Monthlong earthquake swarm continues at Taupo Volcanic Zone, New Zealand with more than 2339 quakes

This monthlong swarm of earthquakes has been ongoing since 13 February and consists of three major pulses of activity, with about 20 days between them about 10 km west of Turangi, New Zealand.

To date there have been 2339 earthquakes located, 587 since Friday 25 May.

Taupo Volcanic Zone earthquake swarm, Turangi earthquake swarm new zealand 2017, Turangi earthquake swarm new zealand 2017 map, The 3 different earthquake swarms at Taupo Volcanic Zone since February 2017
The 3 different earthquake swarms at Taupo Volcanic Zone since February 2017. via GeoNet

Currently, there are no indications that the earthquakes are related to volcanic activity, being located well away from the active volcanoes. But of course nothing is more unsure!

In this new activity phase, there have been 11 earthquakes over M3, however none are over M3.5. The events are occurring between about 4 and 12 km depth and most are in the 5-9 km depth range.

What is the Taupo Volcanic Zone?

The Taupo Volcanic Zone is a rifting area, growing wider each year by 6-9 mm. These earthquakes are located on the western boundary of the Zone and are likely to be related to the long-term ‘tectonic’ stretching of the Zone. Several active faults are mapped in the GNS Science Active Faults database reflecting the ‘tectonic nature’ of this area.

Taupo Volcanic Zone earthquake swarm, Turangi earthquake swarm new zealand 2017, Turangi earthquake swarm new zealand 2017 map, The 3 different earthquake swarms at Taupo Volcanic Zone since February 2017
Known fault lines in the Taupo Volcanic Zone along which the earthquake swarm hits since February 2017. via GeoNet

Currently, there are no indications that the earthquakes are related to volcanic activity, being located well away from the active volcanoes. But of course nothing is more unsure!

 

Seisimic activity in the Taupo Volcanic Zone

Earthquake swarms are a common feature of the Taupo Volcanic Zone. Every few years we have one in the greater Turangi area. This 2017 series has been ongoing since 13 February and now consists of three major pulses of activity, with about 20 days between them. The second pulse is the stronger with more events and the largest event to date.

Taupo Volcanic Zone earthquake swarm, Turangi earthquake swarm new zealand 2017, Turangi earthquake swarm new zealand 2017 map, The 3 different earthquake swarms at Taupo Volcanic Zone since February 2017
Plot showing the location of the quakes for each phase… Same location. via GeoNet

Swarms come in a variety of forms and it is not possible to judge the future easily for them. Some have the stronger phase near the start, others in the middle and some swarms have the stronger activity at the end. We still anticipate this one will continue in the short term. As usual, we continue to closely monitor the activity.

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  1. […] This monthlong swarm of earthquakes has been ongoing since 13 February and consists of three major pulses of activity, with about 20 days between them about 10 km west of Turangi, New Zealand. To date, there have been 2339 earthquakes located, 587 since Friday 25 May. Currently, there are no indications that the earthquakes are related to volcanic activity, being located well away from the active volcanoes. But of course, nothing is more unsure!  In this new activity phase, there have been 11 earthquakes over M3, however, none are over M3.5. The events are occurring between about 4 and 12 km depth and most are in the 5-9 km depth range. The Taupo Volcanic Zone is a rifting area, growing wider each year by 6-9 mm. These earthquakes are located on the western boundary of the Zone and are likely to be related to the long-term ‘tectonic’ stretching of the Zone. FULL STORY […]

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