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Mag. 4.8 earthquake - Los Andes Department, 183 km west of Salta, Departamento Capital, Salta, Argentina, on Sunday, Mar 7, 2021, at 05:03 am (Salta time)

A strong magnitude 4.8 earthquake hit 183 km (114 mi) away from Salta, Salta,  Argentina, in the early morning of Sunday, Mar 7, 2021 at 5.03 am local time (America/Argentina/Salta GMT -3). The quake had a moderate depth of 187 km (116 mi) and was not felt (or at least not reported so).

Mag. 4.8 earthquake - Los Andes Department, 183 km west of Salta, Departamento Capital, Salta, Argentina, on Sunday, Mar 7, 2021, at 05:03 am (Salta time) Mag. 4.8 earthquake - Los Andes Department, 183 km west of Salta, Departamento Capital, Salta, Argentina, on Sunday, Mar 7, 2021, at 05:03 am (Salta time)

Light magnitude 4.8 earthquake at 187 km depth

7 Mar 08:38 UTC: First to report: USGS after 35 minutes.
Update Sun, 7 Mar 2021, 08:42

Moderate earthquake of magnitude 4.8 reported 81 km west of San Antonio de los Cobres, Argentina

4.8 quake 7 Mar 5:03 am (GMT -3)
4.8 quake 7 Mar 5:03 am (GMT -3)
An earthquake of magnitude 4.8 occurred early morning on Sunday 7 March 2021 at 5:03 am local time near San Antonio de los Cobres, Departamento de Los Andes, Salta, Argentina, as reported by the United States Geological Survey.
According to preliminary data, the quake was located at an intermediate to considerable depth of 187.4 km. The strength of the earthquake may have been tempered by its relative great depth below the surface, which makes it feel weaker in absolute terms. Magnitude and other quake parameters can still change in the coming hours as the agency continues to process seismic data.
Towns or cities near the epicenter where the quake might have been felt as very weak shaking include San Antonio de los Cobres (pop. 4,000) located 81 km from the epicenter.
VolcanoDiscovery will automatically update magnitude and depth if these change and follow up if other significant news about the quake become available. If you're in the area, please send us your experience through our reporting mechanism, either online or via our mobile app. This will help us provide more first-hand updates to anyone around the globe who wants to know more about this quake.
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Earthquake details

Date & timeMar 7, 2021 08:03:23 UTC
Local time at epicenterSunday, Mar 7, 2021, at 05:03 am (America/Argentina/Salta GMT -3)
Depth187.4 km
Epicenter latitude / longitude24.2488°S / 67.1216°W Los Andes Department, Salta, Argentina
Also near: Chile 33 km (21 mi) away
Seismic antipode24.2488°N / 112.8784°E China
Shaking intensityVery weak shaking
Felt0 reports
Primary data sourceUSGS (United States Geological Survey)
Nearest volcanoAracar (66 km / 41 mi)
Weather at epicenter at time of quakeScattered Clouds 11.1°C (52 F), humidity: 45%, wind: 1 m/s (2 kts) from WSW
Estimated seismic energy released1 x 1012 joules (278 megawatt hours, equivalent to 239 tons of TNT) | about seismic energy
Interactive map
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Nearby places

The closest larger town where the quake might have been felt is San Antonio de los Cobres, a town with 4,000 inhabitants in Argentina, in 81 km (51 mi) distance east of the epicenter. People likely experienced very weak shaking there.
The following table shows some of the places that might have been affected (or not) by the shaking.
Distance Place Max. shaking intensity(*) Region Country
81 km (51 mi)
E of epicenter
San Antonio de los Cobres
(pop: 4,000)
II: Very weak
Los Andes Department, Salta
183 km (114 mi)
E of epicenter
(pop: 520,700)
II: Very weak
Departamento Capital, Salta
185 km (115 mi)
E of epicenter
(pop: 305,900)
II: Very weak
Departamento de Doctor Manuel Belgrano, Jujuy
194 km (120 mi)
E of epicenter
(pop: 48,200)
II: Very weak
Palpala, Jujuy
229 km (142 mi)
E of epicenter
San Pedro de Jujuy
(pop: 58,400)
II: Very weak
Departamento de San Pedro, Jujuy
242 km (150 mi)
E of epicenter
Libertador General San Martin
(pop: 49,300)
II: Very weak
Departamento de Ledesma, Jujuy
271 km (169 mi)
NW of epicenter
(pop: 143,100)
II: Very weak
Provincia de El Loa, Antofagasta
311 km (193 mi)
NE of epicenter
(pop: 74,100)
II: Very weak
Departamento de Oran, Salta
344 km (214 mi)
SE of epicenter
San Miguel de Tucuman
(pop: 781,000)
II: Very weak
Departamento de Capital, Tucuman
390 km (242 mi)
NE of epicenter
(pop: 60,800)
II: Very weak
Departamento de General José de San Martin, Salta
(*) Shaking intensity according to the Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale (MMI) and estimated using seismic models.

