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TitleThe October 2012 magnitude (Mw) 7.8 earthquake offshore Haida Gwaii, Canada
AuthorBird, A L; Cassidy, J FORCID logo; Kao, HORCID logo; Leonard, L J; Allen, T I; Nykolaishen, L; Dragert, H; Hobbs, T EORCID logo; Farahbod, A M; Bednarski, J M; James, T SORCID logo; Lamontagne, MORCID logo; Shan, S -J; Hyndman, R DORCID logo; Fine, I V; Cherniawsky, J Y; Brillon, C D; Wang, KORCID logo; Rogers, G C
SourceSummary of the Bulletin of the International Seismological Centre vol. 49, issue 7-12, 2012 p. 41-72
LinksOnline - En ligne (complete volume - volume complet, pdf, 137 MB)
Alt SeriesEarth Sciences Sector, Contribution Series 20150358
PublisherInternational Seismological Centre
Mediaon-line; digital
File formatpdf
ProvinceBritish Columbia; Western offshore region
NTS102M; 103B; 103C; 103D; 103E; 103F; 103G; 103J; 103K; 103L
AreaHaida Gwaii; Pacific Ocean
Lat/Long WENS-135.0000 -130.0000 54.5000 51.0000
Subjectsgeophysics; tectonics; seismology; earthquakes; earthquake magnitudes; seismicity; tectonic setting; plate motions; crustal movements; displacement; bedrock geology; structural features; faults; earthquake damage; epicentres; landslides; debris flows; slumps; thermal springs; earthquake mechanisms; geodesy; tsunami; field work; October 2012 magnitude (MW) 7.8 earthquake offshore Haida Gwaii; Queen Charlotte Fault; Pacific Plate; North American Plate; Queen Charlotte Terrace; geological hazards; ground motion; rock falls; global positioning systems
Illustrationsphotographs; geoscientific sketch maps; location maps; 3-D models; spectra; plots; cross-sections; satellite images; tables; focal mechanisms; schematic representations; models; histograms; bar graphs; profiles
ProgramPublic Safety Geoscience, Public Safety Geoscience - Coordination
Released2012 12 01
The Haida Gwaii archipelago (formerly known as the Queen Charlotte Islands) is located off the coast of central British Columbia, Canada. While approximately 150 islands make up Haida Gwaii, there are two main islands: the northern Graham Island and southern Moresby Island; the two are separated by the narrow Skidegate Channel. Approximately 5,000 people live on Haida Gwaii, mostly in six small communities, five on Graham Island. On the evening of 27th October 2012, a magnitude (MW) 7.8 earthquake occurred along a previously only hypothesised thrust fault off the west coast of Moresby Island. This was the second largest earthquake in Canada's written history. It was felt throughout British Columbia and as far away as the Yukon, Alberta and Montana, roughly 1600 km from the epicentre. In some locations (notably on Haida Gwaii) the perceivable shaking lasted 1.5 - 2 minutes, with very strong shaking for about 30 seconds. Strong ground motions recorded at three locations in the region reached a maximum horizontal acceleration of 0.2 g. fortunately; this earthquake resulted in very limited damage partly because of the relatively large distance (more than 60 km) between population centres and the fault rupture, and partly because of seismic resistance of the generally low, wood-frame construction found on the islands. We examine the earthquake rupture characteristics and crustal displacements, along with various physical effects from the shaking (e.g., ground motions, tsunami, landslides, building damage, loss of hot springs), catalogued by field crews and reported by the inhabitants of Haida Gwaii and the surrounding regions. These will serve as a guide toward the potential impact from future large earthquakes on the various Haida Gwaii communities.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
The magnitude 7.7 earthquake of October 2012 occurred in the sparsely populated region of Haida Gwaii, British Columbia (formerly the Queen Charlotte Islands). This was the second largest recorded earthquake in Canadian history and was felt throughout British Columbia and as far away as the Yukon, Alberta and Montana. The perceivable shaking lasted 1.5 - 2 minutes, with very strong shaking for about 30 seconds. This publication is an overall summary of the earthquake, its secondary effects (landslides, tsunami, etc.) and the results from research conducted during field surveys, and via the seismic and GPS data acquired partially through temporarily deployed instruments in the region.

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