The high likelihood of a gap-filling thrust earthquake in the Alaska subduction zone within this decade is indicated by two independent methods: analysis of historic earthquake recurrence data and time-to-failure analysis applied to recent decades of instrumental data. Recent (May 1993) earthquake activity in the Shumagin Islands gap is consistent with previous projections of increases in seismic release, indicating that this segment, along with the Alaska Peninsula segment, is approaching failure. Based on this pattern of accelerating seismic release, we project the occurrence of one or more M???7.3 earthquakes in the Shumagin-Alaska Peninsula region during 1994-1996. Different segments of the Alaska-Aleutian seismic zone behave differently in the decade or two preceding great earthquakes, some showing acceleration of seismic release (type "A" zones), while others show deceleration (type "D" zones). The largest Alaska-Aleutian earthquakes-in 1957, 1964, and 1965-originated in zones that exhibit type D behavior. Type A zones currently showing accelerating release are the Shumagin, Alaska Peninsula, Delarof, and Kommandorski segments. Time-to-failure analysis suggests that the large earthquakes could occur in these latter zones within the next few years. ?? 1994 Birkha??user Verlag.
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Seismicity trends and potential for large earthquakes in the Alaska-Aleutian region