False earthquake reports from IRD New Caledonia?

The relatively new IRD New Caledonia seismic reporting system which is quite a nice site in terms of product unfortunately seems to have a slight problem with accuracy.

A blogger friend has also been looking at this and it seems the data coming from there is fraught with problems. (If you follow New Zealand earthquakes I can recommend Seabreeze as a good source.)

Some of the Vanuatu quakes have a match, some of the New Zealand ones do, and then there are many in weird places that don’t usually have quakes.

Australia had 3 x Mag 5’s they reported, so that must be an error, because there is no doubt about it, if there was ONE Mag 5 anywhere in Australia you would hear about it, let alone 3 of them.(MG-Seabreeze) This map of events on the 17th February complied by SeaBreeze shows the discrepancies. The map is coded as follows:

the icon markers are coded as follows;
blank = not confirmed
cm= confirmed match
pm= possible match, time is right but location is off a bit
lm= likely match, either time or location is a bit off but its in the ballpark
usual colours
green=mag 2
grey=mag 3
yellow=mag 4
orange=mag 5

Today I came across another. The site is reporting a 5.7mb earthquake @05:13:59 on 20th February 2012. When I saw this I thought it very odd that this had not been picked up by USGS, EMSC or GeoNet so I did a bit of checking. Seems no one else found this one at all. Problem is that it is showing as on land and there is no way this could have happened without GeoNet at least picking it up.

On checking the seismo at SNZO I also find there is no sign of a quake. The first is the BHZ channel at SNZO and the second the LHZ from the LISS displays.

The blip on the LISS image is a 4.7 at Macquaire Island which was captured by IRD and Geofon, but no one else so don’t get me wrong they do have useful information.

I guess I am just saying beware. Double check any information you may get from the site as it seems it may have a few teething problems!


I have been looking into this a bit more. These are serious problems of misinformation. I am not saying this is intentional may I make clear.

Today’s list as at 11:30 UTC 20 Feb 2012 from the IRD site

It is now 11:50 UTC and these first three should have appeared on other listings. They have not. Not on Geofon, Australia or GeoNet

Taking the detail from the IRD list for today:

  • Northern Sumatra, Indonesia 2012-02-20 02:28:26 UTC mb 5.2 196 km – check
  • Near SE Coast of Australia 2012-02-20 02:30:33 UTC mb 4.5 10 km – ??? can’t find it. Possibly a miss read of the Northern Sumatra data?
  • North Island, New Zealand 2012-02-20 05:13:59 UTC mb 5.7 513 km – nope can’t find this one
  • Queensland, Australia 2012-02-20 08:00:25 UTC mb 4.8 10 km – not according to the Australians
  • South of Kermadec Islands 2012-02-20 10:26:07 UTC mb 4.6 10 km – check
  • Off E. Coast of N. Island, N.Z. 2012-02-20 10:27:26 UTC MLv 4.3 383 km – there is one at 11:03 but that is around the area of the supposed 05:13
  • East of Australia 2012-02-20 10:33:29 UTC mb 4.5 10 km – just not seeing it
  • Fiji Islands Region 2012-02-20 10:58:23 UTC mb 5.1 10 km – nope not yet anyway

Only 2 correct out of 8. That is not good. I think this site must be considered to be completely unreliable.


About PuterMan

A retired programmer.
This entry was posted in 11 - New Zealand Region, 14 - Vanuatu Islands, 187 - New Caledonia, Deleted Earthquakes, Investigations and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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