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2020-12-11, M0.6, Irish Sea

On the 11th of December 2020 at 04:13:26 GMT, a magnitude M0.6 earthquake occurred in the Irish Sea approximately 40 km from the Wicklow coast. The earthquake occurred at a depth of 1 km. The epicentre location is indicated with a red circle in the map below, black lines denote major fault zones in and around Ireland. Earthquakes regularly occur in the Irish Sea, the most recent of which was M1.3, occurring on the 17th of September 2020. The largest magnitude event recorded in the Irish Sea in recent times was the M2.5 earthquake, occurring on the 15th of December 2019.

The event was recorded by the stations of the Irish National Seismic Network (INSN) and the British Geological Survey, and can be seen in the waveforms plotted below:

2020-12-07, M0.6, Offshore Donegal

On the 7th December 2020 at 08:29:17 UTC a magnitude M0.6 earthquake occurred offshore Co. Donegal. The earthquake epicentre located approximately 12 km east of the island of Inistrahull, and 15 km northeast of the Inishowen peninsula. The earthquake occurred at a depth of 3 km. This is first time in which an event has been detected offshore northern Donegal, although several events have previously been detected offshore Antrim near Rathlin Island, and around the Scottish island of Islay. In the map below the epicentre of the earthquake is indicated with a red marker. Major fault zones in and around Ireland are shown with black lines.

The event was recorded by the Irish National Seismic Network (INSN) and can be seen in the waveforms plotted below:

2020-11-26, M2.5, Porcupine Abyssal Plain, North Atlantic

On the 26th of November 2020 at 04:29:59 UTC, a magnitude M2.5 earthquake occurred in the Porcupine Abyssal Plain, locating approximately 460km west-south-west off the coast of Kerry. The earthquake occurred at a depth of 10 km. The location of the epicentre is indicated with a red circle in the map below. While earthquakes are known to occur in this region, it is not often that they are detected. As almost all seismometers are land-based, only larger magnitude events (M > 2) are seen from this region. The previous two earthquakes from this area were detected in 2015 (M2.4 and M2.3), and the largest earthquake detected (since 1980) in the Porcupine region was M4.4, occurring on the 17th of February 1980.

The event was recorded by the Irish National Seismic Network (INSN) and can be seen in the waveforms plotted below:

2020-09-17, M1.3, Offshore Skerries, North Dublin

On the 17th of September 2020 at 17:31:40 GMT, a magnitude M1.3 earthquake occurred in the Irish Sea approximately 2 km offshore Skerries, North Dublin. The earthquake occurred at a depth of 14 km. The epicentre location is indicated with a red circle in the map below, black lines denote major fault zones in and around Ireland. Earthquakes do occur regularly in the Irish Sea, however, it is not often that earthquakes are detected so close to Ireland’s east coast. The last detected earthquake to occur within 10 km of the east coast was the M2.4 event from the 18th of March 2013, occurring 6 km offshore Wexford.

The event was recorded by the Irish National Seismic Network (INSN) and can be seen in the waveforms plotted below:

2020-07-22, M7.8, Alaska Peninsula

At 06:12:44 (UTC) on the 22nd of July 2020, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake occurred  near the Alaska Peninsula (see map below). The earthquake struck approximately 100 km south of the peninsula at a depth of 30 km. Shortly after, a tsunami warning was issued by the U.S. Tsunami Warning System. Several aftershocks of magnitude 5 and greater occurred within the hours following the main shock. Large earthquakes are common in this region due to the subduction of the Pacific plate beneath the North American plate. Since 1900, twelve earthquakes with magnitudes greater than 7.5 have occurred in this region, including the 1964 M9.2 Prince William Sound earthquake, the second largest recorded earthquake in the era of modern instrumental seismology.

The earthquake was recorded at seismic stations worldwide, including stations of the Irish Nation Seismic Network (INSN), see seismic waveforms below (select figure to enlarge).

Further information is available from the following sources:

https://www.emsc-csem.org/Earthquake/earthquake.php?id=878808

https://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/us7000asvb/executive

2020-06-23, M7.4, Oaxaca, Mexico

At 15:29:05 (Universal Time) on the 23rd of June 2020, an earthquake of magnitude 7.4 struck in the Oaxaca region of Mexico (see map below). The earthquake occurred at a depth of 10 km, locating approximately 12 km SSW of Santa Maria Zapotitlan, Mexico. Shortly after, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Canter (PTWC) issued a warning that hazardous tsunami waves  reaching 1 to 3 m above the tide level along the coast of Mexico are possible.

