Quakes California and Central America

California hits 843 quakes and El Salvador gets a 7.3

Most of the time California runs in the 300-400 range on total quakes over 2 weeks. I’ve seen 500 ish before. 800+ is ‘way strange’ in my experience. Add in that El Salvador had a 7.3 and it looks to me like “something is up” on the Pacific Coast of North and Central America. Check your kits, buy some extra food, and fill the tank on the car. Leave the car on the driveway if you usually park in the garage, for the next couple of weeks.

Static captures of images:

Quakes 27 Aug 2012 California 843 quakes

Quakes 27 Aug 2012 California 843 quakes

We’ve got 843 quakes on that map (most of them very tiny). The one down near the Salton Sea is a 5.5 (but has a LOT of small quakes around it). Remember that that is a spreading zone. It is where Baja California is being ripped from the North American land mass. It was filled in by sediment from the Grand Canyon, but is about 9 miles deep of ‘sandy stuff’ and debris, not hard rock.

Some months back (perhaps a year or two?) there were several 7.x quakes down in / near Peru / Chile. Then some up near Columbia. It looks to me like the energy is getting further north…


Quakes Baja 28 Aug 2012 245_30

Quakes Baja 28 Aug 2012 245_30

UPDATE 31 Aug 2012

Here’s a copy of California over 1000 quakes and a close up on the Salton Sea area showing it is the bulk of them at 748:

Quakes California at 1035 quakes 31 Aug 2012

Quakes California at 1035 quakes 31 Aug 2012

Quakes Salton Sea 758 quakes 31 Augt 2012 116-33

Quakes Salton Sea 758 quakes 31 Augt 2012 116-33

North America:

Quakes 27 Aug 2012 N_America

Quakes 27 Aug 2012 N_America


This webpage is being phased out and is no longer maintained. Please use the new Real-time Earthquake Map instead and update your bookmark. See Quick Tips & User Guide.

2012 August 27 04:37:20 UTC

This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.

Magnitude 7.3

Monday, August 27, 2012 at 04:37:20 UTC
Sunday, August 26, 2012 at 10:37:20 PM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones

Location 12.278°N, 88.528°W
Depth 20.3 km (12.6 miles)
Distances 111 km (68 miles) S of Puerto El Triunfo, El Salvador
118 km (73 miles) S of Usulutan, El Salvador
123 km (76 miles) S of San Rafael Oriente, El Salvador
133 km (82 miles) S of Santiago de Maria, El Salvador
Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 16.1 km (10.0 miles); depth +/- 4.2 km (2.6 miles)
Parameters NST=345, Nph=345, Dmin=130.2 km, Rmss=1.21 sec, Gp= 65°,
M-type=(unknown type), Version=D

Magnitude: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
Location: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)

Event ID usc000c7yw

Note: The USGS is now putting up a red border box; warning folks to move to their new interactive pages (as these are deprecated). Eventually they will just pull the plug and these postings will all fail to load images that are live.

The interactive stuff is interesting, but you can’t embed images from it the way you can with the old stuff, so I don’t really have a choice (yet). Maybe I’ll figure out how to imbed live versions of the ‘new stuff’ eventually… but don’t be surprised if ‘someday’ the Quake postings just fail.

The saved static images will still exist, but all the live images below will fail.

Global Views

30 Days:

30 Day Global View

30 Day Global View


Quakes Last 7 Days Live

Quakes Last 7 Days Live

Northern Hemisphere

North Polar Earthquake Map

North Polar Earthquake Map

Original Image with Clickable Details

North America

Quakes North America Live Map

Quakes North America Live Map

Original Image

Southern Hemisphere

A view of Earthquakes from the South Pole

A view of Earthquakes from the South Pole

Original Image with Clickable Details

Asia and Russia

Asia Quake Map

Asia Quake Map

Original Image with clickable areas

Australia / New Zealand

This is a live map of the Australia / Indonesia / New Zealand area:

Australia / Indonesia / New Zealand Quake Map

Australia / Indonesia / New Zealand Quake Map

Original with clickable regions to zoom in

California Map

Action Closer to Me

As I live in California, it makes it easier for me if I keep them in the list where I can see what’s shaking near me.

