News

Strong earthquake at exceptional depth

Darstellung des Okhotsk-Bebens vom GEOFON.

24.05.2013 | Potsdam: This morning at 05:45 CEST, the earth trembled beneath the Okhotsk Sea in the Pacific Northwest. The quake, with a magnitude of 8.2, took place at an exceptional depth of 605 kilometers. Because of the great depth of the earthquake a tsunami is not expected and there should also be no major damage due to shaking.

 

Professor Frederik Tilmann of the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences: "The epicenter is exceptionally deep, far below the earth's crust in the mantle." Such strong earthquakes at this depth generally occur only in a few places in the world: namely where geologically old oceanic plates with more than 80 million years of age push quickly under another plate. Because of their age, these plates are comparatively cold and remain cool even at great depths if they also descend quickly. The temperature of the plates stays below 650 to 700 °C, the highest temperature at which rocks can break rapidly in an earthquake rather than deforming. In the case of the Okhotsk-earthquake, the Pacific plate moves at a speed of about eight centimeters per year underneath the Okhotsk microplate.

 

The quake also follows a highly unusual accumulation of eleven shallow earthquakes with magnitudes from 5.5 to 6.1 within two days. This swarm is, however, located over 650 kilometers in a direct line away from today’s earthquake, so a direct relationship cannot be confirmed.

 

Images in printable resolution

Additional News

María Chapela Lara

Humboldt Fellow María Chapela Lara in Section 3.3 Earth Surface Geochemistry

Oliver Bens

Oliver Bens new Co-Director of the Central - Asian Institute for Applied Geosciences...

Christoph Sens-Schönfelder joined the Editorial Board of the Geophysical Journal...

News | The DFG Priority Program DOME boosts ore deposit research at GFZ

Digital Earth received the special "Digital Science Award" at the Digital Leader Award...

Rebirth of a volcano

Giant particle accelerator in the sky

Drought in Europe decreases carbon uptake and crop yields

Failures of Germany‘s largest cliff coast sensed by seismometers

Artificial Intelligence Learns Continental Hydrology