The 3 November 2002 Denali fault, Alaska, earthquake resulted in 341 km of surface rupture on the Susitna Glacier, Denali, and Totschunda faults. The rupture proceeded from west to east and began with a 48-km-long break on the previously unknown Susitna Glacier thrust fault. Slip on this thrust averaged about 4 m (Crone et al., 2004). Next came the principal surface break, along 226 km of the Denali fault, with average right-lateral offsets of 4.5-5.1 m and a maximum offset of 8.8 m near its eastern end. The Denali fault trace is commonly left stepping and north side up. About 99 km of the fault ruptured through glacier ice, where the trace orientation was commonly influenced by local ice fabric. Finally, slip transferred southeastward onto the Totschunda fault and continued for another 66 km where dextral offsets average 1.6-1.8 m. The transition from the Denali fault to the Totschunda fault occurs over a complex 25-km-long transfer zone of right-slip and normal fault traces. Three methods of calculating average surface slip all yield a moment magnitude of Mw 7.8, in very good agreement with the seismologically determined magnitude of M 7.9. A comparison of strong-motion inversions for moment release with our slip distribution shows they have a similar pattern. The locations of the two largest pulses of moment release correlate with the locations of increasing steps in the average values of observed slip. This suggests that slip-distribution data can be used to infer moment release along other active fault traces.
Additional publication details
Surface rupture and slip distribution of the Denali and totschunda faults in the 3 November 2002 M 7.9 earthquake, Alaska