Vanuatu 7.0, again

In the last quake thread I’d said:

Well, Vanuatu Rocking isn’t all THAT odd, but they did get a 7ish scale event, and that matters. Then Colorado popped a modest one (that isn’t notable other than where it is, really), but now the East Coast has a large quake? At that point, the memories of the New Madrid quake have to start being dusted off.

But now we have ANOTHER 7.x in Vanuatu. “Watson, the game is afoot!”… Don’t know what it means, other than that Vanuatu is an exciting place to live these days, but 2 of about the same size and time leads me to wonder “Who is a foreshock of whom?” and what is to come.

The particulars:

Magnitude 7.0 – VANUATU
2011 September 03 22:55:36 UTC

This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.Magnitude 7.0
Date-Time Saturday, September 03, 2011 at 22:55:36 UTC
Sunday, September 04, 2011 at 09:55:36 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
Location 20.585°S, 169.696°E
Depth 132.4 km (82.3 miles)
Distances 122 km (75 miles) SSE of Isangel, Tanna, Vanuatu
217 km (134 miles) ENE of Tadine, Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia
347 km (215 miles) SSE of PORT-VILA, Efate, Vanuatu
1860 km (1155 miles) ENE of BRISBANE, Queensland, Australia
Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 14.3 km (8.9 miles); depth +/- 10 km (6.2 miles)
Parameters NST=125, Nph=126, Dmin=934 km, Rmss=1.12 sec, Gp= 32°,
M-type=regional moment magnitude (Mw), Version=9
Source Magnitude: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
Location: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
Event ID usc0005ntq


Vanuatu LIve Quake Map

Vanuatu LIve Quake Map

The Vanuatu Prior (old) Specs are:

Magnitude 7.0 – VANUATU
2011 August 20 18:19:24 UTC

This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.Magnitude 7.0
Date-Time Saturday, August 20, 2011 at 18:19:24 UTC
Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 05:19:24 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
Location 18.287°S, 168.132°E
Depth 28.5 km (17.7 miles)
Distances 69 km (42 miles) SSW of PORT-VILA, Efate, Vanuatu
177 km (109 miles) NW of Isangel, Tanna, Vanuatu
328 km (203 miles) SSE of Luganville, Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu
1853 km (1151 miles) ENE of BRISBANE, Queensland, Australia
Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 13.4 km (8.3 miles); depth +/- 4.7 km (2.9 miles)
Parameters NST=473, Nph=475, Dmin=455.3 km, Rmss=1.21 sec, Gp= 18°,
M-type=regional moment magnitude (Mw), Version=9
Source Magnitude: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
Location: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
Event ID usc0005hbt

Southern Hemisphere

A view of Earthquakes from the South Pole

A view of Earthquakes from the South Pole

Original Image with Clickable Details

Northern Hemisphere

North Polar Earthquake Map

North Polar Earthquake Map

Original Image with Clickable Details

Asia and Russia

Asia Quake Map

Asia Quake Map

Original Image with clickable areas

Australia / New Zealand

This is a map of the Australia / Indonesia / New Zealand area:

Australia / Indonesia / New Zealand Quake Map

Australia / Indonesia / New Zealand Quake Map

Original with clickable regions to zoom in

North America

North America and Mid Atlantic Ridge Quake Map

North America and Mid Atlantic Ridge Quake Map

Original with clickable details

And remember, I have a dedicated CSZ page with closeups

California Map

Here is an alternative view of things with the fault lines highlighted:

California Quakes with fault lines

California Quakes with fault lines

Original Image

Map of Plates

You can see it is where plates collide here:

Plates Of The World

Plates Of The World

Original Image, and with other language options.

Some Volcano Stuff

This page: has a nice collection of links to volcano monitor pages. Just click the pictures for the different volcano observatories.

The Smithsonian page:

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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37 Responses to Vanuatu 7.0, again

  1. Tim Clark says:

    We’ve discussed the relative lack of an association between the suncycle, volcanoes, and earthquakes. Plus maybe a few other possible variables. However, there appears to be some increase of volcanic activity in the ring of fire that’s coincident with a consistent earthquake activity. Maybe it is just better reporting and accessibility to data. But I wonder if that japanese big one is associated with continued shifting? Tambora appears to be rumbling a bit. that would not be good.

