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Mag. 5.3 earthquake - 21 mi northwest of Nikiski, Kenai Peninsula, Alaska, USA, on Monday, May 29, 2017, at 06:18 pm (Anchorage time)

A strong magnitude 5.3 earthquake hit 34 km (21 mi) away from Nikiski, Alaska,  United States, in the late afternoon of Monday, May 29, 2017 at 6.18 pm local time (America/Anchorage GMT -8). The quake had a moderate depth of 78 km (49 mi) and was felt by many near the epicenter.

Mag. 5.3 earthquake - 21 mi northwest of Nikiski, Kenai Peninsula, Alaska, USA, on Monday, May 29, 2017, at 06:18 pm (Anchorage time) Mag. 5.3 earthquake - 21 mi northwest of Nikiski, Kenai Peninsula, Alaska, USA, on Monday, May 29, 2017, at 06:18 pm (Anchorage time)

Moderate magnitude 5.3 earthquake at 78 km depth

30 May 02:25 UTC: First to report: USGS after 6 minutes.
Hypocenter depth recalculated from 82.1 to 75.6 km.
May 30 02:34: Magnitude recalculated from 5.4 to 5.3.
Hypocenter depth recalculated from 75.6 to 78.4 km.

Earthquake details

Date & timeMay 30, 2017 02:18:45 UTC
Local time at epicenterMonday, May 29, 2017, at 06:18 pm (America/Anchorage GMT -8)
Depth78.4 km
Epicenter latitude / longitude60.8382°N / 151.8277°W Kenai Peninsula, Alaska, United States
Seismic antipode60.8382°S / 28.1723°E
Shaking intensityLight shaking near epicenter
Felt14 reports
Primary data sourceUSGS (United States Geological Survey)
Nearest volcanoSpurr (62 km / 39 mi)
Estimated seismic energy released5.6 x 1012 joules (1.56 gigawatt hours, equivalent to 1344 tons of TNT) | about seismic energy
Interactive map
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Ground shaking from this quake

shake map
Map of estimated ground shaking (source:USGS)

Nearby places

The closest larger town where the quake might have been felt is Kalifornsky, a town with 7,900 inhabitants in the United States, in 55 km (34 mi) distance southeast of the epicenter. People likely experienced light shaking there. Several smaller towns and villages are located closer to the epicenter and might have experienced stronger shaking.
The following table shows some of the places that might have been affected (or not) by the shaking.
Distance Place Max. shaking intensity(*) Region Country
34 km (21 mi)
SE of epicenter
(pop: 4,490)
IV: Light
Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
44 km (27 mi)
SE of epicenter
(pop: 7,660)
IV: Light
55 km (34 mi)
SE of epicenter
(pop: 7,850)
IV: Light
Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
57 km (36 mi)
SE of epicenter
(pop: 4,540)
IV: Light
Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
67 km (42 mi)
SE of epicenter
(pop: 5,620)
IV: Light
Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
112 km (70 mi)
NE of epicenter
(pop: 291,200)
III: Weak
133 km (83 mi)
NE of epicenter
Eagle River
(pop: 24,800)
III: Weak
Anchorage, Alaska
133 km (83 mi)
NE of epicenter
Eagle River
(pop: 24,800)
III: Weak
Anchorage Municipality, Alaska
141 km (88 mi)
NE of epicenter
(pop: 14,900)
III: Weak
Matanuska-Susitna, Alaska
152 km (95 mi)
NE of epicenter
(pop: 9,280)
III: Weak
Matanuska-Susitna, Alaska
(*) Shaking intensity according to the Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale (MMI) and estimated using seismic models.

User-reports for this quake (16)

We received 14 reports for this quake.
User reports estimate the perceived ground shaking intensity according to the MMI (Modified Mercalli Intensity) scale.
Leave a comment if you find a particular report interesting or want to add to it.
Flag as inappropriate.
Mark as helpful or interesting.
Send your own user report!
Sand lake / Moderate shaking (MMI V)
Sand lake / Moderate shaking (MMI V)
39200 Alma Ave, Soldotna, Ak / Moderate shaking (MMI V) : chair was shaking sideways  
Talkeetna / Light shaking (MMI IV)
Cooper Landing / Light shaking (MMI IV) : Shook pretty good but probably not noticed outdoors.  
Nikiski / Weak shaking (MMI III) : Light waves before some shaking only a couple seconds followed by rolling about 20 seconds.  
99516 / Weak shaking (MMI III)
Eagle River, Ak / Moderate shaking (MMI V) : Woke me up. Lights swaying  
Clam Gulch, AK / Moderate shaking (MMI V) : Pretty good little shaker.  
Anchorage, AK / Moderate shaking (MMI V)
Alyeska Resort / Light shaking (MMI IV)
99502 / Moderate shaking (MMI V)
K-beach / Light shaking (MMI IV)
99516 / Moderate shaking (MMI V) : Seemed to go on for a bit...  
Anchorage (United States, 112 km NE of epicenter) : cool!! (reported through EMSC)  
Wasilla (United States, 153 km NE of epicenter) : I was sitting in a computer chair and it started lightly swaying. It was very subtle but I have felt light earthquakes before while sitting in a computer chair. My husband did not initially believe me as he was standing up. (reported through EMSC)  

What is Intensity and the Mercalli Intensity Scale?

