Sunday 8 September 2013

Magnitude 3.4 Earthquake in the southeast Dominican Republic.

The United States Geological Survey recorded a Magnitude 3.4 Earthquake at a depth of 44 km under the southeast of the Dominican Republic, roughly 10 km to the east of the city of La Romana, at approximately 0.05 am local time (approximately 4.05 am GMT) on Sunday 8 September 2013. There are no reports of any damage or casualties arising from this quake, though it is likely that it was felt locally.

The approximate location of the 8 Septemeber 2013 La Romana Earthquake. Google Maps.

The Dominican Republic forms the eastern part of the island of La Hispaniola, in the Greater Antilles.  The island has a complex geological structure, with parts of it lying on three different tectonic plates, and two plate margins running east-to-west across the island.

The northernmost part of the island lies on the North American Plate. This is divided from the Gonâve Microplate by the Septentrional Fault Zone, which runs through Rio San Juan, along the north coast of the Dominican Republic and Haiti, then across the Windward Passage and along the south coast of Cuba. The Gonâve Microplate is moving east relative to the North American Plate, pushed by the Mid-Cayman Spreading centre to the west of Jamaica.

To the south the Gonâve Microplate is separated from the Caribbean Plate by the Enriquilo-Plantain Garden Fault Zone, which runs across Southern Haiti and the Dominican Republic. To the west the fault runs through central Jamaica. The Caribbean Plate is rotating clockwise, effectively moving east relative to the Gonâve Microplate.

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