Wednesday 4 April 2018

Magnitude 6.8 Earthquake in Luis Calvo Province, Bolivia.

The United States Geological Survey recorded a Magnitude 6.8 Earthquake at a depth of 562 km in Luis Calvo Province, Bolivia, at about 9.40 am local time (about 1.40 pm GMT) on Monday 2 April 2018. There are no reports of any damage or casualties associated with this event, though it was felt over a very wide area, from the west coast of Chile to the east coast of Brazil.

The approximate location of the 2 April 2018 Bolivian Earthquake. USGS.

Bolivia is located close to the west coast of South America, which is also the convergent margin between the Nazca and South American Plates. The Nazca Plate is being subducted beneath the South American Plate and is sinking beneath the South American Plate. This is not a smooth process, the rocks of the two plates continuously stick together then, as the pressure builds up, break apart again, causing Earthquakes. As the Nazca Plate sinks deeper it is partially melted by the friction and the heat of the Earth's interior. Some of the melted material then rises up through the overlying South American Plate as magma, fuelling the volcanoes of the Bolivian Andes. 

Witness accounts of Earthquakes can help geologists to understand these events, and the structures that cause them. The international non-profit organisation 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.
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