User-reports for this quake

There are no user reports for this quake yet.

If you felt it, be the first to report it!
User reports estimate the perceived ground shaking intensity according to the MMI (Modified Mercalli Intensity) scale.
There are no user reports for this quake.

Compare Quake Data

Data for the same earthquake as reported by different agencies

The more agencies report about the same quake and post similar data, the more confidence you can have in the data. It takes normally up to a few hours until earthquake parameters are calculated with near-optimum precision.
Mag Depth Time GMT
Epicenter Agency
4.8 187 km
116 mi
08:03:23 81 Km W of San Antonio De Los Cobres, Argentina USGS (United States Geological Survey)


Seismic station: SAN PEDRO DE ATACAMA (AF01/C1 network) | Distance from quake: 180 km / 112 mi | Show on map | Station Info
Seismic station SAN PEDRO DE ATACAMA: vertical movement plot around time of quake (source: IRIS/BUD)
Seismogram (vertical component) around time of quake. Thin dotted red line indicates time of quake. Seismic waves arrive some time later, depending on distance. Bandpass filter applied: 0.2-10.0 Hz. Source: IRIS Buffer of Uniform Data (BUD) webtool
Show more

Aftershocks for this quake

So far, only one aftershock has been recorded. It hit 4 days after the mainshock in 3.4 km (2.1 mi) distance. When more aftershocks are detected, we will update this section.

What are aftershocks?

Larger earthquakes (above magnitude 5 or so) such as this one are usually followed by smaller ones known as aftershocks that occur in the same area during the days, weeks, months or even years after the main shock.
[More info]

What about this quake?

Based on its magnitude, the fault that was active during the quake likely ruptured beneath a surface of approx. 6 km2 (=2 sqare miles) as a first-order estimate. The length of the rupture zone thus was probably around 4 km (3 mi).
[More info]

Recorded aftershocks, latest first (1 quake)

Date and Time GMTMag
Mar 11, 2021 03:48 pm (Salta)
3 years ago
4 days after main shock

169 km
3.4 km (2.1 mi)
E of main shock
180 km W of Salta, Departamento Capital, Salta, ArgentinaMore
Mar 7, 2021 05:03 am (Salta)
3 years ago

187 km
0 km - This quakeLos Andes Department, 183 km W of Salta, Departamento Capital, Salta, Argentina
Main Shock (this quake)

Map of aftershocks

Earthquake statistics

Average number of earthquakes

Based on data from the past 10 years and our earthquake archive back to 1900, there are about 7,700 quakes on average per year in the area near the epicenter of this quake (within 100 km/61 mi):
  • Mag. 6 or higher: 0.13 quakes per year (or 1 quake every 7.8 years)
  • Mag. 5 or higher: 2.8 quakes per year
  • Mag. 4 or higher: 120 quakes per year (or 10 quakes per month)
  • Mag. 3 or higher: 626 quakes per year (or 52 quakes per month)
  • Mag. 2 or higher: 763 quakes per year (or 64 quakes per month)
The area where this quake occurred has a very high level of seismic activity. It has had at least 16 quakes above magnitude 6 since 1900, which suggests that larger earthquakes of this size occur infrequently, probably on average approximately every 5 to 10 years.

Number of quakes per year

Previous quakes in the same area of this earthquake

Map of earlier quakes in the area of this quake

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Map to embed or share

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