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Mag. 5.1 earthquake - Alaska, USA, on Thursday, Jan 20, 2022, at 08:18 pm (Anchorage time)

A strong magnitude 5.1 earthquake hit 49 Km NW of Ninilchik, Alaska, in the evening of Thursday, Jan 20, 2022 at 8.18 pm local time (America/Anchorage GMT -9). The quake had a moderate depth of 117 km (73 mi) and was felt widely in the area.

Mag. 5.1 earthquake - Alaska, USA, on Thursday, Jan 20, 2022, at 08:18 pm (Anchorage time) Mag. 5.1 earthquake - Alaska, USA, on Thursday, Jan 20, 2022, at 08:18 pm (Anchorage time)

Moderate magnitude 5.1 earthquake at 117 km depth

21 Jan 05:20 UTC: First to report: VolcanoDiscovery after 2 minutes.
21 Jan 05:22: Now using data updates from USGS
... [show all] ...
21 Jan 05:34: Magnitude recalculated from 4.8 to 5.1. Hypocenter depth recalculated from 103.6 to 117.3 km (from 64 to 73 mi). Epicenter location corrected by 1.5 km (0.9 mi) towards SSW.

Earthquake details

Date & timeJan 21, 2022 05:18:26 UTC
Local time at epicenterThursday, Jan 20, 2022, at 08:18 pm (America/Anchorage GMT -9)
StatusConfirmed
Magnitude5.1
Depth117.3 km
Epicenter latitude / longitude60.3208°N / 152.372°W Gulf of Alaska, Alaska, United States
Seismic antipode60.3208°S / 27.628°E
Shaking intensityWeak shaking near epicenter
Felt38 reports
Primary data sourceUSGS (United States Geological Survey)
Nearest volcanoRedoubt (27 km / 17 mi)
Weather at epicenter at time of quakeSnow -3.8°C (25 F), humidity: 96%, wind: 5 m/s (10 kts) from NNE
Estimated seismic energy released2.8 x 1012 joules (783 megawatt hours, equivalent to 674 tons of TNT) | about seismic energy
Interactive map
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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 60 km (38 mi) distance east of the epicenter. People likely experienced weak 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
49 km (31 mi)
SE of epicenter
Ninilchik
(pop: 883)
III: Weak
Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
60 km (38 mi)
E of epicenter
Kalifornsky
(pop: 7,850)
III: Weak
Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
66 km (41 mi)
NE of epicenter
Kenai
(pop: 7,660)
III: Weak
Alaska
68 km (42 mi)
SE of epicenter
Anchor Point
(pop: 1,930)
III: Weak
Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
72 km (45 mi)
NE of epicenter
Nikiski
(pop: 4,490)
III: Weak
Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
75 km (46 mi)
E of epicenter
Soldotna
(pop: 4,540)
III: Weak
Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
88 km (55 mi)
SE of epicenter
Gomer
(pop: 5,520)
III: Weak
Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
91 km (57 mi)
E of epicenter
Sterling
(pop: 5,620)
III: Weak
Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
167 km (104 mi)
NE of epicenter
Anchorage
(pop: 291,200)
III: Weak
Alaska
188 km (117 mi)
NE of epicenter
Eagle River
(pop: 24,800)
III: Weak
Anchorage, Alaska
Notes:
(*) Shaking intensity according to the Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale (MMI) and estimated using seismic models.

User-reports for this quake (40)