Here is an alternative view of things with the fault lines highlighted:

California Quakes with fault lines

California Quakes with fault lines

Original Image

San Franciso Bay and nearby

San Franciso Bay and nearby

Original Image

San Jose close up view

San Jose Bay Area close up view

Original Image

Salton Sea:

Salton Sea area live map

Salton Sea area live map

Original Image

Baja California / Gulf of California

Baja California / Gulf of California

Original Image

Map of Plates

You can see it is where plates collide here:

Plates Of The World

Plates Of The World

Original Image, and with other language options.

Some Volcano Stuff

This page:

http://pangea.stanford.edu/~dsinnett/Pages/Links.html has a nice collection of links to volcano monitor pages. Just click the pictures for the different volcano observatories.

The Smithsonian page:


USGS Page listing recent major quakes:


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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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63 Responses to Quakes California and Central America

  1. Hugo M says:

    Aren’t earthquake swarms an indicator for rising magma? There are a number of old vulcanos in Kalifornia. I’d be interested if a change in 3He/4He ratio was detected?

  2. E.M.Smith says:

    @Hugo M:

    Yes, they are, and yes, we have them… In fact, they are in an arc just a bit up the way from that Salton Sea point. The same “trench” that is the extension of the Gulf of California (though filled with silt) that makes that area, continues up to Death Valley where it is spreading / sinking. A bit further up you get things like Mammoth Mountain / Lakes (i.e. a Super Volcano) and even up to Mono Lake you have volcanic features. (Some of them, down closer to Death Valley, have been active in the last couple of thousand years, so are not really “old” in the sense of “dead”).

    From there, the spreading zone / rift / defect heads toward the coast. 2 Million years ago or so it made the volcano that has since eroded down into the Sutter Buttes. About 100 miles north of there are more volcanoes. Lassen and Shasta. Lassen last erupted in 1914 and when I was at the summit in the 1970s it was still smoking with sulfur deposits and hotter than normal surface rocks. For Shasta, it’s been longer, but it still considered “ready to rumble”…

    North of there are more volcanoes, but from Lassen on north they are more subduction artifacts than rift artifacts.

    The “bottom line” is that anywhere from the Salton Sea on up to the Oregon Border can have volcanoes. Just the “how far inland” and “rift of subduction” changes…

    Going south from the Salton Sea there are plenty of active volcanoes in Mexico along the Gulf of California. It isn’t odd to think of a volcano sprouting in the Salton Sea area. What is odd is that it has NOT happened in a very long time… Perhaps all that wet silt keeps things from reaching the surface…

  3. philjourdan says:

    One thing I failed to notice until you pointed it out is that the swarm are all very shallow (relatively speaking).

    And another thing I had not even thought about until Hugo mentioned it was the connection with Volcanoes!

    So it is going to be interesting to see if anything further occurs in the area – or it just sinks back into solitude for another 50 years or so.

  4. Pascvaks says:

    (SarcOn) As with AGW, AGT –Anthroprogenic Global Tilting — is increasing at an alarming rate and must be delt with immediately by vast enpendatures by Developed Countries in compensation to Undeveloped Countries; the inhabitants of Developed Countries -though less in numbers- are far greater in individual and total weight, density, and mass, than people in Undeveloped Countries. The Secretary General of the United Nations must be called upon to manage a Super Duper Fat Fund to relieve this curse and remove it from the world scene! Only through great sacrifice and immediate action will even a small percentage of mankind be saved by the end of the current century. Act Now! Save the planet! Make the world’s democracies pay through the nose for all they have done. Stop earthquakes and volcanoes everywhere! We must act NOW!(SarcOff)
    (Is it me? Did you feel the earth move too?)
    “A horse! A horse! My kingdom for a horse!”

