Quiet Zone Within a Seismic Gap near Western Nicaragua: Possible Location of a Future Large Earthquake

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Science  07 Aug 1981:
Vol. 213, Issue 4508, pp. 648-651
DOI: 10.1126/science.213.4508.648


A 5700-square-kilometer quiet zone occurs in the midst of the locations of more than 4000 earthquakes off the Pacific coast of Nicaragua. The region is indicated by the seismic gap technique to be a likely location for an earthquake of magnitude larger than 7. The quiet zone has existed since at least 1950; the last large earthquake originating from this area occurred in 1898 and was of magnitude 7.5. A rough estimate indicates that the magnitude of an earthquake rupturing the entire quiet zone could be as large as that of the 1898 event. It is not yet possible to forecast a time frame for the occurrence of such an earthquake in the quiet zone.