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Earthquake
Details



Alabama, M2.6, 17 February 2017

Papua New Guinea, M7.9, 22 January 2017
Cuba, M5.4, 17 January 2017
Alabama, M2.3, 13 January 2017
Fiji, M6.9, 03 January 2017
Nevada, M5.7, 28 December 2016

Southern Chile, M7.6, 25 December 2016
Papua New Guinea, M7.9, 17 December 2016
Ecuador, M5.4, 19 December 2016
Solomon Islands, M6.4, 20 December 2016



Alabama, M2.6, 17 February 2017

A very small magnitude 2.6 earthquake occurred on 17 February 2017 at 05:23:58 UTC (16 February 2017, 
11:23:58 CST) in west-central Alabama, with epicenter approximately 101 mi (163 km) from Heflin, Alabama. 
The quake had a focal depth of 0.7 mi (1.1 km). 

Northern and north-central regions of Alabama lie in the Southern Appalachian Seismic Zone (SASZ), which roughly
follows the Appalachian Mountains from southwestern Virginia into the northeastern corner and central part of Alabama.
The USGS says that, “the Southern Appalachian Seismic Zone is one of the most active earthquake zones in the eastern
United States.”  The SASZ has released moderate levels of seismic energy for many hundreds of years. The tectonic setting
for the SASZ is crustal uplift/compression. No active seismic faults are known to reach the surface in the SASZ, although the 
area is laced with many ancient faults that developed as the Appalachian Mountains formed several hundred million years ago.
While many surface and buried faults have been located in the region, numerous unknown smaller and more deeply buried
faults remain undetected, and these all have an ongoing potential for randomly located small-to-moderate earthquakes.
 

At the EarthAlabama seismic station at Heflin, the initial P-type seismic body waves from the M2.3 quake were detected 
26 seconds after the quake occurred, and slower S-type body waves were seen at +45 seconds following the quake. 
No observable surface (L-type) waves from the event were seen at the Heflin seismic station.


More information about this event is available in the United States Geological Survey report located at
http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/us20008ke8#executive








Papua New Guinea, M7.9, 22 January 2017 

A magnitude 7.9 earthquake struck on 22 January 2017 at 04:30:23 UTC (10:30:23 pm CST 21 January) near Panguna in 
the eastern Papua New Guinea region of the western Pacific Ocean, at a location approximately 13,086 km (8131 mi) from 
Heflin, Alabama. The quake had a focal depth of 136 km (85 mi). There were no immediate reports of damages or injuries in the
epicentral area, though a tsunami warning was briefly issued for the region. 

Eastern Papua New Guinea is situated in the area of the South Solomon Trench and the Australia-Pacific tectonic plate
boundary which spans over
4000 km from the Sunda (Java) trench in the west to the Solomon Islands in the east. The boundary
is dominated by the general northward subduction
of the Australia plate. Along the South Solomon trench, the Australia plate
converges with the Pacific plate at a rate of approximately 95 mm/yr
towards the east-northeast. Seismicity along the trench is 
dominantly related to subduction tectonics, and moderate-large earthquakes are common in the region.

At Heflin, the initial seismic P-type body waves from the M7.9 event arrived approximately 18 minutes following the quake;
the initial arrival of the slower S-type
body waves was seen at +29 minutes; and the initial observable surface waves began their arrival
about 54 minutes after the quake had occurred in
Papua New Guinea.  The surface wave passage peaked at +56 minutes with a
maximum vertical ground displacement of 696 micrometers (um) seen
at the EarthAlabama seismic station.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) report on this earthquake can be found at
http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/us10007uph#executive








Cuba, M5.4, 17 January 2017

A moderate magnitude 5.4 earthquake occurred on 17 January 2017 at 09:08:02 UTC (3:08:02 am CST) with epicenter
south of Guisa, Cuba, approximately 1769 km (1099 mi) from Heflin, Alabama, USA. The quake occurred at a focal
depth of 11.0 km (6.8 mi). There were no immediate reports of major damages or injuries in the epicentral area.