  5. adolfogiurfa says:

    @Pascvaks: Good joke!, but the following it is not a joke:
    Another possible effect of the strong ‘ring’ currents induction under the Arctic ocean may manifest itself as an electro-magnetic brake on the magma vortex. As the angular momentum of the Earth’s rotation must be conserved, slowdown of the Hudson Bay vortex and increased velocity in the stronger Siberian one, will be reflected on the Earth’s rotation . If so than this would be registered in the ‘Length of Day’ – LOD. This indeed is the case as there is a close correlation between LOD and the Earth’s (z) field intensity as calculated for the North Pole. As the Hudson Bay weakens the effect may eventually disappear.

    As already stated effect of the solar storms appear to be mainly on the Hudson Bay vortex, where the strength of magnetic field is falling, it is likely that in the foreseeable future (century scale), this vortex may weaken so much and eventually disappear, in which case the magnetic pole would be found in the Central Siberia (64-65N, 107-110E).

    This may have profound consequences for the Earth’s magnetic field, having a bulge in the East hemisphere with opposite pole at ~ 60S, 140E).

  6. vukcevic says:

    I made an attempt to calculate tidal effects on the Earth’s outer core by combining gravitational and magnetic factors. The result I found was somewhat unexpected as shown in the lower graph:
    No major Japan’s earthquakes were listed for the 1900-1920 period , hence no long term implications.

  7. Hugo M says:

    E.M., Salton Sea has mud vulcanos at least. Is their gas composition monitored? I’ve seen they do monitor fumaroles at Mammuth Mountain at least, but was unsucessful to find any actual time series of helium concentrations so far.

  8. E.M.Smith says:

    I’ve added a static capture at the top and a live map below the California one; for the Baja / Gulf of California view. There you can see another cluster down in the middle of the Gulf of California. Right on top of the spreading line. You can also see how the ones in the Salton Sea area are very similar both in clustering and being on the spreading zone / fault.

    @Hugo M:

    I don’t know what monitoring is done at Salton Sea. IMHO we’ve likely got rift vulcanism going on, but about 9 miles down under the wet silt…


    Nice graph… very nice… “Correlation is not causality” but it sure can tell you where to go looking!


    I’ve always thought the magnetic liquid interior of the planet ought to respond to external applied electromagnetic forces with changes of motion; now it looks like the next step of ‘what does the changed motion do’ is getting some legs…


    I didn’t feel it move, but at about 11:10 AM today I had that “slight dizzy” feeling that comes near times of quakes. Unfortunately, with the California map now at an 888 count and rising, we’re pretty much wilggley all over…


    Look at the “Global 30 day” map up top. Notice that the North American Pacific line of quakes are all at the shallowest band they mark. Less than 30 km. (Might be interesting to look for an even more exact / shallower mapping…) The California quake lists depth at 12.6 miles, so just a bit below the bottom of the silt layers…

    My “speculative” bucket is of the opinion that solar changes have caused LOD changes that are slopping the magma around in the deep layers and changing stresses on the plates; and that we’re going to get more volcanic activity and maybe even some ‘surprise’ volcanoes “like in the old days”… Just hope it’s not a “big one” like Mammoth… (But a little fountain one like we had 9000 years ago would be fun ;-)

  9. E.M.Smith says:

    Hmmm… A bit further north, in the hills above Bakersfield, a ‘little one’ at 3.3, but only 1.1 km deep:

    Yeah, I know, quakes can be at any depth and when a surface block moves that can even be ‘the surface’… but still… stuff is moving and not very deep.

