Deep Earthquakes Under New Zealand

Today’s deep earthquake in the Marlborough Sounds, which caused many high-rise buildings in central Wellington to sway gently, is the latest in a series of deep earthquakes which have struck New Zealand in the past week.

A magnitude 4.0 earthquake struck at 5:38 p.m. on Saturday November 11th, 2006 at a location 70 km south-west of Rotorua. The quake was 163 km deep.

On Tuesday 14th, a magnitude 4.1 quake struck at a depth of 220 km at a location 20 km north of Taumarunui just after 5 o’clock in the morning.

An 80 km deep, magnitude 4.3 event struck 50 km north-west of Te Anau just after midnight on Thursday 16th. Later that morning, a 170 km deep magnitude 5.0 quake struck 10 km east of Ngongataha just before midday.

This morning’s magnitude 4.6 earthquake was located 30 km north-east of Picton, 50 km north-west of Wellington at a depth of 50 km. The 11:42 a.m. quake resulted in 259 earthquake reports being filed from Wellington city, and was felt throughout the lower North Island and upper South Island.

Two sizeable off-shore earthquakes struck at shallower depths this week. A 25 km deep magnitude 4.9 quake struck 50 km north-east of Te Araroa on Wednesday 15th at 8:58 a.m. and a 10 km deep magnitude 5.5 earthquake struck 260 km west of the Auckland Islands at 1:53 that afternoon.

[Compiled from data provided by the Geonet project and its sponsors EQC, GNS Science and FRST; and the US Geological Survey and its contributing agencies.]

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