Friday 11 April 2014

Magnitude 7.1 Earthquake off the coast of Bougainville Island, Papua New Guinea.

The United States Geological Survey recorded a Magnitude 7.1 Earthquake at a depth of 50 km, to the southwest of Bougainville Island, Papua New Guinea, slightly after 6.05 pm local time (slightly after 7.05 am GMT) on Friday 11 April 2014. This is a large quake, and is likely to have been felt across Bourgainville, as well as northern parts of the Solomon Islands, though there are no reports of any damage or casualties.

The approximate location of the 11 April 2014 Bougainville Earthquake. Google Maps.

Bougainville Island lies on the southern fringe of the Pacific Plate. To the south of the island the Solomon Sea Plate is being subducted beneath the Pacific Plate along the Bougainville Trench, passing under the island of Bougainville as it sinks into the Earth. This is not a smooth process; the rocks of the two plates constantly stick together, then break apart as the pressure builds up, causing Earthquakes in the process.

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