    You can sort by depth, which I did. Everything less than 1 km is in places where I’m not fond of seeing that happen…

    Mag Location                                            Date                   Lat / Lon       Depth km
    2.5	4km ENE of Westmorland, California 2012-08-26 21:37:49	33.051°N	115.577°W	0.0
    2.7	3km N of Brawley, California	2012-08-26 21:19:01	33.013°N	115.536°W	0.0
    2.9	5km WSW of Brawley, California	2012-08-26 21:12:37	32.959°N	115.585°W	0.0
    2.5	4km WNW of Brawley, California	2012-08-26 22:51:22	32.997°N	115.570°W	0.1
    2.5	156km SSE of McGrath, Alaska	2012-08-26 09:55:43	61.708°N	154.202°W	0.1
    2.7	4km SW of Alberto Oviedo Mota, Mexico 2012-08-25 22:07:39 32.201°N	115.209°W	0.1
    2.5	4km NW of Brawley, California	2012-08-27 04:54:55	33.008°N	115.567°W	0.2
    3.2	4km WNW of Brawley, California	2012-08-26 19:45:55	32.993°N	115.575°W	0.2
    2.9	56km S of Deltana, Alaska	2012-08-24 16:24:59	63.373°N	145.050°W	0.2
    2.9	4km ENE of Westmorland, California 2012-08-27 05:20:51	33.054°N	115.582°W	0.3
    2.9	2km NW of Brawley, California	2012-08-26 21:21:56	32.998°N	115.549°W	0.3
    2.5	3km N of Brawley, California	2012-08-26 20:33:01	33.008°N	115.529°W	0.8

    Don’t know what it means,though, and it may mean nothing much other than one of our blocks (that get lifted to make the mountains here) is moving a bit. But with Brawley being in the Imperial Valley (near the Salton Sea) I think that isn’t what is happening…

  10. E.M.Smith says:

    The California map is now at 910 quake count…

    High and still rising fast… At this rate it will break 1000 by midnight…

  11. hillrj says:

    EM, What is the chance that it is an instrument/computer bug?

  12. p.g.sharrow says:

    I think Fort Tejon area of the San Andreas is way over due and under increasing strain as the portion south of LA is active and the north of Parkfield is moving. That Parkfield south section is glaring in its’ inactivity, and the east-west Tehachapis are showing more and more compression cracks. A couple of months ago the characteristics of the west coast quakes changed from compression breaks everywhere to movement quakes along faults. Things are in motion now. I would stay away from that area until the Fort Tejon lock up moves. pg

  13. philjourdan says:

    Talked to my in-laws last night. They said it was really shaking (constant) Sunday, but now it is just occassional jiggles. While I was talking to her, a 1.8 hit. She (my SIL) said she “heard it”, and within a couple of minutes it appeared on the USGS site (that is how I know it was a 1.8). So even the minor ones, while not easily felt, are experienced (she lives right in Brawley – Earthquake Central).

    Hugo, My wife also pointed out to me the mud volcanoes. And the quakes are not far from that area. So who knows? I guess we will find out. If nothing, it will be a footnote in history.

  14. Pascvaks says:

    I subscribe to no system, though I’m keenly sensitive to and interested in quakes and volcanoes; a little less so now that my daughter has left Seattle for a more ‘Great Lakes/Canadian Shield’ environment, but still very interested. Don’t have anything to contribute of value; my only observation is that it’s spastic and, regarding the Pacific Plate, tends to occassionaly ‘balance’. Big One in SW Pacific, Big One in NW Pacific, Big One in SE Pacific.. then I get more and more nervous for NE Pacific areas, I figure it’s a geological balancing act around the Ring of Fire, and when California starts acting like a pot of popcorn, I think “BIG ONE” soon?

