Matata Earthquake Swarms

The earthquake swarm activity which commenced near Matata in the Bay of Plenty during December is continuing with activity reported at four distinct locations – north-west, north and north-east of the town and within 5 km of Matata itself.

The latest series of earthquake swarms began with three earthquakes at a location 10 km north-east of Matata in December 2006. The quakes began on December 2nd with a magnitude 3.2 quake, followed by a magnitude 3.1 event on the 12th and another of magnitude 3.4 on the 18th. All were very shallow, being at depths of 4 or 5 km.

Activity then commenced 10 km north of Matata on December 22nd with a magnitude 2.8 quake at a depth of 3 km.

During January 2007, the earthquake swarm activity returned to an area 10 km north-east of Matata with 5 quakes at depths of 5 km or less. There was a magnitude 2.8 quake on January 9th followed by two magnitude 3.0 events on the 17th and 20th with a magnitude 2.9 shake on the 23rd and one of magnitude 3.1 on the 28th.

Activity then commenced closer to Matata with a magnitude 3.0 quake on January 29th. This quake struck within 5 km of Matata at a depth of 5 km. Earthquakes at this location continued at a steady rate during February 2007, with six quakes at a depth of 5 km. A magnitude 2.5 quake struck on the 12th, a magnitude 2.6 on the 20th, a magnitude 2.7 on the 21st, two of magnitude 3.0 on the 22nd and 23rd and a quake of magnitude 2.9 on the 25th.

A further 3 earthquakes struck at the location 10 km north of Matata during February. The sequence began with a magnitude 3.7 shake on the 8th, with a magnitude 3.1 event on the 22nd and a magnitude 2.7 quake on the 28th.

Earthquake activity has occurred at two of the three locations during the first week of March 2007. Two quakes with magnitudes 2.9 and 3.0 struck within 5 km of Matata on March 2nd and 7th and a magnitude 2.8 event occurred 10 km north of Matata on the 5th.

A magnitude 1.9 event located at a new centre 10 km north-west of Matata was reported felt on the 6th. All of these quakes struck at depths between 2 and 5 km.

During 2005, three distinct swarms of earthquakes struck Matata between the 12th of February and 25th of August. Some of the 55 earthquakes plagued the town at the same time as a flash flood which caused considerable damage to the settlement.

In 2004, a swarm of 4 earthquakes struck the area on May 2nd.

[Compiled from earthquake reports published by Geonet and its contributing agencies.]

Leave a Reply