  2. Tim Clark says:

    The USGS site only shows larger quakes. this site shows activity increasing near the german-Czeck border. Funny that.

  3. Tim Clark says:

    Here’s a good link showing increased activity and alert raised or ongoing at 22 volcanoes in Indonesia, etc, .

  4. R. de Haan says:

    @ Tim Clark
    The quake swarm at Czech-German border (I posted about the first swarm last week) has happened before.
    This article about the swarm links the activation of a fault to be possibly related with rising magma. The area is covered by old volcano’s that were regarded to be extinct.

    Interestingly enough similar quakes and small swarms occur in the volcanic are around Koblenz in Germany.

    Very interesting stuff that tells us Western Europe is not the safe and quiet place people thought it was.
    Insurance companies will be pleased to sell quake insurances where they sold none over the past decades.

    As for Mount Tambora,
    I’m absolutely not worried about Tambora as it had already three VEI 0-2 eruptions after the big bang of 1815. It will take many, many years before another big bang is pending which won’t happen in our lifetime.

    As for the quake, volcano, sun connection, there is a statistical relationship between the frequency and strength of quakes, volcanic eruptions and (low) solar magnetic activity of our sun.

  5. R. de Haan says:

    And what to think about the Fox Island swarm which included a 7.1
    04-SEP-2011 01:10:00 52.07 -171.60 4.5 35.3 FOX ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN ISLANDS
    03-SEP-2011 01:25:38 52.06 -171.57 5.1 51.2 FOX ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN ISLANDS
    02-SEP-2011 19:48:56 52.20 -171.55 4.8 36.0 FOX ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN ISLANDS
    02-SEP-2011 18:28:39 52.12 -171.45 4.8 15.6 FOX ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN ISLANDS
    02-SEP-2011 17:39:14 52.03 -171.46 4.9 46.7 FOX ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN ISLANDS
    02-SEP-2011 12:16:54 51.65 -170.47 4.3 35.0 FOX ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN ISLANDS
    02-SEP-2011 11:27:44 51.92 -171.55 4.8 35.2 FOX ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN ISLANDS
    02-SEP-2011 11:24:26 53.83 -168.26 4.5 35.2 FOX ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN ISLANDS
    02-SEP-2011 10:55:54 52.18 -171.68 7.1 35.5 FOX ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN ISLANDS

    Coordinates all situated on the off coast ocean floor

    Many active volcano’s at the Fox Islands
    VSEVIDOF Stratovolcano Historical Fox Islands
    RECHESCHNOI Stratovolcano Holocene Fox Islands
    OKMOK Shield volcano Historical Fox Islands
    BOGOSLOF Submarine volcano Historical Fox Islands
    MAKUSHIN Stratovolcano Historical Fox Islands
    AKUTAN Stratovolcano Historical Fox Islands
    WESTDAHL Stratovolcano? Historical Fox Islands
    FISHER Stratovolcano Historical Fox Islands
    SHISHALDIN Stratovolcano Historical Fox Islands
    ISANOTSKI Stratovolcano Uncertain Fox Islands
    ROUNDTOP Stratovolcano Radiocarbon Fox Islands
    AMAK Stratovolcano Historical Fox Islands

    In the mean time Katla is shaking as well.

  6. R. de Haan says:

    Quake swarm at Katla, all at the same locations inside the crater zone, different depth.