The amount of shaking that occurs on the surface due to an earthquake is called the intensity. It is commonly measured on the so-called Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale (MMI) ranging from 1 (not felt) to 10 (extreme shaking), and given in Roman numerals as I,II,...IX, X, and often displayed with color codes ranging from light blue to dark red.
Earthquake intensity depends mainly on the magnitude and depth of the quake as well as the distance from the epicenter: The further away, the less shaking intensity occurs.
Read more about the MMI scale!

Compare Quake Data

Data for the same earthquake as reported by different agencies

The more agencies report about the same quake and post similar data, the more confidence you can have in the data. It takes normally up to a few hours until earthquake parameters are calculated with near-optimum precision.
Mag Depth Time GMT
Epicenter Agency
5.3 78 km
49 mi
02:18:45 33km WNW of Nikiski, Alaska USGS (United States Geological Survey)
5.2 10 km
6.2 mi
02:18:37 Southern Alaska
16 km (10.2 mi) epicenter difference with USGS
GFZ (German Research Centre for Geosciences)
5.3 78 km
48 mi
0.2 km (0.1 mi) epicenter difference with USGS
EMSC (European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre)
(*) A depth given as 10 km often means that the the depth of the quake could not determined with sufficient accuracy.


Seismic station: College Outpost, Alaska, USA (COLA/IU network) | Distance from quake: 492 km / 305 mi | Show on map | Station Info
Seismic station College Outpost, Alaska, USA: vertical movement plot around time of quake (source: IRIS/BUD)
Seismogram (vertical component) around time of quake. Thin dotted red line indicates time of quake. Seismic waves arrive some time later, depending on distance. Bandpass filter applied: 0.1-10.0 Hz. Source: IRIS Buffer of Uniform Data (BUD) webtool
Show more

Aftershocks for this quake

So far, only one aftershock has been recorded. It hit 3 weeks after the mainshock in 1.7 km (1.1 mi) distance. When more aftershocks are detected, we will update this section.

What are aftershocks?

Larger earthquakes (above magnitude 5 or so) such as this one are usually followed by smaller ones known as aftershocks that occur in the same area during the days, weeks, months or even years after the main shock.
[More info]

What about this quake?

Based on its magnitude, the fault that was active during the quake likely ruptured beneath a surface of approx. 20 km2 (=8 sqare miles) as a first-order estimate. The length of the rupture zone thus was probably around 8 km (5 mi).
[More info]

Recorded aftershocks, latest first (1 quake)

Date and Time GMTMag
Jun 21, 2017 06:18 pm (Anchorage)
7 years ago
3 weeks after main shock

89 km
1.7 km (1.1 mi)
S of main shock
27 mi NW of Kenai, Kenai Peninsula, Alaska, USAMore
May 29, 2017 06:18 pm (Anchorage)
7 years ago - felt

78 km
0 km - This quake21 mi NW of Nikiski, Kenai Peninsula, Alaska, USA
Main Shock (this quake)

Map of aftershocks

Earthquake statistics

Average number of earthquakes

Based on data from the past 10 years and our earthquake archive back to 1900, there are about 22,000 quakes on average per year in the area near the epicenter of this quake (within 100 km/61 mi):
  • Mag. 6 or higher: 0.1 quakes per year (or 1 quake every 10 years)
  • Mag. 5 or higher: 0.67 quakes per year (or 1 quake every 1.5 years)
  • Mag. 4 or higher: 6.1 quakes per year
  • Mag. 3 or higher: 34.2 quakes per year
  • Mag. 2 or higher: 510 quakes per year (or 43 quakes per month)
  • Mag. 1 or higher: 1,900 quakes per year (or 5.3 quakes per day)
The area where this quake occurred has a very high level of seismic activity. It has had at least 13 quakes above magnitude 6 since 1900, which suggests that larger earthquakes of this size occur infrequently, probably on average approximately every 5 to 10 years.

Number of quakes per year

Previous quakes in the same area of this earthquake

Map of earlier quakes in the area of this quake

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Map to embed or share

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