For this assignment, we are to examine earthquake activity around the world. Specifically, we are to examine the United States Geological Survey (USGS) earthquake website searching for earthquakes that have occurred around the world with a magnitude greater than two point five in the last seven days. Responses to the questions of the lab, based on the information obtained from the USGS website at 10:23 AM on Friday, January 3, 2014, are the basis of this paper.
Greater Than Six Point Zero
The lab asks if there were any earthquakes in the past week that registered a magnitude of over six point zero. One earthquake did register over six point zero. This earthquake centered thirty-seven kilometers west of Sola, Vanuatu registered a magnitude of six point six. The USGS reported the earthquake “hit the South Pacific island nation early Thursday local time. The quake was at a depth was one hundred ninety six kilometers” (AP, 2013). Vanuatu lies within the active area known as the Ring of Fire comprised of volcanoes and fault lines around the Pacific Basin.
Four Point Five to Six Point Zero Magnitude
To someone who has never looked at this type of information before, there were an astounding eighty-four earthquakes in the last seven days that registered a magnitude between four point five and six point zero. According to Michigan Tech University (MTU), earthquakes registering a magnitude of two point five to five point four are “often felt, but only causes minor damage” (MTU, n.d.). Earthquakes registering a magnitude of five point five to six point zero have the capability to slightly damage structures. Taking the time to observe and ponder on this information, one quickly realizes both the power of nature and that the Earth is still an ever changing and evolving planet.
Most Non-US Based
In the seven-day period I am examining, one country had five earthquakes, Puerto Rico. Some may cry foul to Puerto Rico being included in a discussion revolving around earthquakes in a country other than the United States. I would argue Puerto Rico fits the criteria. Puerto Rico is not a state within the union but rather “is a self-governing commonwealth in association with the United States” (Riviera, 2013). The five earthquakes to occur within the boundaries of the land mass that makes up Puerto Rico were all of a lower magnitude. Residents likely felt the tremors but likely had no damage to buildings or other property.
The first earthquake was a two point six-magnitude earthquake located four kilometers southwest of Arecibo, Puerto Rico. The earthquake occurred December 29, 2013 at 4:25 AM at a depth of fifteen kilometers. The second earthquake was a two point seven-magnitude earthquake located four kilometers southwest of Guaynabo, Puerto Rico. The earthquake occurred January 1, 2014 at 6:10 PM at a depth of fifty-eight kilometers. The third earthquake was a three point zero magnitude earthquake located three kilometers...