Largest Earthquakes in the World Since 1900

This webpage is updated in January of each year to incorporate any relevant data from the previous year.

Largest Earthquakes in the World Since 1900

KML file Google Earth KML

  Location Date UTC Magnitude Lat. Long. Reference
1. Chile 1960 05 22 9.5 -38.29 -73.05 Kanamori, 1977
2. 1964 Great Alaska Earthquake 1964 03 28 9.2 61.02 -147.65 Kanamori, 1977
3. Off the West Coast of Northern Sumatra 2004 12 26 9.1 3.30 95.78 Park et al., 2005
4. Near the East Coast of Honshu, Japan 2011 03 11 9.0 38.322 142.369 PDE
5. Kamchatka 1952 11 04 9.0 52.76 160.06 Kanamori, 1977
6. Offshore Maule, Chile 2010 02 27 8.8 -35.846 -72.719 PDE
7. Off the Coast of Ecuador 1906 01 31 8.8 1.0 -81.5 Kanamori, 1977
8. Rat Islands, Alaska 1965 02 04 8.7 51.21 178.50 Kanamori, 1977
9. Northern Sumatra, Indonesia 2005 03 28 8.6 2.08 97.01 PDE
10. Assam - Tibet 1950 08 15 8.6 28.5 96.5 Kanamori, 1977
11. Off the west coast of northern Sumatra 2012 04 11 8.6 2.311 93.063 PDE
12. Andreanof Islands, Alaska 1957 03 09 8.6 51.56 -175.39 Johnson et al., 1994
13. Southern Sumatra, Indonesia 2007 09 12 8.5 -4.438 101.367 PDE
14. Banda Sea, Indonesia 1938 02 01 8.5 -5.05 131.62 Okal and Reymond, 2003
15. Kamchatka 1923 02 03 8.5 54.0 161.0 Kanamori, 1988
16. Chile-Argentina Border 1922 11 11 8.5 -28.55 -70.50 Kanamori, 1977
17. Kuril Islands 1963 10 13 8.5 44.9 149.6 Kanamori, 1977
Updated 2012 April 11

References
Johnson, J.M., Y. Tanioka, L.J. Ruff, K. Sataki, H. Kanamori, and L.R. Sykes, 1994, The 1957 great Aleutian earthquake, Pure and Appl. Geophys., 142, 3-28.

Kanamori, H., 1977, The energy release of great earthquakes, J. Geophys. Res. 82, 2981-2987.

Kanamori, H., 1988, Importance of historical seismograms for geophysical research, in Lee, W.H.K., Meyers, H., and Shimazaki, K., eds., Historical Seismograms and Earthquakes of the World: San Diego, Academic Press, p. 16-33.

Okal, E.A., and D. Reymond, The mechanism of great Banda Sea earthquake of 01 February 1983, 2003, Applying the method of Preliminary Determination of Focal Mechanism to a historical event, Earth Planet. Sci. Letts., 216, 1-15.

Park, J., T.-R. A. Song, J. Tromp, E. Okal, S. Stein, G. Roult, E. Clevede, G. Laske, H. Kanamori, P. Davis, J. Berger, C. Braitenberg, M. Van Camp, X. Lei, H. Sun, H. Xu, S. Rossat, 2005, Earth's free oscillations excited by the 26 December 2004 Sumatra-Andaman earthquake, Science, 308, 1139-1144.

PDE (Preliminary Determination of Earthquakes) Monthly Listing, U.S. Geological Suvery, Golden, CO.

 

Revisions
The Andreanof Islands, Alaska earthquake of 1957 03 09, previously listed with a magnitude o f 9.1, has had its magnitude reviewed, and it was updated to 8.6.

The Ningxia-Gansu, China earthquake of 1920 12 16, previously listed with a magnitude of 8.6, has had its magnitude reviewed, and it was updated to 7.8.

The Tonga earthquake of 1917 06 26, previously listed with a magnitude of 8.5, has had its magnitude reviewed, and it was updated to 8.4.