Poster of the Guatemala Earthquake of 19 September 2011 - Magnitude 5.8

Tectonic Summary

The Guatemala earthquake of September 19, 2011, occurred as the result of normal faulting at shallow depth in the northwest corner of the Caribbean plate, in the Central American subduction zone. The broad scale tectonics of the Central American subduction zone are controlled by the north-northeastward subduction of the Cocos plate beneath the Caribbean plate. A preliminary determination of the earthquakes focal-mechanism implies that the shock occurred on a north-trending fault. Most instrumentally recorded earthquakes in the overriding Caribbean plate of Central America have been produced by strike-slip faulting, but seismic slip on north-trending normal-faults has been observed previously and is consistent with both the east -west extensional stresses that characterize the Caribbean plate and with geologic evidence for north-trending normal faults in southern Guatemala.

Earthquake Report

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