Can someone give me some info on earthquakes?

I've been hearing about the 7.1 quake in New Zealand, and the latest update is that they have had over ONE THOUSAND aftershocks in three weeks since the main one. The aftershocks have been mainly 3-5.6's and they have been getting closer to the surface, one 4.8 was only 9km deep. This earthquake and these aftershocks are larger than the Haiti quake.

Is that normal? I have never heard about an earthquake having SO many aftershocks and at such a high magnitude.

Does anyone have some helpful statistics or info about why this is so major, and how long they will continue?

Update:

Thanks for all the info, but for the record I was born in Christchurch and lived there up until 2 years ago, and in all my 18years of living in New Zealand I had only ever experienced ONE earthquake and it wasn't even big enough to break the dishes.

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  • 9 years ago
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    No one truly knows why Earthquakes happen the way they do, but we do know they are caused by processes within the Earth's mantle that we can only speculate and theorize about, but if I'm not mistaken I believe New Zealand sits on part of the rim of the Ring of Fire, which is an area on the Earth known for it's high tectonic plate activity and earthquake activity. There has been some speculation that the HAARP project is responsible but there have been no confirmation of that. Aftershocks are like after building a new house, you'll get all these sounds and creaks as the house settles, it's kinda the same thing, where essentially the Earth is resettling back into place.

  • 9 years ago

    Earthquakes occur regularly in New Zealand as the country forms part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, which is geologically active. About 14,000 earthquakes, most of them minor, are recorded each year. About 200 of these are strong enough to be felt.This affects the culture of the country, in the form of general awareness, historical events, disaster planning and building regulations.

    The main quake occurred as a result of strike-slip faulting within the crust of the Pacific plate, near the eastern foothills of the Southern Alps at the western edge of the Canterbury Plains.The earthquake epicentre is located about 80–90 km (50–56 mi) to the south and east of the current surface expression of the Australia–Pacific plate boundary through the island (the Alpine and Hope Faults).Though removed from the plate boundary itself, the earthquake likely reflects right-lateral motion on one of a number of regional faults related to the overall relative motion of these plates and may be related to the overall southern propagation of the Marlborough Fault System in recent geologic time.

  • 3 years ago

    Earthquakes have been hypothesized to take place as a results of using isostatic or submit-glacial rebound. this shows that as glaciers soften the burden on the land decreases and bigger tremors might take place. in spite of the fact that it somewhat is in basic terms hypothetical and would now no longer be pronounced as fact. Our understanding at contemporary states that earthquakes are not to any extent further extra approximately by using technique of world warming.

  • 9 years ago

    N.Z. is One of the "shakiest" places- on the Planet... -They have Earthquakes down There ALL the Time !! Check out, "earthquake.usgs.gov "- for ALL the Information you ever wanted to know about the latest Ones- anywhere in the World... :)

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  • Anonymous
    9 years ago
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