Kermadec Earthquakes

A moderately strong earthquake struck to the south of the Kermadec Islands this afternoon, continuing a period of slightly elevated activity in the island chain.

Tuesday 14th December 2010

A shallow magnitude 5.3 earthquake struck 125 km south-south-west of L’Esperance Rock, 720 km north-east of Auckland, at 2:16 p.m. New Zealand Daylight Time today. The undersea quake was 31 km deep.

Another shallow magnitude 5.3 earthquake struck the Kermadec Islands early yesterday. This event was centred 180 km north-north-east of Raoul Island (435 km north-north-east of L’Esperance Rock, 1260 km north-east of Auckland) at a depth of 24 km.

On Sunday morning, December 12th, a magnitude 5.1 earthquake struck 470 km north-north-east of Raoul Island. This quake was very shallow, perhaps only at a depth of 1 km.

During the evening of Wednesday 8th December a magnitude 5.5 quake struck to the south of the Kermadec Islands. This event was centred 120 km south-south-west of L’Esperance Rock at a depth of 53 km. The epicentre of this earthquake was close to today’s event.

Four very deep earthquakes have been detected in the Pacific Plate which survives to very great depths in the area between Fiji and the Kermadec Islands during the past week. These quakes, with magnitudes between 4.9 and 5.6, have been at depths greater than 525 km.

[Compiled from data supplied by the U.S. Geological Survey and its contributing agencies.]

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