  7. R. de Haan says:

    And harmonic tremor

  8. E.M.Smith says:

    @Tim Clark:

    Please make it clear, that’s QUAKE activity increasing at the German / Czech border!! ;-)

    It is a strange place to be shaking, though…

    @R. de Haan:

    Why do I get this feeling that something big, hot, and bad is going to happen in Europe…

    That, and the stock market is having a bit of a melt down on political changes to the market rules…

    Somehow I think I’m rather happier to be in Florida right now than down wind of Iceland and on top of a German pressure cooker…

    Of either / any kinds…

  9. E.M.Smith says:

    Not liking big sized quakes in Sumatra either…

    2011 September 05 17:55:13 UTC

    This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.Magnitude 6.6
    Date-Time Monday, September 05, 2011 at 17:55:13 UTC
    Tuesday, September 06, 2011 at 12:55:13 AM at epicenter
    Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
    Location 2.973°N, 97.997°E
    Depth 110.1 km (68.4 miles)
    Distances 100 km (62 miles) SW of Medan, Sumatra, Indonesia
    118 km (73 miles) W of Pematangsiantar, Sumatra, Indonesia
    160 km (99 miles) NNW of Sibolga, Sumatra, Indonesia
    1409 km (875 miles) NW of JAKARTA, Java, Indonesia
    Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 13.6 km (8.5 miles); depth +/- 8.3 km (5.2 miles)
    Parameters NST=248, Nph=249, Dmin=108 km, Rmss=1.11 sec, Gp= 22°,
    M-type=regional moment magnitude (Mw), Version=6
    Source Magnitude: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
    Location: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
    Event ID usc0005pdr

  10. R. de Haan says:

    @ E.M Smith
    Very strong (deep) earthquake below Sumatra, Indonesia – 2 people killed + 100′s of houses uninhabitable

  11. R. de Haan says:

    Most likely water is causing harmonic tremor in Katla volcano

    Quakes continue

  12. TIM CLARK says:

    Knowing nothing about quakes, what do the 20+ quakes around Tom’s place at Mammoth with “shallow depth (~1.2km), poorly constrained” signify, magma movement or tectonic?

  13. R. de Haan says:

    Just been hit by a 4.3 quake with the epicenter approx. 30 km from my house near the town of Cuyk (Netherlands) on the other side of the border.

    The event was very short but it really made the house produce some mighty cracking sounds.

    This is the second time I have experienced a quake in this region.
    The first was in 1992 near the town of Roermond.


  14. R. de Haan says:

    Katla Volcano

  15. E.M.Smith says:

    @Tim Clark:

    That’s the $64 Billion question… Sometimes it’s either. But any time there is a quake storm around a major volcano, you start watching for ‘harmonic tremor’ to tell you if the magma is getting to the surface. At a place like Mammoth, that can be horrific…

    @R. de Haan:

    Let us know if you get a volcano ;-)

    Are the folks in Netherlands spooked by the quakes?


    Frankly, the Indonesia cluster has me more worried than most of the rest. It “has history”…

    And I note in passing that the area around Japan continues to have a LOT of modest sized quakes. Looks like the whole northern edge of the Pacific Plate is in motion (and some of the south western edge too….)

  16. boballab says:

    It looks like that 6.8 quake up in the Aleutians might have caused the magma to start flowing again into Mt. Cleveland’s magma chamber:

    A persistent thermal anomaly has been observed since September 3, probably marking the timing of resumed lava dome growth. The size of the dome as of August 30 when it appeared to have stopped growing was approximately 262 feet in diameter. The current dome is approximately 394 feet in diameter


    The team at the Alaska Volcano Observatory were unsure on September 2nd, whether the 6.8 earthquake had disturbed the apparent rest of the volcano. But, satellite information began to trickle in on the next day as the first of the anomalies since the down-grade of the volcano made itself known. That information had the volcano obscured by cloud cover so no determination could be made then. It wasn’t until yesterday that a better view of the summit of the volcano could be seen.

    Although no connection has been made, the 6.8 earthquake and its numerous after-shocks felt on and after September 2nd, may very well have been responsible for the current activity at Mount Cleveland.

  17. R. de Haan says:

    @E. M Smith
    Many people called the emergency services.
    But we have to keep in mind that quakes are very rare in this part of Europe and the area is one of the most populated area’s in the world.

    Strange enough there is no consensus about the exact location of the epicenter of this quake, it’s strength and depth.

    Some agencies report the epicenter in the Netherlands, others near Xanten or Kleve in Germany .

    Strength reports vary from a 4.2 to a 4.6 and depth varies from 14 to 7 km.

    It could be that this quake is related to shale gas drilling activity.

    This is a developing story and I will report any outcome.

