The December 26, 2004 Sumatra - Andaman Island earthquake, which ruptured the Sunda Trench subduction zone, is one of the three largest earthquakes to occur since global monitoring began in the 1890s. Its seismic moment was M-0 = 1.00 x 10(23) - 1.15 x 10(23) Nm, corresponding to a moment-magnitude of M-w = 9.3. The rupture propagated from south to north, with the southerly part of fault rupturing at a speed of 2.8 km/s. Rupture propagation appears to have slowed in the northern section, possibly to similar to 2.1 km/s, although published estimates have considerable scatter. The average slip is similar to 5 m along a shallowly dipping (8 degrees), N31 degrees W striking thrust fault. The majority of slip and moment release appears to have been concentrated in the southern part of the rupture zone, where slip locally exceeded 30 m. Stress loading from this earthquake caused the section of the plate boundary immediately to the south to rupture in a second, somewhat smaller earthquake. This second earthquake occurred on March 28, 2005 and had a moment-magnitude of M-w = 8.5.
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