Friday, 16 October 2015

Magnitude 5.4 Earthquake in Cañar Province, Ecuador.

The United States Geological Survey recorded a Magnitude 5.4 Earthquake at a depth of 104 km in northern Cañar Province in southern Ecuador, at slightly after 5.05 am local time (slightly after 10.05 am GMT) on Thursday 15 October 2015. There are no reports of any damage or casualties associated with this event, but people reported feeling heavy shaking as far away as Vilcabamba, approximately 300 km south of the epicenter. This is typical for large, deep Earthquakes, where a release of energy that would be highly dangerous close to the surface is spread over a wide area by the time it is felt.

The approximate location of the 15 October 2015 Cañar Earthquake. Google Maps.

Ecuador is on the west coast of South America and the western margin of the South American Plate, close to where the Nazca Plate, which underlies part of the east Pacific, is being subducted along the Peru-Chile Trench. The Nazca Plate passes under the South American Plate as it sinks into the Earth, this is not a smooth process and the plates repeatedly stick together then break apart as the pressure builds up, causing Earthquakes. As the Nazca Plate sinks further it is melted by the heat of the Earth's interior. Some of this melted material then rises through the overlying South American Plate, fueling the volcanoes of Ecuador and neighboring countries.

The subduction of the Nazca Plate beneath the South American Plate, and how it causes Earthquakes and volcanoes. SIO SEARCH.

Witness accounts of Earthquakes can help geologists to understand these events, and the structures that cause them. The international non-profit organization Earthquake Report is interested in hearing from people who may have felt this event; if you felt this quake then you can report it to Earthquake Report here.

See also...

The Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional reported a series of eruptions on Cotopaxi, an active volcano in the Andes of central Ecuador, about 50 km south of Quito, between Wednesday 7 and Tuesday 13 October 2015, with ash columns rising up to 2.5 km above the summit of the mountain and...

Concern is rising in Colombia and Ecuador following a rise in seismic activity beneath Cerro Negro de Mayasquer, a volcano in the Andes straddling...

Mount Tungurahua, a stratovolcano (a 'conventional' cone-shaped volcano, the sort you see in Hollywood movies) located in the Sangay National Park in Ecuador, overlooking the town of Baños de Agua Santa, erupted suddenly at about 6.10 pm local time...

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