Thursday 11 July 2013

Earthquakes beneath the Gulf of Aden.

On Thursday 11 July 2013, at 5.05 am local time (2.05 am, GMT), the United States Geological Survey recorded a Magnitude 5.0 Earthquake at a depth of 16.3 km beneath the Gulf of Aden, which separates Yemen from Somalia. This was followed by a second quake of similar size slightly after 12.45 pm local time (slightly after 9.45 am, GMT). Neither of these quakes is likely to have caused any damage or casualties, indeed they were sufficiently far offshore that it is highly unlikely that anybody noticed them.

The approximate location of the 11 July 2013 Gulf of Aden quakes. Google Maps.

The Red Sea and Gulf of Aden are underlain be areas of rifting where a spreading boundary between two tectonic plates, the African Plate and the Arabian, where new oceanic crust is being formed. Arabia was formerly part of the African Plate, but split away about 30 million years ago. The Great Rift Valley of Africa is a continuation of this rift, that is slowly splitting Africa in two from the north to the south.

Areas of rifting beneath and around the Gulf of Aden. Afar Rift Consortium.

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