A rare powerful magnitude 6.0 earthquake struck the region around the Balleny Islands, Antarctica on January 31, 2016. The strong shallow earthquake was recorded at 5:39pm at a depth of 10 km 473km (294mi) NE of Young Island, Antarctica or 2475km (1538mi) S of Wellington, New Zealand.According to the U.S. Geological Survey, earthquakes do occur occasionally in Antarctica, but not very often. There have been some big earthquakes–including one magnitude 8–in the Balleny Islands.

The boundary between the Scotia Plate and the Antarctic Plate just grazes the north tip of the Antarctic Peninsula (again, look “northwest” from the Pole toward South America). There is also a hint of a line of seismicity off the west coast of the Antarctic Peninsula and some activity in the Kerguelen Plateau (in the Indian Ocean “northeast” from the Pole). The Kerguelen Plateau is within the Antarctic Plate but it is not part of the Antarctic Continent. As with the interior area of all tectonic plates, earthquakes can and do occur in Antarctica, but they are much less frequent than quakes on the plate boundaries. FULL REPORT