Seismicity of Greenland

Søren Gregersen

Published in: S. Gregersen and P.W. Basham (editors), Earthquakes at north-Atlantic passive margins: Neotectonics and postglacial rebound. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, Boston, London, 1989.

In recent years the earthquake zones in Greenland have been better and better delineated. The earthquakes have also had local magnitudes assigned. The earthquake activity is slightly less than that of the northeastern Canadian coastal areas. The activity is nearly totally concentrated along the coast lines of Greenland. The zone of largest activity coincides with the northeastern coast and near-coastal islands between 78° and 80° North. Here the local magnitudes reach just above 5. Two more zones, near the north coast and near the west coast between 65° and 77° North, are more diffuse. They have earthquakes of magnitudes below 5. Only very few and small earthquakes have been recognized under the Ice Cap.Several earthquake swarms have been observed. The two available focal mechanisms of earthquakes are not easily interpreted in terms of plate tectonics. Deformation within the continental plate around a corner between the Midatlantic spreading ridge and a major transform system near the northeast corner of Greenland is suggested.

 Last update 2001-07-30