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Tectonic Summary of Magnitude 6.8 - MYANMAR Quake, 2011/3/24

An earthquake of 6.8  magnitude struck  Myanmar on 2011 March 24.  Though it happened  near Chiang Rai, Thailand, Myanmar suffer  more destructions.  Present-day  deformation and earthquakes in Myanmar and adjacent parts of southeast Asia are  driven by the northward  movement of the  Indian subcontinent as it collides  with the  Eurasian plate. Myanmar, on  the eastern  side of this collisional zone, lies east of the boundary  between  the Indian plate to the  west,  and the  Sunda plate.   At the latitude  of the  March 24 earthquake,  the Inoudian plate moves north-northeast with respect to the Sunda plate at a rate of approximately 45 mm/yr. Most of the differential motion between these two plates in Myanmar is concentrated on the Sagaing fault, which is a major north-striking, right-lateral fault that has a slip rate of approximately 18 mm/yr based on GPS data, and lies almost 400 km west of the March 24 earthquake. Numerous large earthquakes have occurred on the Sagaing fault in the past century, including a M 6.9 event in February 1991, which caused 2 fatalities.


Legend: Major Tectonic Boundaries: Subduction Zones -purple, Ridges -red and Transform Faults -green
Earthquake Location(20.70N 99.95E)
Earthquake Location(20.70N 99.95E)
Earthquake Location(20.70N 99.95E)
Additional deformation caused by the collision between the Indian and Sunda plates extends to the east across Myanmar and into neighboring Thailand and northern Laos. In northeastern Myanmar, the collision is causing internal deformation in the Shan plateau and the Shan-Thai block, which are cut by a series of northeast-striking, left-lateral faults. These include, from south to north, the Mae Chan, Nam Ma, Menxing, Menglian, Nantinghe, Wanding, and Longling faults. The March 24 M 6.8 earthquake occurred in a region of distributed deformation in the Shan-Thai block. The closest nearby large and damaging earthquake in recent history was an M 6.8 event ~170 km to the north-northeast in July 1995, which caused 11 fatalities.


Map of MYANMAR
The focal mechanism of this event, indicating potential left-lateral slip on a northeast-trending nodal plane, is similar to the slip indicated by historical focal mechanisms throughout northeastern Myanmar.

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