The GeoNet project locates between 50 and 80 earthquakes each day, or about 20,000 a year. How do the numbers break down by year and size?

The following statistics on the frequency and magnitude of New Zealand region1 earthquakes are based on observations since 1960. Statistical analysis was restricted to earthquakes with a magnitude greater than or equal to 4.0, as the geometry of the recording networks in the earlier years was not capable of detecting every earthquake lower than this magnitude. For statistics on earthquakes in the last week, month, and year see GeoNet's Quake Statistics.

1 Between latitudes 50°S and 30°S and longitudes 160°E and 175°W


Number of Earthquakes in the New Zealand Region (1960 to 2011)
YearMagnitudeTotal

4.0 - 4.9

5.0 - 5.9

6.0 - 6.9

7.0 - 7.9

8.0 or over

1960

215343--252

1961

1291721-149

1962

17717---194

1963

15171--159

1964

161122--175

1965

156154--175

1966

186171--204

1967

18817---205

1968

455442--501

1969

306132--321

1970

301211--323

1971

208231--232

1972

19717---214

1973

25625-1-282

1974

343291--373

1975

25724---281

1976

353293--385

1977

268262--296

1978

2337---240

1979

330282--360

1980

23921---260

1981

280192--301

1982

28516---301

1983

28716-1-304

1984

564522--618

1985

6855141-741

1986

276181--295

1987

368392--409

1988

363443--410

1989

337164--357

1990

3892241-416

1991

389209--418

1992

4742351-503

1993

611425--658

1994

624494--677

1995

1,34312081-1,472

1996

3932221-418

1997

5924412-639

1998

4732421-500

1999

4202822-452

2000

4102522-439

2001

9284331-975

2002

41726---443

2003

6174531-666

2004

29916-1-316

2005

304271--332

2006

2712311-296

2007

3082941-342

2008

293282--323

2009

6207951-705

2010

5146121-578

2011

591557--653

Total

19,834

1,565

117

22

0

21,538



 

Frequency of New Zealand Earthquakes (Since 1960)
MagnitudeAnnual AverageMinimumMaximum"Rule of Thumb"
4.0 - 4.93811291,3431 per day
5.0 - 5.93071202.5 per month
6.0 - 6.92.3-92 per year
7.0 - 7.90.4-21 per 2.5 years
8.0 or over---1 per century*
* Based on geological investigations and historical record of earthquakes.
The US Geological Survey (USGS) Earthquake Hazards Program displays
Worldwide Earthquake Facts and Statistics
, located by the USGS National
Earthquake Information Center (NEIC). This includes a table illustrating the
relationship between changing magnitude, and ground motion and energy.

  • Keine Stichwörter

GeoNet is a collaboration between the Earthquake Commission and GNS Science.

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