The quake that shook up geology

A huge earthquake in Alaska 50 years ago triggered a shift in what geologists know about Earth

By Beth Geiger, 17:10 PM March 25, 2014

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March 27, 1964, was a quiet day in Alaska. Yet as dusk approached on this Good Friday, just two days before Easter, a major upheaval was in store. At 5:36 p.m., the ground began shaking violently. Alaskans are familiar with earthquakes. Indeed, the state averages some 60 each day — about 22,000 a year. But this was no ordinary tremor. This was the Big One.

In Anchorage, roads buckled and sank. Houses pulled apart. Railroad tracks warped. In Valdez, the ground beneath the harb...

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