The first report about ground shaking reached us after only 3 minutes, before other agencies reported it. We received 40 reports for this quake.
User reports estimate the perceived ground shaking intensity according to the MMI (Modified Mercalli Intensity) scale.
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Kenai / Moderate shaking (MMI V) / both vertical and horizontal swinging / 2-5 s : Entire house rocked back and forth for several moments. | 7 users found this interesting. (reported through our app)  
Nikiski, AK / Weak shaking (MMI III) / single vertical bump / 1-2 s : Just shook house a little | 6 users found this interesting. (reported through our app)  
Anchorage / Very weak shaking (MMI II) / horizontal (sideways) swinging / 2-5 s : Two very close lateral shaking events 2-5 seconds apart preceded by a wave of strong energy and very high frequencies. Also see flashes in sky. | 4 users found this interesting. (reported through our app)  
Home 49021 taurus crt Soldotna Ak / Weak shaking (MMI III) / single lateral shake / 2-5 s : My bed shook like it was haunted. My water was moving. It shook then it was over. No one in my house felt it. I am losing my mind? No hanging lights where moving. | 2 users found this interesting. (reported through our app)  
Nikiski Ak / Light shaking (MMI IV) / both vertical and horizontal swinging / 15-20 s : A light jolt then a couple seconds later light shaking & rolling, objects rattling | 3 users found this interesting. (reported through our app)  
Anchorage, Ak / Weak shaking (MMI III) / horizontal (sideways) swinging / 2-5 s : I shook and my plants shook, but my boys who were into their screens did not feel it. | 3 users found this interesting. (reported through our app)  
Anchorage AK, 99503 / Light shaking (MMI IV) / horizontal (sideways) swinging / 2-5 s : I heard it before I felt my queen bed, shaking as I was currently laying in bed, and had at first thought somehow my neighbors upstairs where just moving things around, until I realized my bed made a swaying feeling and my lights began to slowly sway. | One user found this interesting.  
Anchor point ,ak / Weak shaking (MMI III) / 20-30 s : Desk shaking, chandelier slight swinging, Christmas tree shaking. Not too hard of a shake just constant for about 20 to 30 seconds. | One user found this interesting. (reported through our app)  
Homer rancho ct / Moderate shaking (MMI V) / rattling, vibrating / 5-10 s : Rattling shaking pots pans swinging continuous | 2 users found this interesting. (reported through our app)  
Anchorage / Light shaking (MMI IV) / rattling, vibrating / 2-5 s : Big jolt followed by light shaking. Didn't last very long. | 2 users found this interesting. (reported through our app)  
In m house in a chair / Very weak shaking (MMI II) / single lateral shake / 1-2 s : A strong jolt | 2 users found this interesting.  
Anchorage / Moderate shaking (MMI V) / horizontal (sideways) swinging / 2-5 s : Light shaking | 2 users found this interesting. (reported through our app)  
Kenai / Light shaking (MMI IV) / single lateral shake / 2-5 s : Single lateral shake, not too intense. | 2 users found this interesting. (reported through our app)  
Girdwood / Moderate shaking (MMI V) / horizontal (sideways) swinging / 5-10 s : It was long and creepy quiet. | 2 users found this interesting. (reported through our app)  
Anchorage / Weak shaking (MMI III) / vertical swinging (up and down) / 2-5 s : I was laying in bed and felt slight lifting sensation that went on for 2 to 3 seconds and was surprisingly quiet. (reported through our app)  
Anchorage / Moderate shaking (MMI V) / horizontal (sideways) swinging / 1-2 s : Weak shaking | One user found this interesting.  
Homer / Light shaking (MMI IV) / single vertical bump / 5-10 s : Bump and light shaking. Made snow fall of our roof. | One user found this interesting.  
Ninilchik ak / Moderate shaking (MMI V) : My whole house shook pretty good | One user found this interesting. (reported through our app)  
Sitka / not felt
Anchorage / not felt : I was walking around, making dinner. My husband felt it, though.  
Anchorage / Light shaking (MMI IV) / horizontal (sideways) swinging / 5-10 s
Seldovia, Alaska / Light shaking (MMI IV) / 1-2 s
WASILLA, Ak / Very weak shaking (MMI II) / rattling, vibrating / 10-15 s (reported through our app)
Homer / Weak shaking (MMI III) / rattling, vibrating / 5-10 s (reported through our app)
Anchorage,Am / Weak shaking (MMI III) / horizontal (sideways) swinging / 2-5 s
Anchorage, AK / Weak shaking (MMI III)
Anchorage / Light shaking (MMI IV) / single lateral shake / very short
Soldotna / Very weak shaking (MMI II) / single lateral shake / 1-2 s
anc 4780 cambridge way / Very weak shaking (MMI II) / rattling, vibrating / very short (reported through our app)
Willow ak / Light shaking (MMI IV) / vibration and rolling / 5-10 s
Eagle River / Light shaking (MMI IV) / 20-30 s
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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
2022-01-21
Epicenter Agency
5.1 117 km
73 mi
05:18:26 49 Km NW of Ninilchik, Alaska USGS (United States Geological Survey)
5.1 111 km
69 mi
05:18:25 SOUTHERN ALASKA
2.6 km (1.6 mi) epicenter difference with USGS
EMSC (European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre)
4.8 107 km
67 mi
05:18:26 Southern Alaska
0.8 km (0.5 mi) epicenter difference with USGS
RaspberryShake (RaspberryShake)
5.0 96 km
60 mi
05:18:24 Southern Alaska
19 km (12 mi) epicenter difference with USGS
GFZ (German Research Centre for Geosciences)
5.1 102 km
64 mi
05:18:25 Southern Alaska
8.1 km (5 mi) epicenter difference with USGS
GeoAu (Geoscience Australia )

Seismograms

Seismic station: College Outpost, Alaska, USA (COLA/IU network) | Distance from quake: 556 km / 346 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: 0.02-5.0 Hz. Source: IRIS Buffer of Uniform Data (BUD) webtool
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2 aftershocks for this quake

For this earthquake, 2 aftershocks have been detected so far. The strongest was a magnitude 2.5 quake that hit 8 days after the mainshock in 5.7 km (3.5 mi) distance, in 38 mi west of Kalifornsky, Kenai Peninsula, Alaska, USA, on Saturday, Jan 29, 2022 on 04:40 am (Anchorage local time GMT -8).
The most recent aftershock occurred 2 years ago 39 mi west of Kalifornsky, Kenai Peninsula, Alaska, USA, and had a magnitude of 2.3.

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. 13 km2 (=5 sqare miles) as a first-order estimate. The length of the rupture zone thus was probably around 6 km (4 mi).
[More info]


Recorded aftershocks, latest first (2 quakes)

Date and Time GMTMag
Depth
DistanceRegionDetails
Feb 8, 2022 01:47 pm (Anchorage)
2 years ago
3 weeks after main shock
2.3

97 km
2.6 km (1.6 mi)
W of main shock
39 mi W of Kalifornsky, Kenai Peninsula, Alaska, USAMore
Jan 29, 2022 04:40 am (Anchorage)
2 years ago
8 days after main shock
2.5

96 km
5.7 km (3.5 mi)
N of main shock
38 mi W of Kalifornsky, Kenai Peninsula, Alaska, USAMore
Jan 20, 2022 08:18 pm (Anchorage)
2 years ago - felt
5.1

117 km
0 km - This quakeAlaska, USA
Main Shock (this quake)
More

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 23,000 quakes on average per year in the area near the epicenter of this quake (within 100 km/61 mi):
  • Mag. 6 or higher: 0.12 quakes per year (or 1 quake every 8.5 years)
  • Mag. 5 or higher: 1.01 quakes per year
  • Mag. 4 or higher: 10.6 quakes per year
  • Mag. 3 or higher: 55 quakes per year
  • Mag. 2 or higher: 728 quakes per year (or 61 quakes per month)
  • Mag. 1 or higher: 2,100 quakes per year (or 5.6 quakes per day)
The area where this quake occurred has a very high level of seismic activity. It has had at least 15 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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