Monday 18 September 2023

Magnitude 5.1 Earthquake beneath northern Tuscany, Italy.

The United States Geological Survey recorded a Magnitude 5.1 Earthquake at a depth of 10 km, roughly 60 km to the northeast of the city of Florence in Tuscany, northern Italy, at about 5.10 am local time (about 3.10 am GMT) on Monday 18 September 2023. There are no reports of any damage ot casualties associated with this event, although people have reported feeling it across much of northern Italy.

The approximate location of the 18 September 2023 Tuscany Earthquake. USGS.

Italy is in an unusual tectonic setting, with the west of the country lying on the Eurasian Plate, but the east of the country lying on the Adriatic Plate, a microplate which broke away from North Africa some time in the past and which is now wedged into the southern margin of Europe, underlying eastern Italy, the Adriatic Sea and the west of the Balkan Peninsula. This, combined with the northward movement of the African Plate into Italy from the south, leads to uplift in the Apennine Mountains that run the length of the country, and makes Italy extremely prone to Earthquakes. 

Outline map showing the approximate positions of the Eurasian (EU), Adriatic (AD) and African (AF) Plates. Di Bucci & Mazzuli (2003).

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