Papua, Indonesia Earthquake Sequence of February 2004



These earthquakes occurred in a region considered to have the most complex present-day tectonics on Earth. In the area surrounding Irian Jaya (the western half of New Guinea), four major tectonic plates, the Australian, Sunda, Philippine Sea, and Caroline plates, sandwich half a dozen proposed microplates. The interactions between these microplates produce all possible styles of faulting. These particular earthquakes ruptured strike-slip faults near the boundary of the Bird's Head plate and the recently proposed Maoke plate.