Haiti

Magnitude 7.0 - HAITI REGION, 2010 January 12 21:53:09 UTC

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Earthquake Details

Magnitude: 7.0

Date-Time:

Tuesday, January 12, 2010 at 21:53:09 UTC

Tuesday, January 12, 2010 at 04:53:09 PM at epicenter

Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones

Location: 18.451°N, 72.445°W

Depth: 10 km (6.2 miles) set by location program

Region: HAITI REGION

Distances: 15 km (10 miles) SW of PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti

140 km (90 miles) E of Les Cayes, Haiti

145 km (90 miles) WNW of Barahona, Dominican Republic

1140 km (710 miles) SE of Miami, Florida

Location Uncertainty: horizontal +/- 8.3 km (5.2 miles); depth fixed by location program

Parameters: NST=103, Nph=103, Dmin=365.7 km, Rmss=1.14 sec, Gp= 94°,

M-type=teleseismic moment magnitude (Mw), Version=7

Source: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)

Event ID: us2010rja6

- This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.

Tectonic Summary

The Haiti earthquake of January 12, 2010, shock occurred in the boundary region separating the Caribbean plate and the North America plate. This plate boundary is dominated by left-lateral strike slip motion and compression, and accommodates about 20 mm/y slip, with the Caribbean plate moving eastward with respect to the North America plate.

Haiti occupies the western part of the island of Hispaniola, one of the Greater Antilles islands, situated between Puerto Rico and Cuba. At the longitude of the January 12 earthquake, motion between the Caribbean and North American plates is partitioned between two major east-west trending, strike-slip fault systems -- the Septentrional fault system in northern Haiti and the Enriquillo-Plaintain Garden fault system in southern Haiti.

The location and focal mechanism of the earthquake are consistent with the event having occurred as left-lateral strike slip faulting on the Enriquillo-Plaintain Garden fault system. This fault system accommodates about 7 mm/y, nearly half the overall motion between the Caribbean plate and North America plate.

The Enriquillo-Plaintain Garden fault system has not produced a major earthquake in recent decades. The EPGFZ is the likely source of historical large earthquakes in 1860, 1770, 1761, 1751, 1684, 1673, and 1618, though none of these has been confirmed in the field as associated with this fault.