Surface faulting associated with major earthquakes commonly kills, damages, or otherwise disturbs the growth of trees along the fault trace. Because severe disturbances are reflected in the annual growth, tree-ring sequences provide a basis for dating recent episodes of faulting. The validity of this method is confirmed by data collected from the Fairweather fault zone in southeastern Alaska. Marked changes in growth that correlate with large-scale faulting in 1958 resulted from tilting, felling, and topping of trees and changes in ground water level and exposure to sunlight.

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