Another HUGE Earthquake – Magnitude 7.5 – 130km SSW of Kokopo, Papua New Guinea

What is happening to our planet? Nepal, April 25, 2015 magnitude 7.9 with at least one after-shock registering 6.8 and this morning May 5, 2015, a 7.5 in New Guinea. from USGS The May 5, 2015 M 7.5 earthquake south-southwest of Kokopo, Papua New Guinea, occurred as the result of thrust faulting on or near the plate boundary interface between the subducting Australia and overriding Pacific plates. At the location of the earthquake, the Australia plate moves towards the east-northeast at a velocity of 105 mm/yr with respect to the Pacific plate, and begins its subduction into the mantle beneath New Britain at the New Britain Trench, south-southeast of the earthquake. The moment tensor and depth of the event are consistent with thrust-type motion on the interface between these two plates. Note that at the location of the earthquake, some researchers divide the edges of the Australia and Pacific plates into several microplates that take up the overall convergence between Australia and the Pacific, including the Solomon Sea and South Bismark microplates local to this event. The Solomon Sea plate moves slightly faster and more northeasterly with respect to the Pacific plate than does Australia due to sea-floor spreading in the Woodlark Basin several hundred kilometers to the southeast of the May 5 earthquake, facilitating the classic subduction evident beneath New Britain. There have been 22 M7.5+ earthquakes recorded in the New Guinea region since 1900. The dominant earthquake mechanisms are thrust and strike slip, associated with the arc-continent collision and the relative motions between numerous local microplates. The largest earthquake in the region was a M8.2 shallow thrust fault event in the northern Papua province of Indonesia that killed 166 people in 1996. Screen Shot 2015-05-05 at 5.46.39 AM Continue Reading>>>

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