By Tony Winterburn • 09 March 2021 • 12:36
Ronda In Andalucía Shaken By Two Earthquakes. image: IGN
Ronda In Andalucía Spain Shaken By Two Earthquakes.
Two earthquakes have been registered in Malaga province just a few hours apart today, Tuesday morning, March 9. The first of them had its epicentre in Casarabonela in the Sierra de las Nieves region. According to Spain’s National Geographic Institute (IGN), the quake had a magnitude of 3.1 and happened at around 12.15 at a depth of 21 kilometres.
The second of the earthquakes were detected in the town of Serrato, in the Guadalteba region. It was recorded at 6.02 am with a magnitude of 2.9 and, this time, just two kilometres from the surface. The quakes were powerful enough to be felt been felt as far away as in the town of Benalmádena, Malaga. Earthquakes are common in the region, see below for recent seismic activity.
The reason behind Spain’s eastern coast experiencing a lot of seismic activity is that it lies on the Eurasian Plate just to the north of its boundary with the African Plate. Scientists say the Eurasian tectonic plate is actually moving ‘underneath’ its African counterpart, and that movements, though very gradual, can actually produce a big lurch that can cause a more significant tremor.
The continents are converging; and for many millions of years, the northern edge of the African tectonic plate has descended under Europe. But this process has stalled and scientists say we may be seeing Europe taking a turn.
If they are correct, this would signal the start of a new subduction zone – a rare event, scientifically fascinating. Beneath the Mediterranean Sea, the cold, dense rock at the extreme north of the African plate has virtually all sunk under the Eurasian plate on which Europe sits in a situation that could give rise to more, continuous earthquakes.
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