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4 Causes Of Earthquakes In South Africa

Posted by on May 12th, 2018 Under News

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Causes Of Earthquakes In South Africa 2018

South Africa is geologically stable. The worst earthquake ever were in Tulbagh in 1969.


Most other earth tremors were in Gauteng, mostly due to mining activities.

South Africa doesn’t get a lot of major earthquakes and when they do it is nothing compared to earthquake hot zone countries. It normally has very little effect if any at all.

Below Are 4 Major Causes Of Earthquake In South Africa

Plate Tectonics

The theory of plate tectonics, the surface of the earth consists of 15 plates comprising the rigid upper mantle, and the oceanic and continental crust. Out of the total number of plates, 6 are major plates and 9 are minor plates.

The tectonic plates slide one on top of the other, or one aside the other. These are the most usual and powerful quakes.


Volcanic explosions are certainly the most common cause of earthquakes in the neighbourhood of active volcanoes. Such earthquakes are, therefore, known as volcanic earthquakes.

This type of earthquake is caused either under the influence of the increasing pressure of volcanic gases or the subterranean movement of molten lava trying to come up on the earth’s surface.

It usually related to the movement of the tectonic plates because most (not all) volcanoes are part of a volcanic arc. Wherever volcanoes exist, movement of magma towards the surface causes tremors.

Ground instability

A collapse in a natural cave or a mine, a landslide, or a sagging of the ground because of a change in the depth of the aquifer (caused by filling up an artificial dam or by excessive pumping from water wells) may be large enough to cause a local earthquake.


According Professor Andrzej Kijko, 95% of South Africa’s earthquakes are caused by mining, especially around the areas of Klerksdorp, Welkom and Carletonville.

Nuclear explosions and mine blasts can also directly cause tremors.


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Posted by on May 12, 2018.

Categories: News

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