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 2013)
YearMagnitudeTotal

4.0 - 4.9

5.0 - 5.9

6.0 - 6.9

7.0 - 7.9

8.0 or over

1960

233623--298

1961

2686031-332

1962

20931---240

1963

184241--209

1964

223222--247

1965

308525--365

1966

230291--260

1967

23737---274

1968

4995821-560

1969

375484--427

1970

363593--425

1971

278412--321

1972

29248---340

1973

339522--393

1974

432601--493

1975

351632--416

1976

444664--514

1977

359484--411

1978

31434---348

1979

4347331-511

1980

399581--458

1981

517644--585

1982

36235---397

1983

35936-1-396

1984

623704--

585

1985

734785--817

1986

308381--347

1987

368442--414

1988

361523--416

1989

337223--362

1990

3892941-423

1991

389274--420

1992

4743121-

508

1993

611454--660

1994

624543--681

1995

1,34312751-1,476

1996

3933141-429

1997

5925212-647

1998

4733821-514

1999

4203711-459

2000

4102812-441

2001

9284511-975

2002

41727---444

2003

6174631-667

2004

29919-1-319

2005

429622--493

2006

38343-1-427

2007

4616761-535

2008

4126221-477

2009

7478181-837

2010

5866321-652

2011

645816--732
2012*456542--512
2013*415567--478

Total

23,653

2,669

135

22

0

26,479

* These years are still being reviewed.

Frequency of New Zealand Earthquakes (1960 to 2013)
MagnitudeAnnual AverageMinimumMaximum"Rule of Thumb"
4.0 - 4.94381841,3431 per day
5.0 - 5.949191274 per month
6.0 - 6.92.5-82 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.

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