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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Current Events > Latin America & the Caribbean > Haiti

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Haiti Jan 2010 Earthquake in Haiti. .

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  #1  
Old 24 Jan 10, 19:14
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Carribean Basin tectonics

when was the last time the atlantic plate shifted,I cant recal it going off save for tremmers in the ucatan penninsula and the small quake near mexico city in the late 80' I believe.
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Old 24 Jan 10, 22:38
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8.1 is now a "small quake"? The 1906 San francisco quake was estimated at around 7.7. Bear in mind too that the richter scale is logarithmic.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1985_Me...ity_earthquake
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Old 25 Jan 10, 09:27
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The plates are always shifting. The Enriquillo-Plantain Garden Fault (the fault system that caused the Haiti quake) was shifting about 20 cm/yr before the quake. A segment of the fault at a depth of 11 km near Port au Prince ruptured; and suddenly moved 480 cm and caused a massive quake.

This particular fault is a strike-slip fault. The North American and Caribbean plates are moving past one another. The incredible force of the plate movement is mostly offset by the incredible force of friction between the two plates. Occasionally sections of faults will rupture and the opposing fault blocks will locally move very rapidly for a brief period of time.
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