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M4.5 - off the coast of Baja California Sur, Mexico


4.5 - Richter scale


10 Km


off the coast of Baja California Sur, Mexico
LAT 22.2244, LON -108.6706


Mar 18, 2023 04:31:18 UTC
Mar 17, 2023 21:31:18 UTC -07:00 at epicenter



Event ID(s)



0 people (est. 100km radius)

Distances from major cities

  • 138.4 km (86.0 miles) SE of La Playa, Baja California Sur, Mexico
  • 140.3 km (87.2 miles) SE of San José del Cabo, Baja California Sur, Mexico
  • 147.5 km (91.7 miles) ESE of Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur, Mexico
  • 147.8 km (91.8 miles) SE of Las Veredas, Baja California Sur, Mexico
  • 270.3 km (167.9 miles) SE of La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico

Tectonic Summary

Seismotectonics of Mexico

Located atop three of the large tectonic plates, Mexico is one of the world's most seismically active regions. The relative motion of these crustal plates causes frequent earthquakes and occasional volcanic eruptions. Most of the Mexican landmass is on the westward moving North American plate. The Pacific Ocean floor south of Mexico is being carried northeastward by the underlying Cocos plate. Because oceanic crust is relatively dense, when the Pacific Ocean floor encounters the lighter continental crust of the Mexican landmass, the ocean floor is subducted beneath the North American plate creating the deep Middle American trench along Mexico's southern coast. Also as a result of this convergence, the westward moving Mexico landmass is slowed and crumpled creating the mountain ranges of southern Mexico and earthquakes near Mexico's southern coast. As the oceanic crust is pulled downward, it melts; the molten material is then forced upward through weaknesses in the overlying continental crust. This process has created a region of volcanoes across south-central Mexico known as the Cordillera Neovolcánica.

The area west of the Gulf of California, including Mexico's Baja California Peninsula, is moving northwestward with the Pacific plate at about 50 mm per year. Here, the Pacific and North American plates grind past each other creating strike-slip faulting, the southern extension of California's San Andreas fault. In the past, this relative plate motion pulled Baja California away from the coast forming the Gulf of California and is the cause of earthquakes in the Gulf of California region today.