Asia and Europe quakes and what is happening below fiji?

Geometry of a subduction zone - insets to show...

Image via Wikipedia

An interesting day for earthquake watchers with some quakes in some unlikely places.

In Asia there was a 6.1 quake in Kyrgyzstan which is close to the surface at 11 miles and very close to some large cities/towns. This combo means likely large amounts of damage and likelihood of more than a few deaths and lots of people injured and homeless. This could be a bigger incident then Christchurch but probably not as great as Haiti. I hope people are ready yet again to open their hearts for people on the other side of the world and help with the aftermath of another natural disaster.

Half a day earlier in the waters off of Greece there was a 5.1 quake in the Ionian sea. This fault is the Africa/Europe plate boundary where Africa is subducting under Europe. earthquakes along this fault are not rare but a 5 is. This quake and the quakes over the last few days in Italy are signs that this zone is under stress and that bigger things might happen. One of these days i will pull the data for this area down and run some analysis on it. Ping me if I don’t get to it fast enough.

The fun this week so far has been in an area that has a lot less densely packed population and so some fireworks will be better to watch. In the south pacific and Indo/Australia boundaries there have been some fun happening. With the newest volcanic activity in Indonesia and all of the quakes from Fiji to New Zealand the area is an attractive place to earthquake watch. Now the volcano in the middle of Indonesia is not good but the quakes today off of Fiji are. They are deep, 588 km deep which puts them way below the bottom of the earths lithosphere (up to 200km deep), but this part of the subduction zone dives really deep. It would real interesting to figure out what caused this quake, did a big chunk break off, or did something big run into it?

It’s at the end of this really deep section of quake activity and why this part of the fault goes so deep and why the parts further south doesn’t is also a question. But whatever it is this stress relief on the fault could just be more signals that something bigger is on the way south of this location.

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About echlinm

Computer Programmer/Systems Analyst/Hacker S31
This entry was posted in Earth Science, Earthquake and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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