Thursday 9 January 2014

Magnitude 5.1 Earthquake in the Sakha Republic of the Russian Far East.

The United States Geological Survey recorded a Magnitude 5.1 Earthquake at a depth of 12.3 km in the southeast of the Sakha Republic in the Russian Far East, slightly before 5.35 am local time on Saturday 5  January 2014 (slightly before 7.35 pm on Friday 4 January, GMT). There are no reports of any damage or injuries associated with this quake, though it is likely to have been felt locally.

The approximate location of the 5 January 2014 Sakha Republic Earthquake. Google Maps.

While not an area notorious for Earthquake activity, the southern Sakha Republic is located on the southeastern fringe of the Eurasian Plate, close to the boundaries with three other tectonic plates, leading to some movement in the area. 

To the south lies the Amurian Plate, which underlies Manchuria, Korea and parts of Japan and the Russian Far East, and which is moving south relative to the Eurasian Plate, while the Eurasian Plate moves west relative to it, creating a transform plate margin (a margin along which two tectonic plates move past one-another.

To the east lies the Okhotsk Plate, which underlies the Sea of Okhotsk and the Kamchatka Peninsula. This is moving to the southeast, the same direction as the Eurasian Plate, though more slowly, creating a divergent plate margin (a margin along which two tectonic plates are moving apart).

Finally, to the northeast lies the North American Plate, which underlies the northeast of Siberia, and which is moving southeast more rapidly than the Eurasian Plate, creating a convergent plate margin (a margin along which two tectonic plates are pressing together).

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