Monday, November 25, 2013

Deadly New Zealand Earthquakes Weakened Earth's Crust

 

An aerial view of Christchurch, New Zealand, where a magnitude 6.3 earthquake struck Feb. 22. 

 A series of deadly earthquakes that shook New Zealand in 2010 and 2011 may have weakened a portion of Earth's crust, researchers say.

New Zealand lies along the dangerous Ring of Fire — a narrow zone around the Pacific Ocean where about 90 percent of all the world's earthquakes, and 80 percent of the largest ones, strike.

A devastating magnitude- 6.3 quake struck New Zealand's South Island in 2011. Centered very close to Christchurch, the country's second-largest city, it killed 185 people and damaged or destroyed 100,000 buildings. The earthquake was the costliest disaster to ever strike New Zealand, consuming about one-sixth of the country's gross domestic product.

This lethal earthquake was the aftershock of a magnitude-7.1 temblor that struck 172 days earlier (in 2010) in the area, causing millions of dollars in damage to bridges and buildings, and seriously injuring two people. Although the 2010 temblor was stronger than its aftershock, it caused less damage because it occurred farther away from any city. The 2011 earthquake was, in turn, followed by a number of large aftershocks of its own. [Image Gallery: This Millennium's Destructive Earthquakes].

For the rest of the story: http://www.livescience.com/41446-new-zealand-earthquakes-weakened-crust.html

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