Mexico is one the earths most seismically active regions due to the relative motions of three large tectonic plates (the Pacific Plate, the Cocos Plate and the North American Plate) in the region. The relatively dense oceanic crust of the pacific plate is subducting beneath the Mexican landmass. This motion can result in large earthquakes such as today’s event. The interaction of the subducting plate and the mantel rock beneath the Mexican landmass also results in volcanism in the area.

The earthquake was recorded at seismic stations worldwide, including stations of the Irish Nation Seismic Network (INSN), see seismic waveforms below (select figure to enlarge).

Further information is available from the following sources:

https://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/us6000ah9t/executive?utm_medium=email&utm_source=ENS&utm_campaign=realtime

https://www.emsc-csem.org/Earthquake/earthquake.php?id=870434

 

2020-04-25, M0.9, Irish Sea

On the 25th of April 2020 at 04:11:52 GMT, a magnitude M0.9 earthquake occurred in the Irish Sea approximately 15km off the English coast north of Blackpool. The epicentre location is indicated with a red circle in the map below, black lines denote major fault zones in and around Ireland. Events of this nature are not uncommon in the Irish Sea, a similar event with magnitude M1.7 occurred nearby on the 16th December 2019.

2020-02-23, M5.7, Turkey-Iran Border Region

At 05:53:01 (UTC) a M5.7 earthquake struck 25km south-east of Sarey, Turkey close to the Iranian border. The earthquake had a depth of ~6.4km and initial reports are of several deaths and numerous injuries due to building collapse. A second M6 event occurred at 16:00:31 (20-02-23) in the same area.

 

The middle east and surrounding areas are prone to seismic activity due to the movement of four major tectonic plates (Arabian, Eurasian, Indian and African). This plate interaction produces large-scale tectonic processes such as subduction, transform faulting, compressional mountain building, and crustal extension.

Further information is available at the following sources:

M5.7 event,

https://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/us70007v29/executive

https://www.emsc-csem.org/Earthquake/earthquake.php?id=832418

http://irsc.ut.ac.ir/newsview.php?&eventid=162408&network=earth_ismc__

 

M6 event,

https://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/us70007v9g/executive

https://www.emsc-csem.org/Earthquake/earthquake.php?id=832582

 

 

 

 

2019-12-15, M2.5, Irish Sea

On the 15th of December 2019 at 21:19:52 local time, a M2.5 earthquake occurred in the Irish Sea approximately 90km north-east of Dublin and 40km south of the Isle of Man. The epicentre location is shown in the map below. Events of this nature are not uncommon in the Irish Sea, a similar smaller event occurred on the 17th of November 2019. There has also been a subsequent M1.7 event at 06:23:55 on the 16th December off the English coast North of Blackpool (see map at bottom of page).

Location of M2.5 event on the 15th December 2019.

There have been no reports that the earthquake was felt onshore but the event was recorded by the Irish National Seismic Network (INSN) seismometers, and can be seen in the waveforms plotted below.

The INSN is operated by the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS) in co-operation with the Geological Survey Ireland (GSI).

 

Location of M1.7 Irish Sea event on the 16th December 2019.

2019-11-26, M6.4, Albania

At 02:54:11.3 UTC on November 26th, 2019 a magnitude M6.4 earthquake struck a region to the North-West of Tirana in Albania. The earthquake had a depth of 10km which resulted in very strong to severe ground shaking. Several fatalities and hundreds of injuries have been reported with the collapse of several buildings. The map below shows the approximate location of the event.

Large earthquakes are common in this region due to the convergence of the African and Eurasian plates. The region has suffered seven >M6 events within 150km of the recent event in the past 100 years. The earthquake was recorded at seismic stations worldwide, including stations of the Irish National Seismic Network (INSN), see seismic waveforms below (select figure to enlarge).

Further information is available at the following sources:

https://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/us70006d0m/executive

https://www.emsc-csem.org/Earthquake/earthquake.php?id=807751

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