Southeastern Cuba is located near the Cayman Trench and the boundary between the North American and Caribbean
tectonic plates. Extensive tectonic diversity and complexity with moderate seismic activity characterizes the perimeter of the
Caribbean plate, involving no fewer than four other major plates (North America, South America, Nazca, and Cocos). Along the
northern margin of the Caribbean plate, the North America plate moves westwards with respect to the Caribbean plate at a
velocity of approximately 20 mm/yr. Several major transform faults have been identified in this region
 that represents the boundaries of the Cayman Trench.


At Heflin, the initial seismic P-type body waves from the M5.4 event arrived approximately 4 minutes following the quake.
 The initial arrival of the slower S-type body waves was seen at +7 minutes, and the initial observable seismic surface waves
 began their arrival about 10 minutes after the quake had occurred offshore southern Cuba, with a maximum vertical ground
displacement of approximately 31 micrometers (um) measured at the EarthAlabama seismic station.


More information about this event is available in the United States Geological Survey report located
at http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/us10007tmh#executive









Alabama, M2.3, 13 January 2017
 

A very small magnitude 2.3 earthquake occurred at 22:24:09 UTC (4:24 pm CST) in northwest Alabama near Florence,
with epicenter approximately 146 mi (235 km) from Heflin, Alabama. The quake had a focal depth of 4.1 mi (6.6 km). 

Northern Alabama lies in the Southern Appalachian Seismic Zone (SASZ), which roughly follows the Appalachian
Mountains from southwestern Virginia into the northeastern corner and central part of Alabama. The USGS says that, 
“the Southern Appalachian Seismic Zone is one of the most active earthquake zones in the eastern United States.” 
The SASZ has released moderate levels of seismic energy for many hundreds of years. The tectonic setting for SASZ is
crustal uplift/compression. No active seismic faults are known to reach the surface in the SASZ, although the area is laced
with many ancient faults that developed as the Appalachian Mountains formed several hundred million years ago.
While many surface and buried faults have been located in the region, numerous unknown smaller and more deeply buried
faults remain undetected, and these all have an ongoing potential for randomly located small-to-moderate earthquakes.
 

At the EarthAlabama seismic station at Heflin, the initial P-type seismic body waves from the M2.3 quake arrived after 40 seconds, 
and slower S-type body waves were seen at +66 seconds following the quake.  No observable surface (L-type) waves from the
event were seen at the Heflin seismic station.


More information about this event is available in the United States Geological Survey report located at http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/se60171946#executive







Fiji, M6.9, 03 January 2017
A moderately-strong magnitude 6.9 earthquake occurred on 03 January 2017 at 21:52:31 UTC (3:52:31 pm CST) with
epicenter southwest of Nadi, Fij, in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, at a location approximately 11919 km (7406 mi) from
Heflin, Alabama, USA. The quake occurred at a focal depth of 17.1km (10.6 mi). There were no immediate reports of major
damages or injuries in the region.  A tsunami alert was issued for the immediate region, but was lifted a short time later.

The southwestern Pacific Ocean region is one of the most seisimically active areas of the world due to high rates of
convergence between the Australia and Pacific plates. Large earthquakes are common in this area due to subduction 
tectonics. Across the North Fiji Basin and to the west of the Vanuatu Islands, the Australia plate is subducting eastward beneath
the Pacific plate at the North New Hebrides trench. The Australia-Pacific plate convergence rates vary from 70 to 100 mm/year
along the Kermadec trench, to as much as 150 to 240 mm/year along the Tonga trench.


At Heflin, the initial seismic P-type body waves from the M6.9 event arrived approximately 10 minutes following the quake. 
The initial arrival of the slower S-type body waves was seen at +28 minutes, and the initial observable surface waves began
their arrival about 51 minutes after the quake had occurred in the Fiji region. The surface wave passage peaked
at +52 minutes with a maximum vertical ground displacement of approximately 18 micrometers (um) 
measured at the EarthAlabama seismic station.

