Thoughts on the Magnitude 6.5 – Northern Mid Atlantic Ridge Event (2013 June 24, 22:04:13 UTC)

Screenshot of Event Region

Good evening from the beautiful county of Surrey.

At 10.04pm on Monday 24 June 2013, a M6.5 earthquake occurred along the equatorial region of the Northern Mid-Atlantic Ridge, located approximately 1250km north-east of Cayenne, French Guiana. The complete details can be found on the event page on the EMSC-CSEM website, noted immediately below for quick reference:-

Earthquake – Magnitude 6.5 – NORTHERN MID-ATLANTIC RIDGE – 2013 June 24, 22:04:13 UTC.

The event, a considerably strong one for a divergent/constructive boundary, is one that was partially expected from this particular Surrey resident… because the location and timing was already identified during a Sisterly conversation over the recent May Bank Holiday weekend.

On 25 May 2013, my Sister stated that the earthquake would be located in an equatorial region of the Atlantic Ocean, would be considered innocuous – and would largely pass unnoticed by many within the immediate wider seismic community. She recommended that a cautious eye should be trained upon the post-event seismic activities of the Atlantic Ocean, expressing that the movement could cause ‘a shift’, potentially triggering another event within ‘a region between the Azores and Cape Verde‘.

I have mentioned in earlier blogs that, whilst I am certainly no great academic in many scientific matters, I had proudly obtained an Open University Stage One qualification in the subject ‘Volcanoes, Earthquakes and Tsunami‘ a few years ago. My Sister’s mention of the beautiful Portuguese islands of The Azores in the same breath as ‘shifts‘ and ‘earthquakes‘ has certainly piqued my interest, especially given the fact that the islands are located in a region with a quite remarkable tectonic and volcanic compositional dynamic.

Azores Fracture Zones This fantastic graphic from the Volcano Café Blog illustrates the location of the Azores Microplate, with the main grouping of the islands nestling against the Eurasian and African Plate boundaries. The Western Azores islands of Flores and Corvo are the only two to lay within the North American/American Continental Plate, with both resting very close to the Mid Atlantic Ridge. I would recommend reading the article ‘Monaco Bank: An Unstudied European Volcano‘ written by Volcano Café contributors, Lucas Wilson and Geolurking for a richer, in-depth explanation of the tectonic dynamics of The Azores.

I am aware that the archipelago of Cape Verde, the equally stunning islands located 350 miles from the coast of Western Africa within the cool waters of the central Atlantic Ocean, is volcanically active. The imposing stratovolcano Pico do Fogo, located on the southern island of Fogo, last erupted on 3 April 1995. There is also, I understand, a history of earthquakes on the archipelago but I will need to undertake a little more research in order to fully comprehend the precise mechanics responsible for the generation of the ‘quakes (i.e., if the earthquakes are volcanogenic in nature).

In the meantime, as my Sister has recommended, one will keep an especially keen eye on any activity related to these regions of the Atlantic. Research should prove to be very interesting indeed…

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