“Like the Haiti earthquake, the Chile earthquake occurred in a seismic gap -- a segment of a fault which has not had a major earthquake for an extended period of time (165 years in the case of Chile; about 250 years in the case of Haiti). The 1835 earthquake in Concepción Chile was described by Charles Darwin, who experienced it first hand. The 2010 Chile earthquake was probably loaded by release of stress on the adjacent segment to the south, which experienced the largest earthquake ever recorded in 1960.
“One of the most prominent remaining seismic gaps is in northernmost Chile near the towns of Arica and Iquique. This segment last had an earthquake in 1877. Modeling of surface features by my research group suggests that, when this segment fails, it will produce an earthquake greater than magnitude 8.”
Joe Schwartz | Newswise Science News
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