Talk:1960 Valdivia earthquake

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Dating problem[edit]

Hi--am I reading this wrong? It seems to say the earthquake of May 22 was preceded by a smaller earthquake on May 22? Somebody working on this might want to double-check. 03:26, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

It seems someone misread "preceded" and changed the date from May 21 to May 23. After checking [the USGS], I've corrected the date.Buss 05:37, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

Magnitude scales[edit]

Hi there, because of new interest in earthquake scales caused by large quakes at the end of 2004, I'm highlighting the Moment magnitude scale and the Richter magnitude scale. If I've screwed up, feel free to correct.

The Richter scale stops working at the high end of the scale. It "saturates", according to the above two linked articles. So it's best to avoid mentioning it for a very big earthquake such as this one. -- Curps 21:04, 26 Dec 2004 (UTC)


I think a verbatim quote of external references could be a copyright violation. I removed those from that section. Please, summarize in article, instead. Awolf002 14:31, 5 May 2005 (UTC)

I am curious about the Hawai'i events link. I find no reference to a Magnitude 16.____ event on that site and do not know of what scale any event would register that high on (Richter, moment, etc.). In any event, all magnitude and intensities should have scale names associated with them to make them of any value.


I removed the claim that a volcano erupted because of this earthquake. Please, provide reference before adding this. Awolf002 21:41, 11 October 2005 (UTC)

It's not true. 21:43, 18 October 2005 (UTC)
It was true... The Puyehue volcano erupted two days after the earthquake. [1] --KRATK 22:18, 10 March 2006 (UTC)


I was surprised to read that the majority of casualties were caused by tsunamis. I had been told that it was landslides that caused most deaths. Any references?

According to the USGS report [2]referenced in the article there were only 61 deaths from the tsunami, this is a direct contradiction of the article.Moheroy 11:49, 19 October 2006 (UTC)
I disagree with your conclusion. The ref'ed article says "61 deaths in Hawaii" (and 138 in Japan, etc). I will rv to the previous version, since it seems "more precise" in its "estimates". Awolf002 19:33, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

Also, the article is strong on the geophysical aspects of the event but there is not much info about what happend afterwards. What was the damage caused to society in Chile and elsewhere? --rxnd ( t | | c ) 21:45, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

Volcano Picture and Tsunami Info[edit]

What is the relevance of the picture of the volcano in this article? Also is there an article on the following tsunami. If not i propose one should be started or information about the tsunami be added to the article.

The picture is still there and asking for an explanation. I know nothing about the issue, so I'm not game to make a random edit like removing the picture or inventing an explanation, but something should be done imho. Deuar 14:08, 12 June 2006 (UTC)
The Puyehue Volcano eruption.

I moved this picture from the article to the talk page because the article doesn't even mention the volcano in question. If someone more knowledgeable about the topic knows what the connection is and wants to write it into the article, please do so. 青い(Aoi) 05:37, 29 July 2006 (UTC)

The picture is relevant. The Puyehue Volcano erupted 48 hours after the main earthquake as result of the shock: "The last eruption of Puyehue-Cordon de Caulle volcanic complex is linked to the 1960 Valdivia earthquake." here and The Puyehue volcano erupted forty-seven hours after the main shock. here --KRATK 07:48, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

Reason for article move - Renaming discussion[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

The result of this discussion was move to 1960 Valdivia earthquake. -- Awolf002 22:19, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

  • Why was this article moved? Where was this discussed? Awolf002 (talk) 23:12, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
Dont know, but it is maybe time to discuss the name. Using Great Chilean Earthquake is somewhat missleading as far from all of Chile was affected. Then i also think Earthquake should not be capitalized, because it is not on most other earthquake articles. In my current opinion is that 1960 Valdivia earthquake is the most correct name, just like 1755 Lisbon earthquake (and not Great Portugese Earthquake). 1960 Valdivia earthquake is also closer to the spanish name es:Terremoto de Valdivia de 1960. So if Great Chilean Earthquake is not too widespread and used in the English language 1960 Valdivia earthquake should be used. Dentren | Talk 11:27, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
This very well reasoned. I think, if we do not find Great Chilean Earthquake used mainly in English publications, we should use 1960 Valdivia earthquake. Let me see what I can find... Awolf002 (talk) 19:57, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
Ok, superficially "Great Chilean Earthquake" wins with 10,300 entries over "1960 Valdavia Earthquake" with 176. However, when counting the scientific papers on the first three pages (thus ignoring WP and clones and popular science sites), you get about the same number (7 vs. 8). What should we conclude? Awolf002 (talk) 20:26, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
I can agree.. but with or without capilized Earthquake? Dentren | Talk 11:56, 22 November 2007 (UTC)
I think it should be 'e', since it is not a proper noun per WP:MOS#Article_titles. Awolf002 (talk) 21:38, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

If nobody else chimes in, I will move this article to the agreed upon name 1960 Valdavia earthquake. Anybody? Awolf002 (talk) 12:16, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

why the hell do you guys care about whether earthquake is capitalized or not? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:50, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

Because consistency across articles is important, for one thing. I actually came here just to see if the "e" should be capitalized or not for something I am writing, so yes, it does matter. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) date

Epicenter loction[edit]

In the map of the article the epicenter is in Contulmo rather than Valdivia. As fas I know there was a series of earthquakes with epicenters along a north-south line but which epicenter is considered "the epicenter"? Valdivia was probably the most affected city but it doesnt mean that the strongest or first epicenter was there. do somebody know something about it? Dentren | Talk 18:16, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

Human sacrifice[edit]

Disaster would not leave Chile alone. Attempting to placate the gods they held responsible for the continuing quakes in southern Chile, Mapuche Indians last week beat a six-year-old boy to death with sticks, tore out his heart and offered it to the sea. When police arrested two of the Indians, they explained: "We were asking for calm in the sea and on the earth."

