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Archive for the ‘Concepción’ Category

Chile: astronaut photo of Concepción and Hualpén

Posted by feww on March 4, 2010

Smoke Plumes over Concepcion, Chile, 7 Hrs After the megaquake


download large image
(662 KB, JPEG)                                                            acquired Feb 27

This detailed astronaut photograph of the Chilean cities of Concepción and Hualpén was acquired from the International Space Station approximately seven hours after a magnitude 8.8 earthquake occurred offshore 115 kilometers (71 miles) to the north-northeast. Much of the Chilean coastline is located above the boundary between the converging Nazca and South American tectonic plates. This type of plate boundary is known as a subduction zone. Such zones frequently experience moderate to strong earthquakes as one tectonic plate overrides the other. The largest earthquake worldwide during the past 200 years (magnitude 9.5 in May 1960) had a source region approximately 230 kilometers (140 miles) north of the February 27 quake.

While the image is not detailed enough to see damage to individual buildings or roadways, some indicators of earthquake damage are visible, especially in the large version of the image. A dark smoke plume is visible at image lower left near an oil refinery in Hualpén. At image lower right, parts of the road bed of a single-lane bridge over the Río Biobío appear to have collapsed. A smaller, white smoke plume is visible at image right near the Universidad de Concepción. Smoke, probably related to the earthquake, was observed over Santiago in images acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer on NASA’s Terra satellite less than one hour after this astronaut photograph was taken.

Astronaut photograph ISS022-E-74881 was acquired on February 27, 2010, with a Nikon D2Xs digital camera fitted with an 800mm lens, and is provided by the ISS Crew Earth Observations experiment and Image Science & Analysis Laboratory, Johnson Space Center. The image was taken by the Expedition 22 crew. The image in this article has been cropped and enhanced to improve contrast. Lens artifacts have been removed. The International Space Station Program supports the laboratory as part of the ISS National Lab to help astronauts take pictures of Earth that will be of the greatest value to scientists and the public, and to make those images freely available on the Internet. Additional images taken by astronauts and cosmonauts can be viewed at the NASA/JSC Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth. Caption by William L. Stefanov, NASA-JSC.

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Santiago, Chile: Satellite Images

Posted by feww on March 1, 2010

Santiago From Space

Satellite Images of Santiago Before and After the M8.8 Megaquake Struck

After: Image acquired by NASA MODIS on February 27, 2010

Large image (27 Feb) available here.   

Before: Image acquired on February 23

Large image (23 Feb) available here

AFTER: Collapsing buildings and fires caused by the megaquake may have been responsible for the black smoke and dust that hung over Santiago, Chile after the 8.8-magnitude event occurred at Dichato, Chile on February 27, 2010.

BEFORE: The lower image was taken 4 days earlier under clear-sky conditions. 
Image Credit: NASA

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Posted in Chile Quake, chile quake images, Concepción, earthquake, Earthquake aftermath, santiago | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Chile 8.8 Megaquake Strikes Offshore Maule

Posted by feww on February 27, 2010

Large Earthquake Measuring 8.8Mw Strike Off the Coast of Central Chile

The Chilean Megaquake with nearly 1 exajoule of energy (about 240 megaton, or 16,000 times the size of Hiroshima A-bomb) has caused much destruction

The massive quake struck about 100 km (60 miles) NNW of Chillan, Chile, at a depth of about 35km on February 27, 2010 at 06:34:14 UTC, USGS/EHP reported.

The mainshock was followed by at least 11 medium to powerful aftershocks, as of posting, the largest of which was a magnitude 7.0 shock.

Fatalities/Damage:

According to a local report at least 50 people have been killed, but more deaths are highly probable as the mega earthquake unleashed massive energy. Many buildings have been destroyed. The power lines are  down and communication links between the epicenter and Chilean capital Santiago are affected.

Tsunami Warning:

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center has issued a tsunami warning for Chile and Peru, and a tsunami watch for Ecuador, Colombia, Panama and Costa Rica.

10-degree Map Centered at 35°S,75°W


Earthquake location Map. Source: USGS/EHP. Enhanced by FEWW

Earthquake Details

  • Magnitude: 8.8
  • Date-Time:
    • Saturday, February 27, 2010 at 06:34:14 UTC
    • Saturday, February 27, 2010 at 03:34:14 AM at epicenter
  • Location: 35.846°S, 72.719°W
  • Depth: 35 km (21.7 miles)
  • Region: OFFSHORE MAULE, CHILE
  • Distances:
    • 100 km (60 miles) NNW of Chillan, Chile
    • 105 km (65 miles) WSW of Talca, Chile
    • 115 km (70 miles) NNE of Concepcion, Chile
    • 325 km (200 miles) SW of SANTIAGO, Chile
  • Location Uncertainty: horizontal +/- 7.2 km (4.5 miles)
  • Source: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
  • Event ID:  us2010tfan

Political Map of Chile. Click to enlarge.

Tectonic Summary

This earthquake occurred at the boundary between the Nazca and South American tectonic plates. The two plates are converging at a rate of 80 mm per year. The earthquake occurred as thrust-faulting on the interface between the two plates, with the Nazca plate moving down and landward below the South American plate. Coastal Chile has a history of very large earthquakes. Since 1973, there have been 13 events of magnitude 7.0 or greater. The February 27 shock originated about 230 km north of the source region of the magnitude 9.5 earthquake of May, 1960 – the largest instrumentally recorded earthquake in the world. This great earthquake killed 1,655 people in southern Chile and unleashed a tsunami that crossed the Pacific, killing 61 people in Hawaii, Japan, and the Philippines. Approximately 870 km to the north of the February 27 earthquake is the source region of the magnitude 8.5 earthquake of November, 1922. This great quake significantly impacted central Chile, killing several hundred people and causing severe property damage. The 1922 quake generated a 9-meter local tsunami that inundated the Chile coast near the town of Coquimbo; the tsunami also crossed the Pacific, washing away boats in Hilo harbor, Hawaii. The magnitude 8.8 earthquake of February 27, 2010 ruptured the portion of the South American subduction zone separating these two massive historical earthquakes. A large vigorous aftershock sequence can be expected from this earthquake. (Source: USGS)

10-degree Map Centered at 35°S,75°W – UPDATE

Earthquake location Map. Source: USGS/EHP. Enhanced by FEWW

Historic Seismicity (USGS/EHP)

Major Tectonic Boundaries: Subduction Zones -purple, Ridges -red and Transform Faults -green

Seismic Hazard Map

Major Tectonic Boundaries: Subduction Zones -purple, Ridges -red and Transform Faults -green

Population Exposure Maps (USGS)


USGS Population Exposure MAP. Click image to enlarge. Click here for PDF version.


USGS Population ShakeMAP. Click image to enlarge.

Other Events:

Meanwhile, GFZ Potsdam – Earthquake Bulletin reported a magnitude 5.8 earthquake in San Juan Province, Argentina, about 600 km NNE of the Chile quake:

Region: San Juan Province, Argentina
Time: 2010-02-27 06:51:19.4 UTC
Magnitude: 5.8
Epicenter: 68.82°W 31.46°S
Depth: 64 km
Status: manually revised

Fire-Earth Earthquake Forecast:  Up to 4 more megaquakes could occur globally in 2010 with probabilities of 0.8 (78%) descending to 0.5 (48%).

[Note: The frequency of occurrence of earthquakes measuring 8.0 Mw or greater is about 1 event per year.]

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Posted in chile earthquake, Concepción, earthquake, earthquake forecast, SANTIAGO quake, Talca quake | Tagged: , , , , , , | 9 Comments »