Within the last 8 hours, two strong earthquakes rattled the ground around the world: A rare M6.3 earthquake in the Balleny Islands region of Antarctica followed, a few hours later, by a M6.0 tremor in the Jujuy Province of Argentina.
M6.3 – Balleny Islands, Antarctica
Estimated released energy: 1.8 x 1014 joules; Equivalent to 49.4 gigawatt hours, 42502 tons of TNT or 2.7 atomic bombs!
The Balleny Islands are a series of uninhabited islands in the Southern Ocean.
In the archipelago, the Buckle, Sturge and Young Islands are examples of stratovolcanoes. It is possible that these islands are still volcanically active. The Brown Peak volcano may have had an eruption in 2001, based on satellite observation.
Strong earthquakes very close to the islands are rare, but tremors of moderate strength do occur over the Pacific-Antarctic Ridge, Macquarie Triple Junction and Pacific Rim between the Balleny Islands and Macquarie Island.
Other earthquakes occur near the Southeast Indian Ridge and Balleny Fracture Zone, including a magnitude 8.1 earthquake in 1998 that struck just over 700 km (430 mi) west-northwest of the islands which changed the pattern of seismicity in a wide area around the islands. Yesterday’s quake occurred in the same region.
M6.0 earthquake hits Argentina
A magnitude-6.0 earthquake occurred in Jujuy Province in Argentina at around 03:12 Feb. 22.
Estimated released energy: 6.3 x 1013 joules; equivalent of 17.5 gigawatt hours, 15080 tons of TNT or 0.9 atomic bombs!
Although very deep (256.0 to 237.0 km; from 159 to 147 mi), at least 14 people people reported feeling the quake on the USGS website.
The epicenter was about 59 km (37 miles) west of Abra Pampa. The tremor occurred at a depth of about 242 km (150 miles), and light shaking was probably felt throughout Jujuy Province in Argentina, Potosi and Tarija departments in Bolivia and far eastern Antofagasta Region in Chile.
#Sismo de 6.2° a 259 Km. de profundidad en Jujuy.
— INPRES Bot (@inpres_sismos) February 22, 2022
There have been no initial reports of damage or casualties resulting from the earthquake. Significant damage is unlikely, but light aftershocks could occur.
The 1863 Jujuy earthquake was the most powerful jolt in the area, with an estimated magnitude of 6.4 and at a depth of about 50 kilometres (31 mi). This earthquake had a felt intensity of VIII on the Mercalli intensity scale. Its magnitude and duration made it exceptionally destructive, causing damage to the cathedral, the Cabildo (colonial government house) and precarious homes in San Salvador de Jujuy, the provincial capital.
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