Monday 28 January 2013

Magnitude 6.0 Earthquake in eastern Kazakhstan.

On Monday 28 January 2013, slightly before 10.40 pm local time (slightly before 4.40 pm, GMT), the United States Geological Survey recorded a Magnitude 6.0 Earthquake at a depth of 15 km in the southeast of Khazakhstan, close to the border with Kyrgyzstan and the Chines province of Xingjiang. This is a fairly large quake, capable of causing damage (the USGS estimate that a quake of this size in this area would have a 35% chance of causing fatalities), though on this occasion no damage has been reported. The quake was felt in Almaty, the countries largest city and former capitol, where it reportedly caused considerable alarm.

The location of the 28 January Earthquake. Google Maps.

The quake occurred on the northern fringes of the Dzungarian Alatau Mountains, which form the border between Kyrgyzstan, Khazakhstan and China, and form part of the greater  Tian Shan range. The Tian Shan are part of the Himalayan Orogenic Belt, mountains in Central Asia pushed upwards by the collision of India and Asia. The Indian Plate is currently pushing into the Eurasian Plate from the south at a rate of 3 cm per year. Since both are continental plates, which do not subduct, the Eurasian Plate is folding and buckling, causing uplift in the Himalayas and other mountains of Central Asia.

The movement of India relative to Asia, and the blocks within the eastern part if the Eurasian Plate. University of Wollongong.

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