  18. TIM CLARK says:

    This site has a simplified picture showing what harmonic tremors look like relative to the other types.

    Now, if I could only find an actual seismograph of one of those ML quakes.

  19. Chuckles says:

    Cascadia Calling at 6.4 –

    5.0 near martinique as well earlier today

  20. R. de Haan says:

    Just for the record: Tamborra
    From john Seach’s blog:
    Friday 9th September 2011
    Tambora Volcano, Indonesia
    Tambora volcano in Indonesia has been raised to level 3 alert (out of maximum 4) on 8th September. On 6-7 September continuous tremor was recorded at the volcano. On 7th September there were 40 shallow volcanic earthquakes. A 3-km exclusion zone has been placed around the volcano.

  21. UninterestingConnections says:

    Burst of heavy rain in Silicon Valley …

  22. Sera says:

    Earthquake swarm at Katla…

  23. E.M.Smith says:


    So we’ve got Katla rattling things (watch out Europe…) and we’ve got Tambora clearing it’s throat (watch out world) and we’ve got The Cascadia doing some pre-quake warm ups, and we’ve got a very nicely defined line of quakes along the inner zone of weakness of California (Hayward / Calaveras system) that usually lets loose a couple of years one way or the other from the San Andreas (that had a big one a couple of decades back) and sometimes let loose just after The Cascadia…

    All we need now is for the swamlette around Mamouth Mountain / Lakes to turn into something like 5.x sized events …

  24. R. de Haan says:

    E. M. Smith

    So far I think it is correct to state that we have been a bunch of lucky bastards to be alive in a relative stable and warm period in time with great technology and high living standards.
    Despite the recent natural disasters our planet is a great place to live.

    Many people however lack any appreciation and some hard core zealots spend their entire life time telling us how bad it is.

    Can’t wait for the technology to beam them into an ice age.

  25. TIM CLARK says:

    Here’s a Canadian site showing the smaller earthquakes in British Colombia.

  26. MichaelM says:

    Also some curious quakes in Texas and Oklahoma. 4.4 in Texas yesterday or the day before followed by 6 or more ~3.0 aftershocks, and at some point there was also a 3.3 in Oklahoma.


  27. MichaelM says:

    Ok, add a 3.0 in alabama. Sheesh, how bizzare!

    BTW my other earthquake info (other than our gracious host) is

    Apparently he believes strongly in solar influences on earthquakes, specifically through interaction with the magnetosphere – and currently we’ve been in about a 2 day long geo-magnetic storm (off and on, but it seems like a fairly unsusual, sustained event).

    Maybe a connection with these central U.S. 3+ scale quakes.


  28. MarkinAustin says:

    Earthquake in Alabama a few minutes ago!

  29. R. de Haan says:

    Pierce Corbyn makes his long range weather forecasts on a similar basis and just won a BBC price for the best long term summer forecast for the UK

  30. MarkinAustin says:

    Michael, where do you live? Texas perchance?

  31. MarkinAustin says:

    And now an earthquake on Illinois.

  32. Brian H says:

    R. de Haan;
    If I was in the Netherlands, integrity of the dikes would be my first concern! Any issues there?

    BTW, an English grammar hint: lose the apostrophes. You’re way off in la-la land on them.
    NEVER for plurals, e.g.

    Noun possessives, and abbreviations of the words “is” or “has”.
    NOTHING else.

  33. _MichaelM says:

    7.3 in Fiji – more than 300 miles deep. Is that atypical? It seems so.

  34. R. de Haan says:

    Thanks for the grammar tips Brian H.

    As for the integrity of the dikes I don’t think they have a problem at this moment in time.

    The quake took place at the eastern part of the Netherlands at the German border.

    Besides that, all the dikes are checked constantly.

  35. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    Czech/German border, I think there are a lot of hotsprings in that area?

  36. E.M.Smith says:

    @R de Haan:

    Most Dikes I’ve met have had a lot of integrity, and nice leathers too ;-)

    Wow! 413 quakes on the California map AND a large cluster in Central America and southern Mexico… AND increases all over the globe.

    Hmmmm….. Wonder what’s up…

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