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a reply to: charlyv Doubtful on the meteor impact. They have a very specific type of moment tensor that is easily distinguishable from other types of seismic signals.
Ekström thinks that the events on the morning of November 11 actually did begin with an earthquake of sorts equivalent to a magnitude 5 temblor. It passed by largely unnoticed, he suggests, because it was what's known as a slow earthquake. These quakes are quieter than their speedy cousins since they come from a gradual release of stress that can stretch over minutes, hours, or even days.
“The same deformation happens, but it doesn't happen as a jolt,” Ekström says.
These slow types of quakes are often associated with volcanic activity.
The development of the Comoros archipelago in the Mozambique channel has been diversely interpreted since the 1970s. The two end-member causes are, on the one hand, a deep mantle plume that developed a hotspot track from the Seychelles Plateau to the Grande Comore, and, on the other hand, a lithospheric deformation that reactivated transform faults and controlled the magma path.
Excluding the improbable scenario of impact occurring very close to a seismograph station, direct seismic detection of meteorite impact is effectively limited to objects greater than ~50 kg [Nicholls and Stewart, 1974].
Inspection of the original records by the present authors suggests that the seismic waves were locally coupled air seismic waves (precursor waves, see section 4), perhaps enhanced because of topographic coupling, rather than impact induced.