Geological Oddity: 2010 Chile Earthquake Produces Antarctica Icequakes

Chile earthquake produces Antarctica icequakes?

What these scientists discovered is almost unbelievable!

According to a new study, a major earthquake in Maule, Chile created frost quakes in Antarctica. Just amazing!

This is the first evidence that distant earthquakes can trigger icequakes in Antarctica. Frost quakes are seismic tremblings caused by sudden movement within a glacier or ice sheet.

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This map shows the different icequakes recorded in Antarctica but triggered by the 2010 Maule earthquake. Photo: Nature

The story!

According to the new study, the Chile’s magnitude-8.8 earthquake on Feb. 27, 2010:

  • Created a series of strong Antarctic icequakes, each lasting from one to 10 seconds
  • Icequakes were picked up at only 12 of Antarctica’s 42 seismometers
  • Signals have a pattern suggesting shallow crevasses generated the tiny tremors
  • The epicenter was 2,900 miles (4,700 km) north of Antarctica.

The scientists think the crevasses are being activated by the surface waves from this big earthquake coming through, and that’s making the icequake.

Listen to these icequake sounds in the following video:

How are the crevasses were activated?

Only the surface wave is to blame for most of Antarctica’s icequakes (Rayleigh wave). Nonetheless, at some stations, a seismic “P wave” (travels through the Earth’s interior) was also recorded.

I am still asking me how 2010 Chile Earthquake Produces Antarctica Icequakes. I find just pretty difficult to imagine how a large earthquake can shift things on the other side of the world! What about you?

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