20 Largest Earthquakes in the World

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A list of the 20 largest earthquakes in the world.

View 20 Largest Earthquakes in the World on Map

  Mag Location Alternative Name Date (UTC) Time (UTC) Latitude Longitude References
1. 9.5 Bio-Bio, Chile Valdivia Earthquake 1960-05-22 19:11 38.14°S 73.41°W Kanamori & Anderson, 1975
2. 9.2 Southern Alaska 1964 Great Alaska Earthquake, Prince William Sound Earthquake, Good Friday Earthquake 1964-03-28 03:36 60.91°N 147.34°W Kanamori & Anderson, 1975
3. 9.1 Off the West Coast of Northern Sumatra Sumatra-Andaman Islands Earthquake, 2004 Sumatra Earthquake and Tsunami, Indian Ocean Earthquake 2004-12-26 00:58 3.30°N 95.98°E Duputel et al., 2012
4. 9.1 Near the East Coast of Honshu, Japan Tohoku Earthquake 2011-03-11 05:46 38.30°N 142.37°E Duputel et al., 2012
5. 9.0 Off the East Coast of the Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia Kamchatka, Russia 1952-11-04 16:58 52.62°N 159.78°E Kanamori, 1976
6. 8.8 Offshore Bio-Bio, Chile Maule Earthquake 2010-02-27 06:34 36.12°S 72.90°W Duputel et al., 2012
7. 8.8 Near the Coast of Ecuador 1906 Ecuador–Colombia Earthquake 1906-01-31 15:36 0.96°N 79.37°W Kanamori, 1977
8. 8.7 Rat Islands, Aleutian Islands, Alaska Rat Islands Earthquake 1965-02-04 05:01 51.25°N 178.72°E Kanamori & Anderson, 1975
9. 8.6 Eastern Xizang-India border region Assam, Tibet 1950-08-15 14:09 28.36°N 96.45°E Kanamori, 1977
10. 8.6 Off the West Coast of Northern Sumatra   2012-04-11 08:39 2.33°N 93.06°E Duputel et al., 2012
11. 8.6 Northern Sumatra, Indonesia Nias Earthquake 2005-03-28 16:10 2.09°N 97.11°E NEIC
12. 8.6 Andrean of Islands, Aleutian Islands, Alaska   1957-03-09 14:23 51.50°N 175.63°W Johnson et al., 1994
13. 8.6 South of Alaska Unimak Island Earthquake, Alaska 1946-04-01 12:29 53.49°N 162.83°W Lopez & Okal, 2006
14. 8.5 Banda Sea   1938-02-01 19:04 5.05°S 131.61°E Okal & Reymond, 2003
15. 8.5 Atacama, Chile Chile-Argentina Border 1922-11-11 04:33 28.29°S 69.85°W Kanamori, 1977
16. 8.5 Kuril Islands   1963-10-13 05:18 44.87°N 149.48°E Kanamori & Anderson, 1975
17. 8.4 Near the East Coast of Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia Kamchatka, Russia 1923-02-03 16:02 54.49°N 160.47°E Okal, 1992
18. 8.4 Southern Sumatra, Indonesia   2007-09-12 11:10 4.44°S 101.37°E NEIC
19. 8.4 Near the Coast of Southern Peru Arequipa, Peru Earthquake 2001-06-23 20:33 16.27°S 73.64°W Duputel et al., 2012
20. 8.4 Off the East Coast of Honshu, Japan Sanriku, Japan 1933-03-02 17:31 39.21°N 144.59°E Kanamori, 1971

References

  • Duputel, Z., Rivera, L., Kanamori, H., & Hayes, G. (2012). W phase source inversion for moderate to large earthquakes (1990–2010). GJI, 189(2), 1125-1147.
  • Johnson, J. M., Tanioka, Y., Ruff, L. J., Satake, K., Kanamori, H., & Sykes, L. R. (1994). The 1957 great Aleutian earthquake. Pure and Applied Geophysics, 142(1), 3-28.
  • Kanamori, H. (1971). Seismological evidence for a lithospheric normal faulting—The Sanriku earthquake of 1933. Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors, 4(4), 289-300.
  • Kanamori, H. (1976). Re-examination of the earth's free oxcillations excited by the Kamchatka earthquake of November 4, 1952. Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors, 11(3), 216-226.
  • Kanamori, H. (1977). The energy release in great earthquakes. Journal of geophysical research, 82(20), 2981-2987.
  • Kanamori, H., & Anderson, D. L. (1975). Theoretical basis of some empirical relations in seismology. BSSA, 65(5), 1073-1095.
  • López, A. M., & Okal, E. A. (2006). A seismological reassessment of the source of the 1946 Aleutian ‘tsunami’earthquake. Geophysical Journal International, 165(3), 835-849.
  • Okal, E. A. (1992). Use of the mantle magnitude Mm for the reassessment of the moment of historical earthquakes. Pure and Applied Geophysics, 139(1), 17-57.
  • Okal, E. A., & Reymond, D. (2003). The mechanism of great Banda Sea earthquake of 1 February 1938: applying the method of preliminary determination of focal mechanism to a historical event. earth and planetary science letters, 216(1), 1-15.