Introduction to the earthquake
Magnitude：6.8 mww ±0.1
Location uncertainty：14.598°S 167.375°E ±2.5 km
Depth uncertainty：169.0 km ±1.9
Origin Time：2017-05-09 13:52:10.920 UTC
FE Region：VANUATU (186)
An earthquake begins to rupture at a hypocenter which is defined by a position on the
surface of the earth (epicenter) and a depth below this point (focal depth).
We provide the coordinates of the epicenter in units of latitude and longitude.
The latitude is the number of degrees north (N) or south (S) of the equator and
varies from 0 at the equator to 90 at the poles. The longitude is the number of
degrees east (E) or west (W) of the prime meridian which runs through Greenwich,
England. The longitude varies from 0 at Greenwich to 180 and the E or W shows the
direction from Greenwich. The position uncertainty of the hypocenter location varies
from about 100 m horizontally and 300 meters vertically for the best located events,
those in the middle of densely spaced seismograph networks, to 10s of kilometers
for global events in many parts of the world.
The depth where the earthquake begins to rupture. The choice of reference depth is dependent
on the method used to locate the earthquake, which varies by seismic network. Since ComCat
includes data from many different seismic networks, the process for determining the depth
is different for different events. The depth is the least-constrained parameter in the
earthquake location, and the error bars are generally larger than the variation due
to different depth determination methods.
Sometimes when depth is poorly constrained by available seismic data, the location
program will set the depth at a fixed value. For example, 33 km is often used as a
default depth for earthquakes determined to be shallow, but whose depth is not
satisfactorily determined by the data, whereas default depths of 5 or 10 km are
often used in mid-continental areas and on mid-ocean ridges since earthquakes in
these areas are usually shallower than 33 km.