2010 April 13 23:49:37 UTC

Versión en Español

Earthquake Details

Location33.271°N, 96.629°E
Depth10 km (6.2 miles) set by location program
Distances240 km (150 miles) NNW of Qamdo, Xizang (Tibet)
375 km (235 miles) SSE of Golmud, Qinghai, China
520 km (325 miles) SSE of Da Qaidam, Qinghai, China
1905 km (1190 miles) WSW of BEIJING, Beijing, China
Location Uncertaintyhorizontal +/- 6.6 km (4.1 miles); depth fixed by location program
ParametersNST= 73, Nph= 73, Dmin=654.4 km, Rmss=1 sec, Gp= 50°,
M-type=teleseismic moment magnitude (Mw), Version=7
Event IDus2010vacp
  • This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.
  • Did you feel it? Report shaking and damage at your location. You can also view a map displaying accumulated data from your report and others.

Earthquake Summary

Small globe showing earthquakeSmall map showing earthquake

Earthquake Summary Poster

Felt Reports

At least 589 people killed and 10,000 injured in Southern Qinghai.

Tectonic Summary

The southern Qinghai Province, China earthquake of April 13, 2010 occurred as a result of strike-slip faulting in the tectonically complex region of the eastern Tibetan Plateau. This earthquake occurred several hundred kilometers north of the convergent India:Eurasia plate boundary, where the Indian Plate is moving northwards with respect to Eurasia at a rate of approximately 46 mm/yr. This convergence drives the uplift of the Himalaya Mountains, at a rate of approximately 10 mm/yr, and the Tibetan Plateau, which is an extremely broad region of thickened and uplifted crust sitting above 4.5-5 km.

In the region of the April 13 earthquake the Tibetan Plateau is extending and translating east-southeastward within a larger zone of generally north-south convergence. Based on the location, depth, and moment tensor of the event, the Qinghai Province earthquake likely reflects the interplay amongst these major tectonic forces, dominated in this location by southeastward translation. The eastward motion of Tibet with respect to Eurasia further north is accommodated in part by the large intra-continental Altyn Tagh and Kunlun strike-slip fault systems. Several large historic events in the Qinghai Province have occurred on the Kunlun fault, which runs west-east approximately 300 km to the north of the April 13 event. The April 13 earthquake is one of the largest known historic earthquakes within several hundred kilometers of its location. In 1738, a nearby earthquake of approximately magnitude 6.5 caused over 300 fatalities.

The magnitude 7.9 Wenchuan (Sichuan) earthquake of May 12, 2008 occurred on the margin of the Tibetan Plateau, in contrast with the April 13, 2010 earthquake, which occurred in the plateau's interior. The 2008 earthquake killed over 70,000 people and displaced over 15 million.

Earthquake Information for Asia

Earthquake Information for China