New Zealand Earthquake 2010
September 3, 2010 by staff
Location 43.375 ° S, 172.016 ° E
Depth of 12 km (7.5 miles) set by location program
Region of the South Island of New Zealand
Distances 55 km (35 miles) WNW of Christchurch, New Zealand
185 km (115 miles) S of Westport, New Zealand
305 km (190 miles) NNE of Dunedin, New Zealand
325 km (200 miles) southwest of Wellington, New Zealand
On September 3, 2010 the South Island, New Zealand earthquake occurred as a result of strike-slip faulting from the bark of the Pacific plate, near the eastern foothills of the Southern Alps on the western edge of the Canterbury Plains. The earthquake occurred about 50 km west-northwest of Christchurch, the largest population center in the region, and about 80-90 km to the south and east of the current expression of Australia: the limits of the Pacific through plate of the island (the Alpine and Hope Faults). The quake, but away from the plate boundary itself, probably reflects the right lateral movement in one of a number of regional faults related to the overall relative movement of these plates and may be related to the global spread of southern Marlborough fault system in recent geologic time.
Todays quake occurred about 50 km southeast of the M7.1, surface to break if Authur pass, on March 9, 1929, which caused 17 fatalities. More recently, two earthquakes of M6.7 and M5.9 occurred in June 1994 about 40 km northwest of today’s event, but caused no known fatalities or significant damage.
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