    In the ‘Two Cents’ section – I have always felt volcanoes and quakes were very much related and never could figure out why modern geology tended to regard them as apples and oranges. While some subscribe to the notion that quakes presage volcanic activity, I’m more and more of the opinion that volcanoes presage and follow quakes. Have an uneasy sense that Hawaii, is the ‘gigercounter’ of the Pacific and is telling us so much more than we’re able to understand at present. We’ll see. Maybe;-)

  15. Hugo M says:

    Phil, besides mud vulcanos Salton Sea also has a geothermal plant. Such facilities are known for their ability to trigger earthquakes. But what I’m interested in is a time series like the one acquired at Mammoth Mountain: .
    As usual, such series do not include actual values.

    Since about century, we observe an increasingly frequent series of earthquake swarms in Europe, in a region called Vogtland, centered near the town of Novy Kostel, which is now part of the Czech republic.The fumaroles there are found to vent very high concentration of CO2 and an increasing concentration of Helium-3. The geologist are quite sure that an eruption will take place, but they simply can’t predict when.

  16. p.g.sharrow says:

    @EMSmith; looks like you have over 1,000 quakes on the California map now! Things are getting quite busy. Full moon tonight and new moon the 15th of September. Activity peaks just after the alignments. At least 4 months of increasing activity to look forward to. 8-) pg

  17. adolfogiurfa says:

    @P.G.: It would be interesting to know if there have been any differences in altitude, as that “scar” which begins at the Gulf of California may be subsiding or the contrary, better stay away if you can way east from it. See the following article of Michele Casati:

  18. adolfogiurfa says:

    It is important his remarks:
    Remember my recent work:
    Planetary alignments from July to September 2012
    Planetary configuration number 6:

    August 28 to 29 input alignment Mercury-Venus-Uranus

    Article citation:


      Work on my own empirical methodology for identifying time window 24/48h., Geophysical event significative at risk on a global scale.

    Please note again that this new list of dates shown, plays exclusively an indication of those possible periods of risk particoloramente significant geological events on a global scale.

    Time windows, and as I have repeatedly stated, in comments and articles in these years of study, must be assessed in sync with the solar dynamics that see the most striking geological phenomena occur at the end of the descent stages of the solar wind (at the end of heating phases – the name of thumb – Sw 1000 – 1500 km / s. (associated with high relative proton density), in terms of energy, with the Earth’s magnetosphere.

    And from Solarham.net:
    The solar X-Ray background levels are now near the C1 threshold. New Sunspots 1561, 1562 ad 1563 were numbered on Thursday. Old region 1545 from the previous rotation is now in Earth view. There will be a chance for an M-Class event on Friday

  19. adolfogiurfa says:

    @P.G. This from our friend M.Vulcevic it is important:

  20. E.M.Smith says:

    Philipines got a Big One with injuries and a Tsunami Warning:

    2012 August 31 12:47:34 UTC

    Magnitude 7.6

    Friday, August 31, 2012 at 12:47:34 UTC
    Friday, August 31, 2012 at 08:47:34 PM at epicenter
    Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones

    Location 10.838°N, 126.704°E
    Depth 34.9 km (21.7 miles)
    Distances 94 km (58 miles) E of Sulangan, Philippines
    106 km (65 miles) ESE of Guiuan, Philippines
    161 km (100 miles) ESE of Borongan, Philippines
    174 km (108 miles) NE of Surigao, Philippines
    Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 13.3 km (8.3 miles); depth +/- 2.8 km (1.7 miles)
    Parameters NST=688, Nph=688, Dmin=435.3 km, Rmss=0.98 sec, Gp= 11°,
    M-type=(unknown type), Version=A

    Magnitude: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
    Location: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)

    Event ID usc000cc5m

  21. E.M.Smith says:


    IMHO, the chance is nearly nill. There are MANY instruments scattered all over and they are compared with each other to find depth / distance strength. So any one (or few) being ‘dodgy’ shows up rapidly. The “problem” would have to be in the comparison / software. BUT there are several folks doing their own versions of that, too, so it would rapidly show up as a disconnect between, say, the Berkeley folks and the USGS. As they look at each others stuff fairly often, all sorts of alarms would go off pretty quickly.

