Tuesday, 11 January 2022

Magnitude 6.6 Earthquake off the west coast of Cyprus.

The United States Geological Survey recorded a Magnitude 6.6 Earthquake at a depth of 19.6 km roughly 48 km off the west coast of Cyprus slightly after 3.05 am local time (slightly after 1.05 am GMT) on Tuesday 11 January 2022. There are no reports of any serious damage or injuries from this quake, but it was felt around much of the eastern Mediterranean Basin.

The approximate location of the 11 January 2022 Cyprus Earthquake. USGS.

The Island of Cyprus overlies the boundary between the Anatolian Plate, which underlies Anatolia, and the African Plate, which underlies most of the Mediterranean. The African Plate is moving northward relative to the Anatolian Plate, and is being subducted beneath it along the Cyprian Trench, which runs to the south of Cyprus. This is not a smooth process, as the plates frequently stick together then break apart once the pressure has built up sufficiently, leading to (fairly frequent) Earthquakes.
To the east the Arabian Plate is being pushed north and west by the movement of the African Plate, further to the south. This leads to a zone of tectonic activity within the province, as the Arabian and Anatolian plates are pushed together, along the East Anatolian Fault, and past one-another, along the Dead Sea Transform.
Simplified map of the plate movements of the eastern Mediterranean. Univeriteit Utrecht.
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