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Archive for the ‘Nazca Plate’ Category

Nazca Plate Subduction Probably Accelerating

Posted by feww on September 28, 2010

More Megaquakes, More Volcanic Activity Along Atacama Trench, Chile Ridge

NAZCA Plate. Source: NOAA

The Nazca Plate, an oceanic tectonic plate, located in the eastern Pacific Ocean basin off the coast of South America (Peru and Chile), subducts the South American Plate along the Peru-Chile Trench.  Existing as an independent plate, the Nazca Plate interacts with the Pacific Plate to the west and the Antarctic Plate to the south via the East Pacific Ridge and the Chile Ridge.

Peru-Chile Trench.
Source: NOAA

Chile Ridge. Source: NOAA

Peteroa Volcano,  part of the Andean Planchón-Peteroa Volcanic complex on the border between Chile and Argentina, spewed  ash on September 26, 2010, following an eruption on September 6. The natural-color satellite image above was captured by ALI aboard EO-1. Source: NASA E/O. Click image to enlarge. Download large image (4 MB, JPEG)

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    Posted in Andean orogeny, earthquake, Nazca Plate, Peteroa Volcano, Planchón-Peteroa Volcanic complex, volcano | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

    Chile Earthquake Broke Earth’s Crust

    Posted by feww on March 10, 2010

    Chile Earthquake: ‘A Complicated Fracture’

    ‘A jumping rupture process’

    The Chilean M8.8 megaquake that struck offshore Maule region on 27 February,  was a “complicated rupture process” scientists at the GFZ German Research Center for Geosciences say.

    Quakes of this  magnitude break the entire Earth’s crust, they said. “After closer analysis of the seismic waves radiated by this earthquake during the first 134 seconds after start of the rupture, the researchers came to the conclusion that only the region around the actual epicenter was active during the first minutes. In the second minute the active zone moved north towards Santiago. After that the region south of Concepción became active for a short time. This rupturing trend agrees well with the distribution of the aftershocks during the following three days, as observed by the GEOFON-measuring network of the GFZ up to 03.03.2010.”

    Rupture Propagation After Southern Chile’s Maule Earthquake. © GFZ. Click Image to Enlarge.

    In 1960, the largest ever instrumentally-recorded earthquake, which  measured magnitude 9.5, originated at Valdivia, south of the Maule region. “The quake of 27 February connects directly to the rupture process of Valdivia,” said Professor Jochen Zschau, Director of Earthquake Risk and Early Warning Section at the GFZ. “With this, one of the last two seismic gaps along the west coast of South America might now be closed. With the exception of one last section, found in North Chile, the entire earth crust before the west coast of South America has been ruptured within the last 150 years.”

    The Nazca plate which forms a part of the Pacific Ocean Floor moves eastwards at about 70mm per year, subducting the South American plate.  Thus producing very powerful earthquakes in the region. “In the course of about one century, the Earth’s ruptures completely in a number of strong quakes from Patagonia in the South to Panama in the North. Even Darwin reported, in his diary, of the strong earthquake in Concepción on 20 February 1835 and the resulting Tsunami.”

    Chile Earthquake History. © GFZ. Click Image to Enlarge.

    GFZ researchers have reportedly studied the collision of the Nazca plate and the South American Plate since 1994. “As a result of numerous expeditions and measuring campaigns in this area this Potsdam Helmholtz Centre avails of the probably the most dense data record on such a subduction zone. “Within the framework of the DFG Priority Programme “Deformation processes in the Andes”, and with the Geotechnology Project TIPTEQ we have just been able to collect a unique data record for the southern part of the Andes” says Professor Onno Oncken, Director of the Department Geodynamics and Geomaterials at the GFZ, and leader of these studies. The current quake puts us in the position to precisely compare the tectonics before and afterwards, a unique situation both internationally and in Earth science.”

    GFZ is operating the Plate Boundary Observatory (PBO) in northern Chile, which they’ll hand over to Chilean researchers on 15 March 15, 2010.

