Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Twin Earthquakes in Tibet: USGS vs CENC

Yesterday, Xinhua reported about twin earthquakes measuring 5.4M and 4.1M in the Gerze county of Ngari prefecture. (http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2013-02/25/c_132190588.htm). Xinhua's report was based on the information from the China Earthquake Networks Center (CENC) (http://www.cenc.ac.cn/).

However, United States Geological Survey (USGS) reported the twin earthquakes with slightly different magnitude. First one was 5.2M (http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsww/Quakes/usc000fd4k.php#details) followed by a 4.6M (http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsww/Quakes/usc000fd4p.php#details). Besides the difference in  the magnitudes, there was also discrepancy in the depth of two events. While CENC reported the depths of 9km and 3km, USGS located the depth at 12km and 10km for the two events.

The Location of two earthquake events near Burog Tso
The location of earthquake events falls close to a N-S extending Normal fault (shown in green) along the Burog Tso. Due to east-west extension of the Tibetan Plateau, north-south trending normal faults are common across the plateau which are seismically active.

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