Mexico Earthquake 7.1 magnitude: Seismic history behind usual regional tremor

Mexican residents have seen devastating earthquakes before also and it shows the region is one of the world's most seismologically dangerous areas.

Mexico earthquake
Mexico earthquake epicenter USGS

A magnitude of 7.1earthquake hit the central city of Mexico including Puebla and Morelos on 19 September, Tuesday. The earthquake emerged from 4.5 kilometers east-northeast of San Juan Raboso and 55 kilometers of Puebla.

Mexico is located on the top of three tectonic plates. The region is known as one of the world's most seismologically dangerous places. According to seismologists, the clashes between two plates in a particular region causes occasional volcanic eruptions and earthquakes.

Mexican landmass is located on the North American plate which moves westward. the repressed Cocos plate pushes the Pacific Ocean floor which is located south of Mexico.

The oceanic plate being dense is prone to subduction and is located at convergent boundaries of tectonic plates. One plate goes below the other and gradually sinks due to gravitational pull in the Earth's mantle.

The Pacific Ocean floor is vulnerable to this particular geological phenomenon when the oceanic floor meets the Mexican landmass. The oceanic floor goes below the North American plate, thus creating the Middle American trench located along the south coast of Mexico.

The westward moving Mexican landmass is shrinking down and this process leads to the creation of the mountain ranges of southern Mexico, triggering earthquakes near the southern coast. The oceanic crust when shrinks down gradually melts. The molten material when forced upwards weakens the continental crust. Volcanoes are born out of this geological process. The Cordillera Neovolcánica or the volcanic mountain range across south-central Mexico originated through this procedure.

Previously, residents of Mexico have faces 8.0 magnitude earthquake in 1985 and 1995. Even in 2012 and 2014, the country witnessed a 7.4 and 7.2 magnitude earthquake.

The U.S. Geological Survey mentioned that Tuesday's earthquake emerged from 4.5 kilometers east-northeast of San Juan Raboso and 55 kilometers of Puebla and caused 216 casualties.