List of earthquakes in Greece

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This list of earthquakes in Greece includes notable earthquakes that have affected Greece during recorded history. This list is currently incomplete, representing only a fraction of the possible events.

Tectonic setting[edit]

Greece is located at the complex boundary zone in the eastern Mediterranean between the African Plate and the Eurasian Plate. The northern part of Greece lies on the Eurasian Plate while the southern part lies on the Aegean Sea Plate. The Aegean Sea Plate is moving southwestward with respect to the Eurasian Plate at about 30 mm/yr while the African Plate is subducting northwards beneath the Aegean Sea Plate at a rate of about 40 mm/yr. The northern plate boundary is a relatively diffuse divergent boundary while the southern convergent boundary forms the Hellenic arc.[1]

These two plate boundaries give rise to two contrasting tectonic styles, extension on east-west trending fault zones with strike-slip tectonics on SW-NE trending fault zones throughout west and central Greece, Peloponnese and the northern Aegean and contractional in the southern Aegean, continuing around to the Ionian islands. The south Aegean is the location of the volcanic arc and is characterised by extension. To the east of Crete along the Hellenic Arc, strike-slip tectonics with some extension become important.[1]

The strongest earthquakes historically are those associated with the Hellenic Arc, although none larger than about 7.2 have been observed instrumentally. The events of AD 365 and 1303 are likely to have been much larger than this. In mainland Greece, normal faulting gives earthquakes up to 7 in magnitude, while in the northern Aegean, strike-slip events with a magnitude of 7.2 have been recorded. Large intermediate depth (>50 km) earthquakes of magnitude >7 from within the subducting African Plate have been recorded but such events cause little damage, although they are widely felt.[1]

List of notable earthquakes[edit]

