The February 25, 2018, M 7.5 earthquake occurred as the result of thrust faulting at shallow a depth. Preliminary focal mechanism solutions indicate slip occurred on either a moderately dipping fault striking west-northwest, or on a moderately dipping fault striking southeast. At the location of this earthquake, the Australia plate is converging with the Pacific plate, moving towards the east-northeast with respect to Pacific lithosphere at a velocity of approximately 107 mm/yr. Earthquakes in this geographical region are generally associated with the large-scale convergence of these two major plates, and with the complex interactions of several associated microplates, most notably the South Bismarck plate, the Solomon Sea microplate, and the Woodlark plate. The location, depth, and focal mechanism solution of this earthquake are consistent with it occurring as intraplate faulting within the crust of the Australia plate.
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