More information about this event is available in the United States Geological Survey report located at 
http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/us10007pj6#executive







Nevada, M5.7, 28 December 2016

A moderate magnitude 5.7 earthquake occurred on 28 December 2016 at 08:18:00 UTC (2:18:00 am CST) with epicenter southwest of
Hawthorne, Nevada in the western part of the state, at a location approximately 3029 km (1882 mi) from Heflin, Alabama, USA.
The quake occurred at a focal depth of 8.2 km (5.1 mi). There were no immediate reports  of major damages or injuries in the area.


Nevada lies within the Basin and Range Province and, while not on a tectonic plate boundary, is nonetheless one of the most
seismically active regions in the United States. Earthquakes in Nevada are common. The tectonic activity responsible for the
faulting movement in the Basin and Range is complex, with the most accepted reasoning suggesting that crustal shearing and
compression seen in the area is associated with the San Andreas Fault activity in California to the west.


At Heflin, the initial seismic P-type body waves from the M5.7 event arrived approximately 6 minutes following the quake. The initial
 arrival of the slower S-type body waves was seen at +10 minutes, and the initial observable surface waves began their arrival about
15 minutes after the quake had occurred in the western Nevada region. The surface wave passage peaked at +17 minutes with a
maximum vertical ground displacement of approximately 15 micrometers (um) measured at the EarthAlabama seismic station.


More information about this event is available in the United States Geological Survey report located at http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/nn00570709#executive


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 Southern Chile, M7.6, 25 December 2016

A strong magnitude 7.6 earthquake occurred on 25 December 2016 at 14:22:27 UTC (8:22:27 am CST) near Puerto Quellon
 in coastal southern Chile, at a location approximately 8609 km (5349 mi) from Heflin, Alabama, USA. The quake occurred at a
focal
depth of 34.6 km (21.5 mi). There were no immediate reports of fatalities in the region, and a tsunami alert that was issued after
 the event was lifted a short time later.


The South American arc is the tectonic plate boundary between the subducting Nazca plate and the South America plate,
extending over
 7,000 km from offshore southern Chile to a location offshore the southern coast of Panama in Central America.
 Here, the oceanic
crust and lithosphere of the Nazca plate their descent into the mantle beneath South America. Relative to a
fixed South America plate,
the Nazca plate is moving slightly north of eastwards at a rate varying from approximately 80 mm/yr in
 the south to approximately 
65 mm/yr in the north. The convergence associated with this subduction process is responsible for the
 uplift of the Andes Mountains,
for the active volcanic chain present along much of this deformation front,
and for a high level of seismicity and
frequent earthquakes in the region along this boundary. 


At Heflin, the initial seismic P-type body waves from the M7.6 event arrived approximately 12 minutes following the quake; the initial
arrival of the slower S-type body waves was seen at +22 minutes; and the initial observable surface waves began their arrival about
27 minutes after the quake had occurred in Chile. The surface wave passage peaked at +45 minutes with
 a maximum vertical ground displacement of approximately 215 micrometers (um) measured at the EarthAlabama seismic station.


More information about this event is available in the United States Geological Survey report, located at
http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/us10007mn3#executive


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 Papua New Guinea, M7.9, 17 December 2016 

A magnitude 7.9 earthquake occurred on 17 December 2016 at 10:50:12 UTC (4:50:12 am CST) near Taron in eastern Papua New Guinea,
in the western Pacific Ocean, at a location approximately 13,129 km (8158 mi) from Heflin, Alabama. The quake had a focal depth
of 103 km (64 mi). There were no immediate reports of damages or injuries in the epicentral area, though a tsunami warning was issued for the region. 

