Illustration for article titled A Map Of Every Earthquake Over The Last Century

This map takes every quake from the last century and plots them out to give a sense of the incredible scope — and the power — of earthquakes.


The map is the work of Nathan Yau at FlowingData. Using USGS stats, Yau plotted 72,000 earthquakes topping magnitudes of 5.0 scale from the last century, each represented by a white dot. The 10 largest quakes of the last 100 years are highlighted in lime green.

Top image: Earthquakes over the past century, Nathan Yau, FlowingData.

Looking at the data like this, you certainly get a sense of what areas of the world experience the largest number of earthquakes, But, you also get a sense of the incredible power of some of the earthquakes, and their aftershocks, that have hit recently.


The megaquake that hit Chile (where three of the century's most powerful quakes have hit) this month came in it a devastating 8.2. But almost as powerful were the series of aftershocks that came in waves after, the strongest measuring at 7.6, which even alone would have registered as an exceptionally powerful earthquake.

Image: 8.0 and above earthquakes since 1900, USGS.

This map from the USGS, plotting out all the earthquakes since 1900 that have come in at over 8.0, makes a similar point about where the most intense earthquakes occur, and just how powerful some of these aftershocks can be.


Do you live in an area that experiences earthquakes? Tell us about any quakes or aftershocks you've experienced in the comments.

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