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

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]

Earthquakes

Date Time‡ Place Lat Lon Deaths M I Comments Sources
464 BC Sparta 37.08 22.43 ~20,000 7.2 Ms [2]
426 BC Euboic Gulf 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 36.43 28.21 Toppled the Colossus of Rhodes [4]
365-07-21 Sunrise Crete, Alexandria 35.07 24.95 ~8 Raised part of Crete 9 metres, causing severe damage and triggering a tsunami that devastated Alexandria [5]
515 Rhodes Ambraseys states that the death toll in this nighttime event was high and that the damage was severe [6]
Dec 856 Corinth 37.9 22.9 45,000 [7]
1303-08-08 06:00 local Crete, Alexandria 35.0 27.0 10,000 ~8 Triggered a major tsunami; severely damaged the Lighthouse of Alexandria [7][8]
1481-05-03 03:00 Rhodes 36.0 28.0 30,000 7.1 Ms [9]
1810-02-16 22:15 Crete, Heraklion 35.5 25.6 2,000 7.5 Mw [10]
1840-10-30 Zakynthos 38 21 12 X NGDC
1856-10-12 00:45 Rhodes, Crete 35.5 26 538 XI 8,000 homes destroyed / Tsunami NGDC
1867-02-04 03:00 Cephalonia 38.4 20.2 200 7.9 X NGDC
1867-03-07 14:00 Lesbos 39.2 26.4 500 7.0 NGDC
1881-04-03 11:30 Chios, Çeşme, Alaçatı 38.25 26.25 7,866 6.5 Mw [11]
1886-08-27 21:32 Filiatra 37.1 21.5 600 7.5 X Tsunami NGDC
1894-04-27 Atalanti 38.7 23.1 255 6.9 XI Two earthquakes, 7days apart NGDC
1932-09-26 19:20 Ierissos 39.8 23.8 491 7.0 [12]
1933-04-23 20:05 local Kos 36.8 27.3 74 6.6 IX–X [13]
1953-08-12 09:24 Cephalonia, Zakynthos 38.2 20.6 476 7.2 Ms [14]
1956-07-09 03:11:39 Dodecanese 36.664 25.957 56 7.7 Mw Triggered a tsunami that affected the entire Aegean Sea [15]
1978-06-20 11:04 Thessaloniki 40.74 23.23 47 6.5 Mw [16]
1981-02-24 20:53:38 Gulf of Corinth 38.22 22.93 22 6.7 Ms [17]
1986-09-13 20:24:31 local Kalamata 37.01 22.18 20 6.0 Mw X [18]
1995-05-13 11:47 Grevena/Kozani, Western Macedonia 40.15 21.70 6.6 Mw [19]
1999-09-07 11:56 Athens 38.11 23.60 143 6.0 Mw [20]
2006-01-08 11:34 Kythira 36.30 23.36 6.8 Mw [21]
2008-06-08 12:25 Peloponnese 38.03 21.46 2 6.5 Mw [22]
2008-07-15 03:26 Dodecanese 35.80 27.86 1 6.4 Mw [23]
2009-07-01 12:30 Crete 34.14 25.29 6.4 Mw [24]
2014-05-24 12:25 Limnos 38.11 23.60 1 6.9 Mw
2015-11-17 07:10 Lefkada 38.67 20.6 2 6.5 Mw VII [25]

Note ‡: Times are UTC unless where otherwise noted.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 USGS (29 March 2010). "Tectonic Summary of Greece". Retrieved 26 July 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  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" (PDF). Nature. 351 (6322): 137–139. Bibcode:1991Natur.351..137A. doi:10.1038/351137a0. Retrieved 2010-07-25.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Antonopoulos, J. (1992). "The Tsunami of 426 BC in the Maliakos Gulf, Eastern Greece" (PDF). Natural Hazards. 5: 83–93. doi:10.1007/BF00127141. Retrieved 25 July 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  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.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  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.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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  7. 7.0 7.1 IISEENET (Information Network of Earthquake disaster Prevention Technologies) - Search Page
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  10. 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.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. 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" (PDF). Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences. 5 (5): 717–725. doi:10.5194/nhess-5-717-2005. Retrieved 31 July 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. Pavlides, S.B.; Tranos M.D. (1991). "Structural characteristics of two strong earthquakes in the North Aegean: Ierissos (1932) and Agios Efstratios (1968)" (PDF). Journal of Structural Geology. 13 (2): 205–214. doi:10.1016/0191-8141(91)90067-s. Retrieved 1 August 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. Utsu 2002, p. 705
  14. Papazachos, B.C. (1996). "Large seismic faults in the Hellenic Arc" (PDF). Annali di Geofisica. 39: 891–903.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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  16. CALTECH (19 February 2008). "The Salonica (Thessaloniki) Earthquake of June 20, 1978". Retrieved 1 December 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. NGDC. "Comments for the Significant Earthquake". Retrieved 1 October 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. USGS. "M6.0 - southern Greece". United States Geological Survey.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. "Significant Earthquakes of the World 1995". USGS. Retrieved 2 April 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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  21. "Magnitude 6.8 - Southern Greece: 8 January 2006 11:34:55 UTC", Earthquake Hazard Program, United States Geological Survey
  22. USGS. "Magnitude 6.4 - GREECE 8 June 2008 12:25:30 UTC". Retrieved 25 July 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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  24. "M6.4 - Crete, Greece". USGS. Retrieved 2 April 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  25. USGS. "M6.5 - 10km WSW of Nidri, Greece". United States Geological Survey.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
Sources