Sikkim earthquake unusual and defies easy characterization

September 20, 2011SIKKIM – India’s earthquake Sept. 18 was likely the result of two seismic events striking at nearly the same time, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The magnitude 6.9 quake killed at least 55 people in northeastern India, Nepal and Tibet, reported the Associated Press. The quake rumbled the mountainous region of the Indian town of Mangan, in the northeast Indian province of Sikkim, and near the Nepalese border.The epicenter was 42 miles northwest of Gangtok, India. Tremors from India’s big earthquake were felt as far away as Bangladesh and New Delhi. The quake came at the end of the monsoon season, and rain-soaked hills spawned landslides that caused much of the devastation, according to the American Geophysical Union’s Landslide Blog. Heavy rainfall and more aftershocks in the coming days could complicate recovery efforts. A flurry of big earthquakes have hit in recent weeks around the seismically and volcanically active Pacific Ring of Fire, but they were not triggered by each other. The Sikkim earthquake, as it’s called, was also unrelated to these other temblors, but was seismically complex in its own right. The quake was likely a result of two seismic events occurring close together in time at depths of approximately 12.4 miles beneath the Earth’s surface, the USGS told OurAmazingPlanet. The quake struck near the boundary between the India and Eurasia tectonic plates, which are huge slabs of the Earth’s crust that mash and grind together and trigger earthquakes. Here, the India plate converges with Eurasia at a rate of approximately 46 millimeters per year toward the north-northeast. Over millions of years, this convergence created the uplift of the Himalayas, the world’s highest mountain range. The initial analysis of the earthquake suggests the quake wasn’t caused by one plate thrusting beneath another, but by so-called strike-slip faulting, a mechanism where fault systems slide side-to-side when two tectonic plates butt heads. Geologists suspect the fault is likely an intraplate fault within the upper Eurasian plate or the underlying India plate, rather than occurring at the interface between the two plates, according to the USGS. –MSNBC
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7 Responses to Sikkim earthquake unusual and defies easy characterization

  1. b Ocasio says:

    Thank you Alvin, this is rather difficult to understand or visualize, but I am going to download this page soI can study it better. May God raise our consciousness to his Eternal Love, to the need to love one another, and to put everything in His hands, whatever happens or wherever it happens.
    Blanca Ocasio


  2. Is it just me, or does it seem like all the fault lines and tectonic plates are becoming active at the same time?



  3. larry says:

    Alvin, with all these earthquakes getting more on the increase do you think that underground nuclear tests over the past 50 years have increased seismic activity somewhat.



    • It’s could be a factor in eroding the stability of faults of creating new subterranean channels where magma may have more access to new strata. When mantle is devoured by magma, it creates tremors. With magma devouring the mantle from below, earthquakes loosening the ground, and excessive global torrential rains weakening it and eroding topsoil from above, creating an epidemic of sinkholes- it doesn’t take a rocket scientists very long to figure out terrestrial landscape is under assault on multi-fronts. We’ve made a mess of this planet and have basically built the legacy of the 21st century on top of a graveyard of human blunders. And to top it off; we now want to stick nuclear waste and undergound bunkers in new holes in the very ground that’s been compromised.


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