Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Mexico earthquake near island volcanoes

A Magnitude 6.3 earthquake struck off the Western coast of Southern Mexico this morning near two volcanically active islands. The quake struck on a strike-slip type fault, about 115 miles from the volcanic islands of Bárcena (which last erupted spectacularly in 1952), and Socorro whos last eruption was in 1993 and was submarine.

This eruption is not expected to result in any eruptions as it was purely tectonic in nature. An aftershock of 4.2 occurred shortly afterward.

Mexico has experienced many large to major quakes within the past couple of years. A 7.4 magnitude quake struck near the Cerro Prieto volcanic cone on Easter of 2010, causing widespread damage on the Mexican side of the border, where only a few buildings reported damage in nearby San Diego and Imperial Valley. The quake was felt as far away as the upper United States.

While this recent quake will not likely result in any volcanic unrest, it could conceivably aggravate the fault that caused the Easter quake, and will likely cause some unrest on the San Andreas fault if that does occur. The fault that the current quake lies on is a spreading-slip type fault, wheras the Pacific plate is moving away from the North American plate, and will likely "jiggle" the Rio Grande rift plate.

If anything further develops, I will post an update!

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