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Earthquake Strikes in Greenland Sea

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Map of earthquake location today (Aug. 30, 2012) near Greenland. (Image credit: USGS.)

An earthquake of preliminary magnitude 6.6 struck today in the Greenland Sea, north of Iceland, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

The temblor's epicenter was 58 miles (93 km) northwest of Norway's remote Jan Mayen Island and 582 miles (937 km) north-northeast of Reykjavik in Iceland. It originated 5 miles (8 km) miles deep and struck at 12:43 p.m. local time (13:43 UTC), the USGS reports.

Earthquakes of this size are considered major and can cause significant damage, but the destruction caused by any single event depends on the quake's depth, proximity to populated areas, building standards in the region, as well as the type of earthquake. The USGS frequently updates the magnitude of an event after more data is analyzed.

An earthquake's magnitude is a measure of the energy released at the source. It is just one predictor of the shaking that may ensue, which is affected by local and regional geology. Scientists know in a general sense what causes Earthquakes but are unable to predict specific quakes.

This article will be updated if significant additional information becomes available. Find more earthquake news here.

Live Science Staff
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