Tuesday 3 September 2013

Magnitude 6.5 Earthquake in the Barat Daya Islands.

A Magnitude 6.5 Earthquake at a depth of 132.1 km occurred in Indonesia's Barat Daya Islands in the Banda Sea slightly after 8.50 pm local time (slightly after 11.50 am, GMT) on Sunday 1 September 2013, according to the United States Geological Survey. A quake of this magnitude is potentially very dangerous, though the depth and remote location of the quake will have mitigated this, and on this occasion is not reported to have caused any damage or casualties. The quake was felt as far away as East Timor and the Australian coast.

The approximate location of the 1 September 2013 Barat Daya Islands Earthquake. Google Maps.

The Banda Sea is underlain by two tectonic plates, the Banda Sea Plate and the Timor Plate; two small plates caught between the colliding Eurasian, Pacific and Australian Plates. The Timor Plate is being subducted beneath the Banda Sea Plate. As it sinks into the Earth the subducting plate is being melted by the heat of the planets interior; some of the melted material then rises through the overlying Banda Sea Plate, fueling volcanism on a number of islands in the region. This is not a smooth process, and the plates frequently stick together then break apart as the pressure builds up, fueling Earthquakes in the region.

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