Date Time‡ Place Latitude Longitude Fatalities Magnitude Comments Sources
464 BC Sparta
see 464 BC Sparta earthquake
37.08 22.43 up to 20,000 7.2 Ms [2]
426 BC Euboic Gulf
see 426 BC Malian Gulf tsunami
38.87 22.62 The historian Thucydides concluded that the tsunami was caused by the earthquake, the first to recognize such a link [3]
226 BC Rhodes
see 226 BC Rhodes earthquake
36.43 28.21 Toppled the Colossus of Rhodes [4]
21 July 365 Sunrise Crete, Alexandria
see 365 Crete earthquake
35.07 24.95 ~8 Raised part of Crete 9 metres, causing severe damage and triggering a tsunami that devastated Alexandria [5]
December 856 Corinth 37.9 22.9 45,000 [6]
8 August 1303 06:00 local time Crete, Alexandria
see 1303 Crete earthquake
35.0 27.0 10,000 ~8 Triggered a major tsunami; severely damaged the Lighthouse of Alexandria [6][7]
3 May 1481 03:00 Rhodes
see 1481 Rhodes earthquake
36.0 28.0 30,000 7.1 Ms [8]
16 February 1810 22:15 Crete, Heraklion
see 1810 Crete earthquake
35.5 25.6 2,000 7.5 Mw [9]
3 April 1881 11:30 Chios, Çeşme, Alaçatı
see 1881 Chios earthquake
38.25 26.25 7,866 6.5 Mw [10]
26 September 1932 19:20 Ierissos
see 1932 Ierissos earthquake
39.8 23.8 491 7.0 [11]
12 August 1953 09:24 Cephalonia, Zakynthos
see 1953 Ionian Earthquake
38.2 20.6 476 7.2 Ms [12]
9 July 1956 03:11:39 Dodecanese 36.9 26.0 56 7.8 Ms Triggered a tsunami that affected the entire Aegean Sea [13]
20 June 1978 11:04 Thessaloniki
see 1978 Thessaloniki earthquake
40.74 23.23 47 6.5 Mw [14]
24 February 1981 20:53:38 Gulf of Corinth 38.222 22.934 22 6.7 Ms [15]
7 September 1999 11:56 Athens
see 1999 Athens earthquake
38.11 23.60 143 6.0 Mw [16]
8 January 2006 11:34 Kythira
see 2006 Southern Greece earthquake
36.30 23.36 6.8 Mw [17]
8 June 2008 12:25 Peloponnese
see 2008 Peloponnese earthquake
38.029 21.464 2 6.5 Mw [18]
15 July 2008 03:26 Dodecanese
see 2008 Dodecanese earthquake
35.80 27.86 1 6.4 Mw [19]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c USGS (29 March 2010). "Tectonic Summary of Greece". Retrieved 26 July 2010. 
  2. ^ Armijo, R., Lyon-Caen, H., and Papanastassiou, D., R.; Lyon-Caen, H.; Papanastassiou, D. (May 9, 1991). "A possible normal-fault rupture for the 464 BC Sparta earthquake". Nature 351 (6322): 137–139. Bibcode:1991Natur.351..137A. doi:10.1038/351137a0. Retrieved 2010-07-25. 
  3. ^ Antonopoulos, J. (1992). "The Tsunami of 426 BC in the Maliakos Gulf, Eastern Greece". Natural Hazards 5: 83–93. doi:10.1007/BF00127141. Retrieved 25 July 2010. 
  4. ^ Guidoboni E.; Ferrari G., Mariotti D., Comastri A., Tarabusi G. & Valensise G. "Catalogue of Strong Earthquakes in Italy 461 B.C. - 1997and Mediterranean area 760 B.C. - 1500". Retrieved 2010-07-25. 
  5. ^ Stiros, S.C. (2001). "The AD 365 Crete earthquake and possible seismic clustering during the fourth to sixth centuries AD in the Eastern Mediterranean: a review of historical and archaeological data". Journal of Structural Geology 23 (2–3): 545–562. Bibcode:2001JSG....23..545S. doi:10.1016/S0191-8141(00)00118-8. Retrieved 25 July 2010. 
  6. ^ a b IISEENET (Information Network of Earthquake disaster Prevention Technologies) - Search Page
  7. ^ Papadopolous, G.A.; Daskalaki E., Fokaefs A. & Giraleas N. (2007). "Tsunami hazards in the Eastern Mediterranean: strong earthquakes and tsunamis in the East Hellenic Arc and Trench system". Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences 7: 57–64. doi:10.5194/nhess-7-57-2007. Retrieved 26 July 2010. 
  8. ^ NGDC. "Comments for the Significant Earthquake". Retrieved 24 July 2010. 
  9. ^ Ambraseys, N.N.; Melville, C.P.; Adams, R.D (1994). The seismicity of Egypt, Arabia, and the Red Sea: a historical review. Cambridge University Press. p. 63. ISBN 978-0-521-39120-7. Retrieved 1 August 2010. 
  10. ^ Altinok, Y.; Alpar B., Özer N. & Gazioglu C. (2005). "1881 and 1949 earthquakes at the Chios-Cesme Strait (Aegean Sea) and their relation to tsunamis". Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences 5 (5): 717–725. doi:10.5194/nhess-5-717-2005. Retrieved 31 July 2010. 
  11. ^ Pavlides, S.B.; Tranos M.D. (1991). "Structural characteristics of two strong earthquakes in the North Aegean: Ierissos (1932) and Agios Efstratios (1968)". Journal of Structural Geology 13 (2). Retrieved 1 August 2010. 
  12. ^ Papazachos, B.C. (1996). "Large seismic faults in the Hellenic Arc" (PDF). Annali di Geofisica 39: 891–903. 
  13. ^ NGDC. "Comments for the Significant Earthquake". Retrieved 26 July 2010. 
  14. ^ CALTECH (19 February 2008). "The Salonica (Thessaloniki) Earthquake of June 20, 1978". Retrieved 1 December 2010. 
  15. ^ NGDC. "Comments for the Significant Earthquake". Retrieved 1 October 2013. 
  16. ^ USGS (6 April 2004). "Magnitude 6.0 GREECE 1999 September 07 11:56:49 UTC". Retrieved 25 July 2010. 
  17. ^ "Magnitude 6.8 - Southern Greece: 8 January 2006 11:34:55 UTC", Earthquake Hazard Program, United States Geological Survey
  18. ^ USGS. "Magnitude 6.4 - GREECE 8 June 2008 12:25:30 UTC". Retrieved 25 July 2010. 
  19. ^ USGS. "Significant Earthquakes of the World 2008". Retrieved 25 July 2010.