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Haiti quake was caused by previously unknown fault

This year's devastating earthquake in Haiti was caused by a previously unknown fault, according to scientists.
This discovery, the researchers say, could be the first sign of a larger system of seismic faults in the area.
The Enriquillo fault, which runs through Port au Prince, was originally blamed. But new evidence has shown that it was not linked to the event.

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Haiti earthquake produced deadly tsunami

In addition to smashing buildings and killing more than 200,000 people, Haiti's devastating 12 January earthquake produced two 3-metre tsunamis, scientists announced on 24 February at a meeting in Portland, Oregon.
The discovery was made by Hermann Fritz, a coastal engineer at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Savannah, who spent six days in Haiti in early February documenting stories from fishermen and aid workers.

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The 12 Jan. 2010 Haiti Earthquake and the Enriquillo-Plaintain Fault

In response to the recent, tragic earthquake that struck southern Haiti, we have made the following papers open access (free). These papers address the Caribbean plate and the Enriquillo-Plaintain fault line and they are listed in reverse chronological order.

Bivergent thrust wedges surrounding oceanic island arcs: Insight from observations and sandbox models of the northeastern Caribbean plate
ten Brink et al.
2009, Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 121, p. 1522-1536

Present motion and deformation of the Caribbean plate: Constraints from new GPS geodetic measurements from Honduras and Nicaragua
DeMets et al.
2007, Geological Society of America Special Paper 428, p. 21-36

Plate-kinematics and crustal dynamics of circum-Caribbean arc-continent interactions: Tectonic controls on basin development in Proto-Caribbean margins
Pindell et al.
2005, Geological Society of America Special Paper 394, p. 7-52

Introduction to Active Tectonics and Seismic Hazards of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Offshore Areas
Mann
2005, Geological Society of America Special Paper 385, p. 1-12

GPS results from Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands: Constraints on tectonic setting and rates of active faulting
Jansma et al.
2005, Geological Society of America Special Paper 385, p. 13-30

Reconnaissance study of Late Quaternary faulting along Cerro Goden fault zone, western Puerto Rico
Mann et al.
2005, Geological Society of America Special Paper 385, p. 115-137

Active tectonics of the north-central Caribbean: Oblique collision, strain partitioning, and opposing subducted slabs
Calais et al.
1998, Geological Society of America Special Paper 326, p. 1-61

Tectonic geomorphology and paleoseismology of the Septentrional fault system, Dominican Republic
Mann et al.
1998, Geological Society of America Special Paper 326, p. 63-123

Strike-slip tectonics and seismicity along the northern Caribbean plate boundary from Cuba to Hispaniola
Dolan et al.
1998, Geological Society of America Special Paper 326, p. 125-169

Plate Tectonics in the Hispaniola Area: Discussion
Molnar and Sykes
1971, Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 82, p. 1123-1126

Plate Tectonics in the Hispaniola Area: Reply
Bracey and Vogt
1971, Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 82, p. 1127-1128

Plate Tectonics in the Hispaniola Area
Bracey and Vogt
1970, Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 81, p. 2855-2860

Tectonics of the Caribbean and Middle America Regions from Focal Mechanisms and Seismicity
Molnar and Sykes
1969, Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 80, p. 1639-1684

Caribbean Land and Sea Through the Ages
Woodring
1954, Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 65, p. 719-732

Source

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NASA Airborne Radar Studies Haiti Earthquake Faults

In response to the disaster in Haiti on Jan. 12, NASA has added a series of science overflights of earthquake faults in Haiti and the Dominican Republic on the island of Hispaniola to a previously scheduled three-week airborne radar campaign to Central America.
NASA's Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar, or UAVSAR, left NASA's Dryden Flight Research Centre in Edwards, California, on Jan. 25 aboard a modified NASA Gulfstream III aircraft.

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NASA officials say they will study Haiti's earthquake faults with a series of overflights by a jet equipped with a special airborne radar system.
The Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena says a space agency Gulfstream jet carrying the system departed NASA's Dryden Flight Research Centre in the Mojave Desert on Monday.

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A magnitude 6.0 earthquake occurred at 11:03:44 (UTC) on Wednesday, January 20, 2010, in the Haiti region, 60 km WSW of Port-au-Prince, at a Depth of 9.9 km

Location 18.428N, 72.875W

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The Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) instrument on NASA's Terra spacecraft captured this simulated natural color image of the Port-au-Prince, Haiti, area, Jan. 14, 2010, two days after a magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck the region and caused massive damage and loss of life.
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Fault Responsible for Haiti Quake Slices Island's Topography

The fault responsible for the Jan. 12 magnitude 7.0 earthquake that devastated Haiti is visible in images created using NASA radar topography data acquired in 2000.
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PIA12494_modest.jpg
Expand (599kb, 2715 x 1522)
Credit NASA


This image, produced from instrument data aboard NASA's Space Shuttle Endeavour, is a perspective view of the topography of Port-au-Prince, Haiti where a magnitude 7.0 earthquake occurred on January 12, 2010.


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