May 18, 2024

Moderate earthquake in Canada – March 16, 2023: Here’s what we know now about a magnitude 5 earthquake

A magnitude 5 earthquake struck 44 km east-southeast of Peace River, Canada. All event details can be found here.

Destructive force of nature: Earthquakes leave traces of destruction in their wake. Image: Adobe Stock / Nigel Spears

An earthquake measuring 5 on the Richter scale occurred on Thursday, March 16, 2023 at 3:59 PM. But what does this classification really mean and what values ​​can be used to more accurately classify an earthquake?

What do we currently know about earthquakes?

There has been an earthquake 44 km ESE of Peace River, Canada happened The following cities are near the epicenter:

  • Harmon Valley: 13 km from epicenter
  • Believe it or not: 32 km from Epicenter, Population: 367
  • St. Isidore: 32 km from epicenter, Population: 236
  • Three creeks: 40 km from epicenter
  • Mary Raine: 41 km from epicenter

The earthquake was classified as level 5 on the Richter scale. Earthquakes of this magnitude are clearly felt by many people and can wake up sleepers, shake trees and cause unstable objects to fall. Doors and windows can open and close due to an earthquake.
However, apart from this size, there are other details that can be informative when evaluating a natural phenomenon. For example, the origin of an earthquake’s rupture is important for assessing earthquake intensity. However, the depth of this phenomenon could not be determined. This value also influences earthquake intensity values, which vary from place to place due to various factors, but can still be recorded as a maximum. A distinction is made between experienced and rated severity. While the former is captured by concrete reported values, the latter is intensity assessed by measuring instruments. Values ​​are also based on the Richter scale. In the present case, a maximum of 3.3 was reported as an experienced intensity and there was no value for estimated intensity.

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How accurate is this information about earthquakes in Canada?

The total number of measurement stations indicates the accuracy of measurements. The number for this earthquake is relatively high, meaning that current knowledge of earthquakes can initially be classified more accurately with respect to other measurements. The accuracy estimate is supplemented by the distance between neighboring stations. In general, the smaller it is, the more reliable the calculated horizontal position of the earthquake. In the present case, this distance is relatively small, which is why determining the location of the earthquake is considered more reliable.

Quick check: the most important details at a glance

Earthquakes: Canada
Position: 44 km ESE of Peace River, Canada
Integrations: Latitude = 56.095° and Longitude = -116.623°
Places within 100 km radius: Harmon Valley, Nampa, St.-Isidore, Three Creeks, Marie-Reine
Size: 5
Accuracy: Very accurate
Credibility: Very reliable
Depth: Not specified
Experienced Intensity: 3.3
Rated Severity: Not specified
Notification Time: 3/16/2023 – 3:59 PM

What does the Richter scale say about an earthquake?

In the 1930s, seismologist Charles Francis Richter laid the foundation for the Richter scale, which is used around the world today. It enables reports of earthquakes and the strength of earthquakes to be made using the Richter scale – which comes from the Latin “magnitudo” (magnitude). Determining this requires a seismograph that can record ground motions very accurately. The maximum deflection of the measuring device – the amplitude – is linked to the distance between the measuring station and the epicenter of the earthquake, which gives the magnitude of the earthquake. A seismologist has developed a logarithmic scale so that deviations on a seismogram are easy to read and can be consistently determined. A magnitude 7 earthquake is 10 times larger than a magnitude 6, 100 times larger than a magnitude 5, and 1000 times larger than a magnitude 4.

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An overview of the Richter scale for earthquakes

Richter scales Classification of earthquake strength Earthquake damage Global frequency of events
< 2.0 Micro Micro earthquakes, not felt 8000 x per day (from dose 1.0)
2.0 to 3.0 Very light Usually not noticed, but measured 1500x per day
3.0 to 4.0 Very easily Often observed, very rarely damage 135 times a day
4.0 to 5.0 the light Objects in the room move visually, vibration sounds, mostly no damage 35 times a day
5.0 to 6.0 Medium strength Severe damage to vulnerable buildings, no light damage to strong buildings 4.5 times a day, 1600 times a year
6.0 to 7.0 Strong Destruction within 70 km radius 130x per year
7.0 to 8.0 Big Devastation in large areas 13 times a year
8.0 to 9.0 so big Devastation over hundreds of kilometers 0.9x per year
9.0 to 10.0 Very large Destruction of thousands of kilometers 4 times in 122 years (1952/60/64, 2011)
More than 10 Global catastrophe Never recorded, believed to be magnitude 11 quake 66 million years ago, triggered by asteroid impact in Yucatan 1 x in 66 million years

Before the introduction of the Richter scale, other scales were used to measure earthquakes, the Richter values ​​were not properly converted and therefore could not be used to convert earthquakes measured before its introduction. However, there have been at least five documented earthquakes of magnitude 9 or greater since measurements began using this scale. These occurred in Russia (1952), Chile (1960), Alaska (1964), Indonesia (2004) and Japan (2011).

+++ Editor’s Note: This text is automatically generated based on current data from the USGS (US Geological Survey). March 16, 2023 – At 4:28 PM the USGS sent the last update on the event. Get more information about the event Here at the official USGS site. We welcome feedback and comments at [email protected]. +++

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