Eastern Papua New Guinea is situated in the area of the South Solomon Trench and the Australia-Pacific tectonic plate boundary which spans over
4000 km from the Sunda (Java) trench in the west to the Solomon Islands in the east. The boundary is dominated by the general northward subduction
of the Australia plate. Along the South Solomon trench, the Australia plate converges with the Pacific plate at a rate of approximately 95 mm/yr
towards the east-northeast. Seismicity along the trench is dominantly related to subduction tectonics and large earthquakes are common in the region.

At Heflin, the initial seismic P-type body waves from the M7.9 event arrived approximately 16 minutes following the quake; the initial arrival of the slower S-type
body waves was seen at +28.5 minutes; and the initial observable surface waves began their arrival about 56 minutes after the quake had occurred in 
Papua New Guinea.  The surface wave passage peaked at +64 minutes with a maximum vertical ground displacement of 236 micrometers (um) measured
at the EarthAlabama seismic station.

New Giunea M7.9 17Dec16

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New Guinea M7.9 17Dec16

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  Ecuador, M5.4, 19 December 2016

A moderate magnitude 5.4 earthquake occurred on 19 December 2016 at 07:11:39 UTC (1:11:39 am CST) near Propicia in coastal northwestern
Ecuador,at a location approximately 3,682 km (2,288 mi) from Heflin, Alabama. The quake had a focal depth of 10 km (6.2 mi). There were no
immediate reports of injuries in the region, though some electrical power outages were reported in the epicentral area.

Coastal Ecuador is located atop the South American Arc which extends over 7,000 km, from the Chilean margin triple junction offshore of southern 
Chile to its intersection with the Panama fracture zone, offshore of the southern coast of Panama in Central America. The Arc marks the plate
boundary between the subducting Nazca plate and the South America plate, where the oceanic crust and lithosphere of the Nazca plate begin their 
descent into the mantle beneath South America. Relative to a fixed South America plate, the Nazca plate moves slightly north of eastwards at a
rate varying from approximately 80 mm/yr in the south to approximately 65 mm/yr in the north. This subduction dramatically influences volcanic
activity, crustal deformation, and earthquake occurrence all along the western edge of South America.

At Heflin, the initial seismic P-type body waves from the M5.4 event arrived approximately 8 minutes following the quake; the initial arrival of 
the slower S-type body waves was seen at +12 minutes; and the initial observable surface waves began their arrival about 16 minutes after the 
quake had occurred in Ecuador.  The surface wave passage peaked at +17.5 minutes with a maximum vertical ground displacement of 3.5
micrometers (um) measured at the EarthAlabama seismic station.


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Solomon Islands, M6.4, 20 December 2016

A moderately-strong magnitude 6.4 earthquake occurred on 20 December 2016 at 04:21:28 UTC (10:21:28 pm 19 December)
near Kirakira in the Solomon Islands, at a location approximately 12,764 km (7,931 mi) from Heflin, Alabama. The quake occurred at a
focal depth of 11.3 km (7.0 mi). There were no immediate reports of injuries in the region, and no tsunami warning was issued from the event.

The Solomon Islands region lies near the northeastern margin of the Australia plate, which is one of the most seismically active areas of the
world due to high rates of convergence between the Australia and Pacific plates. Large earthquakes are common in this area of complex
interactions between the plates, with most arising from subduction of the Pacific plate at various angles beneath the Australia plate.
Convergence rates vary in the region, from some 70-100 millimeters per year in the southern-most parts of the area, to as much as 
150-240 millimeters per year in the north.

At Heflin, the initial seismic P-type body waves from the M6.4 event arrived approximately 19 minutes following the quake; the initial arrival of 
the slower S-type body waves was seen at +29 minutes; and the initial observable surface waves began their arrival about 50 minutes after the 
quake had occurred in the Solomon Islands region. The surface wave passage peaked at +60 minutes with a maximum vertical ground displacement of
 15 micrometers (um) measured at the EarthAlabama seismic station.



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