Saturday 23 November 2013

Magnitude 5.2 Earthquake on west Timor.

The United States Geological Survey recorded a Magnitude 5.2 Earthquake at a depth of 27.2 km, 9 km to the northeast of the city of Kupang on the western (Indonesian) half of the Island of Timor, at the eastern end of the Lesser Sunda Islands, slightly after 5.30 am local time on Tuesday 19 November 2013 (slightly after 9.30 pm on Monday 18 November, GMT). There are no reports of any damage or casualties arising from this event, though it was a fairly large quake, and likely to have been felt over a wide area.

The approximate location of the 19 November 2013 Timor Earthquake. Google Maps.

The Lesser Sunda Islands are located on the northern part of the Timor Microplate. This is trapped between the converging Eurasian and Australian Plates, both of which are being subducted beneath it. This is not a smooth process; the two subducting plates continuously stick to the overlying plate, then break away as the pressure builds up, causing Earthquakes in the process. In the south the Australian Plate is passing under the island of Timor, with material from the subducted plate melted by the friction and the heat of the Earth's interior rising through the Timor Plate to feed the volcanoes of the island. In the north the Eurasian Plate is being subducted in the same way, feeding the volcanoes there.

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