Tuesday 1 October 2013

Seismic activity in the Arctic

Earthquake hits Laptev Sea

30 September, 2013

An earthquake with a magnitude of 4.6 on the Richter scale hit the Laptev Sea on September 28, 2013.

This follows an earthquake with a 
magnitude of 4.5 on the Richter scale just north of Greenland on September 1, 2013, a magnitude 4.2 earthquake that hit Russia on September 5, 2013, and a magnitude 5 earthquake close to the same spot in Russia on September 24, 2013. These four earthquakes occurred on or close to the fault line that crosses the Arctic Ocean and extends into Siberia, as shown on above map and on the map below.

Furthermore, as earlier discussed in the post 
Methane release caused by earthquakes, there has been a lot of seismic activity in the Aleutian Islands region all the way up into Alaska, including an earthquake with a magnitude of 7 on the Richter scale on August 30, 2013, and several more recent earthquakes with a higher magnitude than 6 on the Richter scale.

There have been a lot of seismic activity recently, 1250 earthquakes with a magnitude of 2.5 or higher over the past 30 days, as shown on the map below.

The fault line that crosses the Arctic Ocean marks the boundery between the North American Plate and the Eurasian Plate. The danger is that earthquakes along this faultline will destabilize methane held in sediments, in the form of free gas and hydrates. As the top image shows, a lot of methane is present over the deep water part of the Arctic Ocean, along this fault line. Methane has shown up there repeatedly, indicating that methane here has been prone to release for some time here.

Related posts

- Methane release caused by earthquakes (2013)

- North Hole (2013)

- Sea of Okhotsk (2013)

- Seismic activity, by Malcolm Light and Sam Carana (2011)

- Thermal expansion of the Earth's crust necessitates geoengineering (2011)

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