Obviously, this source text from the TIME ref does not match what is currently in the article, which is in itself attributed to The Highest Altar: Unveiling the Mystery of Human Sacrifice (1989) ISBN 9780140139747 Can we get confirmation on this? Viriditas (talk) 19:05, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
Is this notable and in the right context? This story is mentioned in the author's wiki, it does not seem to be notable enough to duplicate it here. Awolf002 (talk) 01:02, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

it is missing some info like that it was caused by the nazac plate moving

That is already said under "Tectonic interpretation" Dentren | Talk 15:41, 14 January 2010 (UTC)

900km or 435miles? These are not equivalent... (talk) 08:30, 22 May 2010 (UTC)

Dead link[edit]

During several automated bot runs the following external link was found to be unavailable. Please check if the link is in fact down and fix or remove it in that case!

--JeffGBot (talk) 19:01, 4 June 2011 (UTC)

Dead link 2[edit]

During several automated bot runs the following external link was found to be unavailable. Please check if the link is in fact down and fix or remove it in that case!

--JeffGBot (talk) 19:01, 4 June 2011 (UTC)

Magnitude & Reference[edit]

USGS says it is 9.6. Should I edit it? Also the reference for the earthquake's magnitude needs to be added. Pubserv (talk) 20:04, 10 July 2013 (UTC)

They give it as 9.5 [3]. Mikenorton (talk) 20:52, 10 July 2013 (UTC) Pubserv (talk) 08:36, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
OK, thanks for the link. It appears that there are range of estimates from about 9.4 to 9.6, depending on the method used to derive the magnitude. The 9.6 was first reported by Pacheco & Sykes, based on the seismic moment estimated by Cifuentes & Silver 1989. This was then used in the Centennial catalogue of Engdahl & Villasenor in 2002. Bufe & Perkins (2005), describe these different estimates, choosing to use the 9.5 value originally estimated by Kanamori (1977) for their own purposes. Satake and Atwater (2007) report the 9.4-9.6 range that I mentioned above, but quote 9.5 as being the " widely accepted number". So I don't think that there's anything wrong with using the 9.5 value here, but we should probably have the full range in the earthquake article itself. Mikenorton (talk) 20:53, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
OK, looks like I need to add all those magnitude refs to the article, I should have done it a year ago. Mikenorton (talk) 08:18, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
Too complicate matters further the catalogue recently released by ICS-GEM [4] includes recalculations of location, depth and magnitude for all of the larger events (>7.5) over the period 1900-2009. This catalogue has the 1960 earthquake as 9.6, so I am minded to change the infobox value to that, but have a short section discussing the magnitude in the text. Mikenorton (talk) 16:29, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

Hey, it's true. Updated magnitude is 9.6Mw. See This source is newer than You can actually see in the webpage's footer the date of its last modification. --Foschograph (talk) 20:36, 3 September 2014 (UTC)

We're talking about events that have been studied by many individuals and groups (from many institutions) so to say one website makes anything true would be a gross oversimplification. To do the best service to the readers we really need to present a more substantial presentation than stating what the USGS says on their website. Dawnseeker2000 21:26, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
To recap, the USGS gives either 9.5 or 9.6 depending on which page you're looking at, the NGDC gives 9.5 [5], the Chilean catalogue gives 9.5 [6], the ICS-GEM catalogue gives 9.6, the IISEE catalogue gives 9.5, Finally to quote Satake & Atwater "The mainshock itself has a range of estimated sizes. Kanamori (1977) used 2×1023 Nm as an average estimate of seismic moment; the corresponding moment magnitude of 9.5 has become the widely accepted number. However, the seismic moments estimated from free oscillations and strain seismograms span the range 1–3×1023 Nm, equivalent to Mw 9.4–9.6 (Kanamori & Cipar 1974, Kanamori & Anderson 1975, Cifuentes 1989, Cifuentes & Silver 1989)." As I've said above the recently published catalogue gives a reason to lean towards the 9.6 figure where we want a single number, but otherwise we should just report the range with supporting citations. Mikenorton (talk) 22:48, 3 September 2014 (UTC)


I'm intending to restructure the article and include more information on the scientific side of the earthquake, separating it from the description of the damage caused. This will cover the estimates of magnitude, depth, epicentre, foreshocks and aftershocks, the distribution of shaking, the details of the tsunami with run-ups the triggering of an eruption, the number and volumes of the landslides triggered by the earthquake and so on. The tectonic interpretation section needs rewriting and expanding as well. Comments welcome. Mikenorton (talk) 19:14, 4 September 2014 (UTC)

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