Monday 14 October 2013

Magnitude 6.4 Earthquake off the west coast of Crete.

The United States Geological Survey recorded a Magnitude 6.4 Earthquake at a depth of 36.2 km roughly 30 km off the west coast of Crete slightly after 3.10 pm local time (slightly after 1.10 pm GMT) on Saturday 12 October 2013. There are no reports of any serious damage or injuries from this quake, but it was felt across much of southern Greece and caused some minor damage in Crete, where people reported items falling from shelves and discolouration of tapwater (which may imply damage to buried pipes). A possible tsunami-type wave has been attributed by some sources to this event, but the wave was only a few centimeters high and therefore difficult to connect directly to the quake, and Earthquakes this deep do not normally cause tsunamis.

The approximate location of the 12 October 2013 Crete Earthquake. Google Maps.

Crete is located on the southern part of the Aegean Sea Plate, a small tectonic plate caught between the African Plate to the south, the Anatolian Plate to the east and the Eurasian Plate to the northwest. The Anatolian Plate is being pushed to the west by the northward movement of the Arabian Plate to the east, pushing the Aegean Plate south and west into collision with the northward moving African Plate. Part of the African Plate is being subducted beneath the Aegean Plate along the Hellenic Trench, to the south of Crete. This is not a smooth process, as the plates frequently stick together then break apart once the pressure has built up sufficiently, leading to (fairly frequent) Earthquakes.

Follow Sciency Thoughts on Facebook.