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‘Strong’ Quake a Prelude to Major Seismotectonic Activity?

Posted by feww on November 1, 2015

M5.4 quake strikes near Waiouru, New Zealand

Centered at 39.40S, 175.95E (about 60km S. of Lake Taupo), the quake occurred at a depth of 38km, said NZ’s geonet.

The event occurred about 60km S. of Lake Taupo, and 30km SW of Ruapehu at 05:42:11UTC on November 1 2015.

Lake Taupo lies in the caldera of the Taupo Super Volcano. With a surface area of 620 km, it is the largest lake by surface area in New Zealand.

Taupo has produced two of the world’s most violent eruptions in recent geological times including the most recent major explosion, the Hatepe eruption, which occurred about 1,800 years ago. It was the most violent eruption in the world over the last 5 millennia, and NZ’s worst in 27 millennia.

The explosion, a VEI-7 eruption, ejected more than 120 km³ of tephra, a quarter of which was ejected almost instantaneously. The ash from the eruption is said to have turned the sky red over China and Rome.

Hikurangi Trench, located east of the region where the quake occurred, is subject to high rates of convergence between the Australia and Pacific plates, making it as one of the most seismically active areas in the world.

Nearby Cities [USGS/EHP]

  • 25km (16mi) ENE of Waiouru, New Zealand
  • 79km (49mi) W of Napier [population: 65,000]
  • 81km (50mi) WNW of Hastings [population: 92,000]
  • 82km (51mi) S of Taupo [population: 24,000]
  • 230km (143mi) NNE of Wellington [population: 400,000]

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