Open-File Report 2010-1083-H
There have been 22 M7.5+ earthquakes recorded in the New Guinea region since 1900. The dominant earthquake mechanisms are thrust and strike slip, associated with the arc-continent collision and the relative motions between numerous local microplates. The largest earthquake in the region was a M8.2 shallow thrust fault event in the northern Papua province of Indonesia that killed 166 people in 1996.
The Australia-Pacific plate boundary is over 4,000 km long on the northern margin, from the Sunda (Java) trench in the west to the Solomon Islands in the east. The eastern section is over 2,300 km long, extending west from northeast of the Australian continent and the Coral Sea until it intersects the east coast of Papua New Guinea. The boundary is dominated by the general northward subduction of the Australia plate.
First posted December 19, 2011
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Benz, H.M., Herman, Matthew, Tarr, A.C., Hayes, G.P., Furlong, K.P., Villaseñor, Antonio, Dart, R.L., and Rhea, Susan, 2011, Seismicity of the Earth 1900–2010 New Guinea and vicinity: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2010–1083-H, scale 1:8,000,000.