As you are no doubt aware, I’ve not been sleeping too well lately, owing to the altitude. Last night, I had the best night sleep since I’ve got to the desert, or rather, I would have, had I not been rudely surprised at half past four this morning. I’d woken at 4 am, just randomly, and was just about to go back to sleep around half an hour later, when it happened. My bed started to move of its own accord. Evidently, there was only one explanation, namely that there’d been an earthquake.
Obviously as a geologist, I HAD to know more about it, and so, in spite of only having about 4 hours of sleep this point, I went immediately to my USGS earthquake application on my phone to get the details (and decided to ignore the requirement for sleep).
After a quick look at Google Earth later on in the morning, it turned out that the epicentre was 48 miles from the camp, which explained why it was easily felt, and was quite deep, showing that it is associated with the subduction of the Nazca Plate under South America. Anyway, it’s another thing on my to do list that I can tick off. The past 24 hours seems to have been quite good for getting those sorted, what with the astronomy last night, and now the earthquake this morning!
If you want more information about this earthquake, then there is a lot of information available from the United States Geological Survey website (including fault plane solutions). The link is here.