Tuesday 14 July 2020

Magnitude 5.1 Earthquake in Hebei Province, China,

The China Earthquake Networks Center recorded a Magnitude 5.1 Earthquake at a depth of about 10 km beneath the Guye District of the city of Tangshan in Hebei Province, slightly before 6.40 am local time on Suday 12 July 2020 local time (slightly before 10.40 pm on Saturday 11 July, GMT). This event was felt as far away as Beijing, and there are reports of some damage to buildings in the area, but none of any casualties.

The approximate location of the 12 July 2020 Hebei Earthquake. USGS.

Earthquakes are common in west and southwest China, where the Eurasian Plate is being compressed by the impact of the Indian Plate from the south, but much less common in the east and centre of the country. However southeastern China is in fact dominated by a series of tectonic blocks, annealed onto the Eurasian Plate during the Triassic. Hebei Province lies in northeastern China, on the eastern margin of the North China Block, which is being pushed eastward by the motion of the Tibetan Block, pushing it into the Amurian Plate, which underlies parts of northeast China, the Russian Far East and Korea.

Tectonic map of Asia, showing relationships between the India–Asia collision, escape of Indonesian and South China blocks seaward, and extension from Siberia to the Pacific margin. (Note also the opening of back-arc basins including the Sea of Japan and the South China Sea, and extension in the Bohai Basin and eastern part of the NCC.) The North China Craton is also strongly influenced by Pacific and palaeo-Pacific subduction, perhaps also inducing extension in the eastern NCC. The palaeo Pacific and Pacific subduction zones developed in the Mesozoic, and also contributed to the hydration of the subcontinental lithospheric mantle beneath the NCC. Kusky et al. (2007).

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.
See also...
Follow Sciency Thoughts on Facebook.