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    Posted in chile tsunami, Nazca Plate, Pacific Ring of Fire, South American plate, tsunami | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

    Magnitude 6.1 quake strikes southern Peru

    Posted by feww on July 12, 2009

    A strong magnitude 6.1 earthquake struck southern Peru Sunday

    U.S. Geological Survey reported a  magnitude 6.1 earthquake in southern Peru early Sunday. The quake epicenter was located about 60 km NNW of Juliaca, Peru, some 785 km  ESE of the capital city of  Lima.

    There were no immediate reports of structural damage or injuries caused by the quake, which struck at a depth of about 200km.

    10-degree Map Centered at 15°S,70°W

    peru - us2009izaj
    Earthquake Location. Source: USGS

    Earthquake Details:

    • Magnitude: 6.1
    • Date-Time:
      • Sunday, July 12, 2009 at 06:12:47 UTC
      • Sunday, July 12, 2009 at 01:12:47 AM at epicenter
    • Location: 14.990°S, 70.421°W
    • Depth:  201.6 km (125.3 miles) set by location program
    • Region:  SOUTHERN PERU
    • Distances:
      • 60 km (40 miles) NNW of Juliaca, Peru
      • 200 km (125 miles) NE of Arequipa, Peru
      • 230 km (145 miles) SE of Cuzco, Peru
      • 785 km (485 miles) ESE of LIMA, Peru
    • Location Uncertainty:  horizontal +/- 7.4 km (4.6 miles); depth fixed by location program
    • Parameters NST=263, Nph=263, Dmin=284.6 km, Rmss=1.19 sec, Gp= 29°, M-type=teleseismic moment magnitude (Mw), Version=8
    • Source: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
    • Event ID:  us2009izaj

    Other Maps:

    Historic Seismicity  (mag 7 and 8+ since 1900)


    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

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      Posted in Chile Ridge, Nazca Plate, Pacific Ring of Fire, peru-chile trench, Subduction Zones | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

      Chaitén: A New Phase of Activity?

      Posted by feww on June 29, 2009

      Magnitude 5.3 quake strikes off the coast of Isen, Chile

      A magnitude 5.3 quake struck off coast of Isen, Chile, at a depth of 10km on Monday. FEWW believes that the quake could be followed by more shocks, a number of which could be larger in magnitude, along the Chile Ridge, near the coast of Chile and about the subducting Nazca Plate. Additional seismic activity in the region could result in a new, more intense phase of activity in Chaitén, or prime other regional volcanoes for eruption.

      Chaitén volcano as seen from the city of Chaitén (May 5, 2008)

      Chaitén volcano ejects a plume of ash as seen from the city of Chaitén, 1,200km south from Santiago, Chile, on May 5, 2008. (ALVARO VIDAL/AFP/Getty Images). Image may be subject to copyright.

      Earth’s Tectonic Plates with their movement vectors.

      Detailed world map in English showing the tectonic plates with their movement vectors. For licensing details see: Attribution and Share-Alike

      World geologic provinces

      Source: USGS

      Magnitude 5.3 OFF COAST OF AISEN, CHILE

      Magnitude: 5.3
      Date-Time: Monday, June 29, 2009 at 03:07:32 UTC
      Location:  45.619°S, 76.605°W
      Depth: 10 km (6.2 miles) set by location program

      • 355 km (220 miles) W of Coihaique, Chile
      • 385 km (240 miles) SW of Castro, Chile
      • 1440 km (900 miles) SSW of SANTIAGO, Chile

      Location Uncertainty: horizontal +/- 13.5 km (8.4 miles); depth fixed by location program
      Parameters: NST= 40, Nph= 40, Dmin=733.6 km, Rmss=1.54 sec, Gp=133°, M-type=body wave magnitude (Mb), Version=6
      Source: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
      Event ID: us2009ilah

      Earthquake Location


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

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      Posted in COAST OF ISEN, Nazca Plate, oceanic tectonic plate, orogeny, Plate Tectonics | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »