Poster of the Southwestern Pakistan Earthquake of 18 January 2011 - Magnitude 7.2

Tectonic Summary

This major earthquake occurred as a result of normal faulting within the lithosphere of the subducted Arabian plate. The present-day tectonic environment of Pakistan is determined by the motions of the Arabian and Indian plates north-northeast with respect to the Eurasian plate at velocities of 35 40 mm/y at the longitude of this earthquake. Arabian-plate lithosphere is subducted beneath the Eurasia plate at the Makran coast of Pakistan and Iran, and becomes progressively deeper to the north. The subducted Arabian plate is known to be seismically active to depths of about 160 km. The frequency of moderate and large earthquakes within the subducted Arabian plate is not high compared with the frequency of such events in some other subducted plates worldwide, but several earthquakes have occurred within this slab in the region of today's event over the past 30 years, including a magnitude 6.7 shock two hundred kilometers to the southwest in 1983.

Earthquake Report

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