active volcano, that displays frequent steaming and seismicity, but the activity recorded in December gained the attention of scientists at the Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO) at the Geophysical Institute. They're now interested in learning how large global events impact local volcanoes.

Michael West, John J. Sánchez, and Stephen R. McNutt, all of the Alaska Volcano Observatory, authored a paper describing their findings at Mount Wrangell that appear today in the scientific journal Science. Their paper is one of many describing the affects of the magnitude 9.0 Sumatra earthquake in a special section of the journal.


Copies of the paper may be obtained from the American Association for the Advancement of Science Office of Public Programs at (202) 326-6440, or by email at

Photos are available upon request.

Michael West, Research Associate Professor AVO, Geophysical Institute: (907) 474-6977 Stephen R. McNutt, Research Professor, AVO, Geophysical Institute: (907) 474-7131 Amy Hartley, Information Officer, Geophysical Institute: (907) 474-5823