Tuesday 30 April 2013

Magnitude 5.9 Earthquake in the Azores.

On Tuesday 30 April, slightly after 6.25 am local time (which is GMT), the United States Geological Survey recorded a Magnitude 5.9 Earthquake at a depth of 10 km in the Azores, roughly 20 km southeast of São Miguel Island. This is a large Earthquake, and is likely to have been felt across much of the archipelago, though it was probably far enough offshore to avoid any serious damage or injuries.

The location of the 30 April 2013 Earthquake. Google Maps.

The Azores are a group of volcanic islands belonging to Portugal, strung out along the boundary between the African and European plates to the east of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. This is currently an area of expansion, with the two plates moving apart along this part of the boundary and new seafloor being created by the upwelling of magma from the mantle and its extrusion as a new area of crustal material, the Azores Microplate. This is not a smooth process, and can lead to occasional Earthquakes.

The location of the Azores relative to the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. (Martins et al. 2008)

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