Greece: Highest Magnitude Earthquakes, by location
EarthquakeMagnitude on the Richter scale
Greece, Turkey (2014)6.9
Ionian Sea (Zakynthos, Strofades, 2018)6.8
Southern Greece (2006)6.7
Crete (Chania, 2013)6.6
Crete (2020)6.6
Skyros (2001)6.5
Lefkada, Kefalonia, Ithaca (2015)6.5
Crete (2009)6.4
Lefkada, Preveza (2003)6.3
Achaia, Ileia (2008)6.3
Lesbos (2017)6.3
Tyrnavos, Larissa (2021)6.3
Crete (2013)6.2
Kefalonia (2014)6.1
Kefalonia (Lixourion, 2014)6.0
Crete (2021)6.0
  • Region: Greece
  • Time period: 2000 to 2023
  • Published: 2023

Data Analysis and Insights

Updated: Apr 6, 2024 | Published by: Statistico | About Us / Data / Analysis

Magnitude and frequency of earthquakes in Greece

Greece experienced a significant number of strong earthquakes between 2001 and 2021, with a total of 16 recorded earthquakes having magnitudes ranging from 6.0 to 6.9. The highest magnitude earthquake, at 6.9, struck Greece and Turkey in 2014, highlighting a notable seismic event in the region's recent history.

Most common magnitudes for earthquakes in Greece

Earthquakes with magnitudes of 6.3 are the most frequent in Greece, occurring four times over the analyzed period. These instances were recorded in Achaia, Ileia (2008), Lefkada, Preveza (2003), Lesbos (2017), and Tyrnavos, Larissa (2021), indicating a consistent level of seismic activity at this magnitude across different parts of the country.

Crete's susceptibility to earthquakes

Crete emerges as the most earthquake-prone area in Greece, with five separate incidents recorded. The magnitudes of these earthquakes span from 6.0 to 6.6, illustrating the island's significant seismic risk. Notably, Crete experienced two earthquakes in 2013, with magnitudes of 6.6 and 6.2, and another two in 2021, with magnitudes of 6.0 each, underlining the recurrent seismic threat to the region.

Temporal distribution of seismic activity in Greece

The distribution of earthquakes from 2001 to 2021 shows an uneven pattern of seismic activity over the years, with no clear trend towards increasing or decreasing frequency. The years 2014 and 2021 were particularly notable, each witnessing three significant seismic events, suggesting periods of heightened seismic activity interspersed with quieter intervals.

Kefalonia's notable earthquake events in 2014

The island of Kefalonia experienced two significant earthquakes in 2014, with magnitudes of 6.1 and 6.0. These back-to-back events highlight Kefalonia's vulnerability to seismic activity within a short timeframe, pointing to a localized increase in geological stress or activity during that year.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the frequency and magnitude of earthquakes in Greece between 2001 and 2021?

Greece recorded a total of 16 earthquakes with magnitudes ranging from 6.0 to 6.9 between 2001 and 2021.

What is the most common earthquake magnitude in Greece?

The most frequent earthquake magnitude in Greece is 6.3, occurring four times in the analyzed period.

Which area in Greece is most prone to earthquakes?

Crete is the most earthquake-prone area in Greece, with five separate incidents recorded.

Terms and Definitions

Magnitude is a measure of the size or energy released in an earthquake. It quantifies the amplitude of seismic waves produced by the quake's source. There are several scales used to measure magnitude, with the most common being the Richter scale and the moment magnitude scale.

The Richter scale, proposed by Charles F. Richter in 1935, is a logarithmic scale used to express the total amount of energy released by an earthquake. It is calculated based on the amplitude of waves recorded by seismographs. However, for very large or distant earthquakes, it can be less accurate.

The moment magnitude scale (Mw) is one of the most common scales used in modern seismology to measure the size of earthquakes. It tends to provide more precise and consistent values for larger earthquakes, unlike the Richter scale. It incorporates more information about the earthquake than just the amplitude of the seismic wave.

Seismic waves are the energy waves that travel through the earth's layers during an earthquake. There are two types - body waves (which further includes P-waves and S-waves) and surface waves. The speed and type of movement of these waves provide information about the size and depth of the earthquake.

The epicenter of an earthquake is the point on the surface of the earth directly above the point in the earth (called the hypocenter or focus) where the earthquake originates. It is usually the place where the strongest shaking is felt.

The hypocenter, also known as the focus, is the exact point within the earth where an earthquake begins. Seismic waves are initially released from this point.

A seismograph is an instrument that detects, records, and measures the vibrations produced by an earthquake. This measure helps determine the magnitude of an earthquake.

An aftershock is a smaller earthquake that follows the main shock and originates at or near the same place. Aftershocks can continue over a period of weeks, months, or even years depending on the scale of the main quake.
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