Earthquake Situation Report, 2011 Q1

Earthquakes 2011, First Quarter

We are now a quarter the way through the year 2011, and it is time for a world update on earthquake numbers with relation to some historical averages.

Geological reference times are quite long, and modern day seismic monitoring systems are just that, modern day – relatively speaking. The USGS posts annual average earthquake numbers since 1990, so, that is what we will compare our results against.

Annual Average number of earthquakes since 1990
Magnitude 5 – 5.9 (1,319)
Magnitude 6 – 6.9 (134)
Magnitude 7 – 7.9 (14)
Magnitude 8+ (1)

One way to compare numbers is to calculate a year-to-date average number. As the year progresses, the numbers will become increasingly accurate.

Historical average number of earthquakes through the 90’th day of the year, since 1990,
Magnitude 5 – 5.9 (325)
Magnitude 6 – 6.9 (33)
Magnitude 7 – 7.9 (4)
Magnitude 8 + (0.25)

As of the 90’th day of 2011,
Magnitude 5 – 5.9 (754) 232 percent of ‘normal’
Magnitude 6 – 6.9 (80) 242 percent of ‘normal’
Magnitude 7 – 7.9 (7) 199 percent of ‘normal’
Magnitude 8 + (1) ‘normal’




Clearly, the Great Quake of Japan, magnitude 9.0, has increased the total number of lower magnitude earthquakes due to the large number of aftershocks.

It also looks like it may be another ‘above average’ year – time will tell. 2010 Earthquakes were above average as well.

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