In this GeoShort we discuss last week's triple header of large earthquakes off the coast of New Zealand. There were three major earthquakes that occurred all within a few hours of one another.
The first, a magnitude 7.3 quake, was likely unrelated to the other two, but the second one, a 7.4, was a precursor to the last one! The last quake as a giant 8.1, a full 11 times larger than the 7.4 that occurred nearby.
These earthquakes set off tsunami warnings all around the Pacific ocean from New Zealand to Chile, and everywhere in between. Tsunami warnings even sounded in Canada. Luckily, no major tsunamis occurred.
These earthquakes were generated in a plate tectonic subduction zone, where the Pacific plate is diving beneath the Australian plate to the West. The Pacific plate gets stuck though and then pressure builds up until it break!
Check out our previous episode on Plate Tectonics (Ep. 2) and stay tuned for a longer episode on these megathrust earthquakes coming out in a few weeks!
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