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Gulf earthquake swarm reignites

There has been multiple quakes this morning (Thursday, 16th April) in the northern gulf as the ongoing earthquake swarm flares again. A total of 4 earthquakes at a depth of 5km were located by GeoNet 35km east of Whangarei Heads, 40 km north of Little Barrier Island, which now brings the earthquake swarm count to 92. One of the quakes registered multiple felt reports from Whangarei around at 2:19am.

Summary of activity this morning as of 6:30am.

1:05am 2.6 magnitude, 35km east of Whangarei Heads 1:06am 2.5 magnitude, 35km east of Whangarei Heads 1:33am 2.9 magnitude, 35km east of Whangarei Heads 2:18am 2.0 magnitude, 35km east of Whangarei Heads

The largest quake in the swarm sequence over the last 15 months was a magnitude 4.1 on 10th February 2019. For comparison, Northland and Hauraki Gulf region in the 12 months prior to the swarm’s commencement, had a total number of 5 earthquakes. The next closet sized swarm in the Hauraki Gulf occurred in 2007 with 13 shallow earthquakes over a 4 month period.

The swarm is also in the same location as the Niagara shipwreck. The Niagara was sunk on 19 June 1940 by a German marine mine and is still believed to be carrying up to 1000 to 1500 tonnes of oil.

For reference, GeoNet’s official statement on the earthquake swarm released on 10 February 2019 when the count stood at 39 quakes.

Image: Courtesy of GeoNet with text included by this page

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