Sunday, November 11, 2012

6.8 Mag Earthquake Strikes Myanmar

A 6.8 magnitude quake struck Myanmar today near the volcanic Singu Plateau, a trachyandesitic lava field fed by fissures near the fault line in question.  So far 13 people have been confirmed dead. The epicenter of the quake was about 15-20 miles NNW of the volcanic center, and multiple aftershocks of 5.0-5.8 have now occurred at the volcanic center, less than 2 miles away at depths of about 10km.

Screenshot of Google Earth with USGS real-time quake overlay.

The quake occurs as newly re-elected US President Barack Obama is scheduled (in about a week) to arrive in the war-torn nation formerly known as Burma for talks with their newly elected president Aung San Suu Kyi in regards to helping the fledgling democracy improve their country and better interact with the international community.

It is unclear at this time whether this quake will spur any activity at the Singu Plateau, but as it has not erupted for several millenia, it is probably not likely, although it is remotely possible. The Singu Plateau is not a closely stidied volcanic system. It exists on the fault line that extends South through the region, and consists of fissure vents that tend to send lave West of the vents. It is not clear the last time it had an eruption, although the Smithsonian Global Volcanism Program characterizes the Singu Plateau as Holocene in age:

"The Singu Plateau volcanic field, also known as Letha Taung, is a Holocene basaltic trachyandesite lava plateau in north-central Burma, north of the city of Mandalay. The lava flows originated from fissure vents and cover an area of about 62 sq km"

No age is given for the last eruption.

A post from volcanologist John Seach is quoted as saying:

"A magnitude 6.6 Earthquake hit 36 km north of Singu volcano, Burma on 11th November 2012. Two magnitude 5.0 aftershocks occurred 8 and 13 km from the volcano two hours later. The last eruption at Singu volcano is unknown but probably occurred in the past 10,000 years, which makes it an active volcano on a geological timescale."

As of now there have only been 4 major aftershocks, a 5.8, a 5.6, and two 5.0 quakes. Three of these have occurred within the volcanic region.

1 comment:

  1. Aung San Suu Kyi is not the president of Myanmar, she is a member of parliament and leader of the opposition. The president is former military leader Thein Sein.


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