Scotia Sea Earthquakes on the Move

Scotia Sea earthquakes

Scotia Sea earthquakes on the move.  On the heels of a 5.0 magnitude quake along the Scotia tectonic plates, a 7.8M quake shook things up further, however, no damage has been reported.  The US Geological Survey (USGS) reports all earthquake activity with a bare bones description of the activity.  Reports of damage caused by quakes are typically covered by other new agencies and geologic societies.

The Scotia Sea is the area of water, typically cold and stormy, between the lands of  South America, and the islands that make up Tierra de Fuego, near Argentina.  The Drake Passage borders it.  Some other lands affected are South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (SGSSI), which are British Territory.  The damage could have been worse for those land masses above the South Scotia Ridge, but for now there is no significant reports of these earthquake events.

The most recent Scotia Sea earthquake was reported by the USGS to have occurred as the result of either left-lateral strike slip faulting on an east-west oriented plane, or right-lateral faulting on a north-south plane.

A slip fault is one in which surfaces on opposite sides of the fault plane have moved horizontally and parallel to the strike of the fault.  The action of the tectonic plates slipping one over the other is what causes the earthquake activity through tremors from the plates forcing themselves over one another.  This means that those land masses above the Scotia Ridge are affected by these movements. What that means in layman’s terms can best be described by an illustration of the principle:

Alaska earthquakes

Scotia Sea earthquakes can be quite large, and have struck the same region over the past several days. The sequence began on November 13 and have continued through today. The Scotia Sea area is familiar with earthquakes, the majority occur closer to the Sandwich Islands.

The Scotia Sea was named in 1932 after the Scotia, an expedition ship used in these waters in 1902–04, under the leadership of William S. Bruce.

The Scotia Sea earthquakes have yet to result in extreme devastation, but are on the move to warn about future activity and its detrimental effects on the land surrounding the sea, including the South Scotia Ridge underneath the sea.  When we get the reports from the US Geological Survey, it would be wise to take note and make plans.

Earthquake activity has been reported more often and in more places that ordinarily do not have these types of seismic events.  In order to figure out why this is happening, scientists have to document and plan for future monitoring of those areas that are not usually on the list of active earthquakes.

The Scotia Sea earthquakes have yet to result in extreme devastation, but are on the move to warn about future activity and its detrimental effects on the land surrounding the sea, including the South Scotia Ridge underneath the sea. When we get the reports from the US Geological Survey, it would be wise to take note and make plans.

By Lisa M Pickering

USGS
RTT News
Yahoo!News

2 Responses to "Scotia Sea Earthquakes on the Move"

  1. ART   November 18, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    I have tracked 32 quakes between 4.6 an 7.8 since 11:15:13 on 11-15-13. The first was a 6.8 The depths of these suspect events were nearly all 10.0km. Some were a bit deeper at about 15KM and one was at 100.0km. HMMMMM>>> Can anyone say, “HAARP”?!

    Reply
  2. scott   November 18, 2013 at 1:26 am

    I am from New Zealand and we are no strangers to earthquakes, so I will be watching the area with interest as Chile has also has many earthquakes that seem to coincide with ours.

    Reply

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