Poster of the Araucania, Chile Earthquake of 02 January 2011 - Magnitude 7.1
The January 2nd 2011 Araucania, Chile earthquake occurred as a result of shallow thrust faulting on or near the subduction interface between the Nazca and South America tectonic plates. At the location of this event, the Nazca plate moves east-northeastwards with respect to South America at a rate of approximately 74 mm/yr. The Nazca plate, oceanic in origin, subducts beneath the South America plate at a shallow angle along the Peru-Chile trench, and is seismically active to depths of approximately 200 km near the epicenter of today's earthquake, through further north seismicity continues to depths exceeding 600 km.
The January 2nd 2011 earthquake occurred at the southern end of the aftershock region of the Mw 8.8 megathrust earthquake of February 27, 2010, and can also be considered an aftershock of that event. The subduction zone between the Nazca and South America plates has a long history of large megathrust earthquakes, including the largest ever recorded event, an M9.5 shock in 1960, which ruptured a fault mostly to the south of today's earthquake.
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