Earthquake Swarm in Northland

A swarm of light, shallow earthquakes has been occurring near Kerikeri in Northland since September 17th.

Six earthquakes with magnitudes between 2.4 and 3.5 have struck at depths between 5 km and 20 km since Sunday morning. Three of the earthquakes have been felt locally, with reports being sent in from Russell, Kerikeri, Takou Bay, and Matauri Bay.

Although earthquakes in the Northland Peninsula are not as common as in many other New Zealand localities, they do occur.

A similar burst of activity occurred when a magnitude 4.3 earthquake struck near Waipu, south of Whangarei on the 18th of December 2003. A swarm of 22 smaller earthquakes then followed, with activity finishing 14 days later on New Year’s Day.

A smaller number of other light earthquakes have occurred in the Peninsula since 2000.

[Compiled from data provided by the Geonet project and its sponsors EQC, GNS Science and FRST.]

2 Responses to “Earthquake Swarm in Northland”

  1. Major W.H.McGunnigle BA MRSC RNZAEC[RTD] says:

    which area of Northland has had the greastest number of recorded earthquakes since records were kept of such events

  2. Ken says:

    A search of GeoNet’s database for Northland earthquakes from 1900 to present shows a cluster of activity around coastal areas north of a line from Kerikeri to Kaitaia and a denser cluster inland from Waipu (and east of Dargaville). Other activity is scattered across the region, with most events off-shore in both the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea.

    Writing about the Western North Island tectonic province (the ‘quiet’ province) in “Rocked and Ruptured” (GNS 1999), page 71, Jefley J. Aitken says, “Farther north qualifies as the least seismically active area in the country. Four earthquakes have been recorded in the Kaitaia area since 1840, but none had a magnitude greater than 3.9.”

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