We just had five M~5 earthquakes along the New Britain trench. The New Britain trench is formed by the subduction of the oceanic Solomon Sea microplate beneath the oceanic South Bismark microplate to the north.
- Here are the USGS web pages for these earthquakes that I plot on the map below:
- 2015.05.03 M 5.2 20:21 UTC
- 2015.05.03 M 5.6 22:32 UTC
- 2015.05.03 M 5.5 22:35 UTC
- 2015.05.03 M 5.1 22:50 UTC
- 2015.05.03 M 5.2 23:40 UTC
I posted about the pair of M 6.7 & 6.8 earthquakes a couple days ago.
Earlier, I discussed seismicity from 2000-2015 here. The seismicity on the west of this region appears aligned with north-south shortening along the New Britain trench, while seismicity on the east of this region appears aligned with more east-west shortening. Here is a map that I put together where I show these two tectonic domains with the seismicity from this time period (today’s earthquakes are not plotted on this map, but one may see where they might plot).