    Oh, we’re now at 1035 quakes in California ( in the last 2 week interval that show up in the count on the graph) and still rising. Eventually the cluster will stabilize, then the peak of the count will start dropping off the 2 week marker and we’ll drop back. The most reasonable explanation is just that some parts of the State are moving, but in small bits of many many quakes instead of one “big one”; and that’s a good thing. As the scale is a power of 10 thing, you can get a 100 dinky 0.1 kind of quakes pretty easily. Volcanic activity is like that with large quake clusters (of small quakes). So I’m still hoping for a small volcano to sprout in the middle of the Salton Sea ;-)


    Darned good summary of the process right now. The two “biggest aw shits” are the one you described, and the section under L.A. proper that last let go in the 1700-1800 range (forgot the exact date, but it is about on the repeat window… and an 8.x class event is a possible).

    Yeah, the next month or two ought to be ‘interesting’. I need to find out when lunar perigee happens…

    Personally, I’m hoping it is ‘rifting’ activity and we get some ‘toy volcanoes’ on the line from the Salton Sea up to Death Valley / Mono Lake. Like we had 10,000 ish years ago. It would be nice to remind folks that the area does that…

    Oh, and the Cascadia is likely to go “soon” in geologic terms.

    (I’m glad our section of the San Andreas let go in the Loma Prieta quake. Only the Hayward / Calaveras ‘near’ me has much energy in it, and that’s a ways away and likely to hit Berkeley / Oakland much more than me. I ought to have less ground motion than we had from the Loma Prieta quake. Glad I consulted the USGS soils and faults maps before buying ;-) “This behaviour was by design”…)


    Let us know if the mud volcanoes pick up steam… or a sulphurous smell…


    Well, I, too, have noticed the “balance” act. As the Philippines just had a ‘big one’ I’d expect a ‘big one’ on our side of the plate “soon” (which can be months in geologic terms, but I’ve also seen them go in pairs / triads inside hours / days).

    Small quakes precede volcanoes. As the magma works its way up through the rocks, stuff gets bent, broken, pushed out of the way. So a ‘quake storm’ is a normal precursor event.

    Large subduction zone quakes move plate material down into the melt zone. A few years later after it has melted and the hydrated lighter weight hot magma rises, you get activity in the volcanoes behind the subduction zone (in the melt area). So, for example, we had the 9 in Indonesia so I’d expect more Indonesian volcanoes “soon” and we had that big on off the coast of Japan. Typically Mt. Fuji wakes up after that, so about 4 years to go IMHO.

    Similarly the subduction off the coast of N. California gives us Lassen, Shasta, and the Cascade volcanoes. Just with a ‘melt rise’ delay.

    @Hugo M:

    Good point about central Europe. Folks think of Italy for European volcanoes but forget there have been volcanoes in central Europe. And not all that long ago.

    Like this one in the Netherlands: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Quill_%28volcano%29 active just a couple of thousand years ago.



    Frankly, I’d avoid anywhere along the San Andreas, the L.A. basin down to the Salton Sea. With partial exceptions for near me as our little section of fault already let loose (but only a couple of hundred miles of it). Things on both sides are “primed and ready” and in some cases ‘overdue’ and we’ve got a stalled rift down in the Salton / Dead Sea area just waiting to relive old glory…

    “Batter up!”?

  22. adolfogiurfa says:

    @E.M. Next Moon Perigee:Ephemeris:

    Right Distance From 47°N 7°E:
    Ascension Declination (AU) Altitude Azimuth
    Sun 11h 49m 56s +1° 5.3′ 1.004 -22.372 118.132 Set
    Mercury 12h 19m 43s -1° 9.7′ 1.394 -19.510 110.390 Set
    Venus 9h 7m 30s +15° 55.1′ 0.977 -25.827 164.978 Set
    Moon 14h 59m 6s -17° 55.9′ 57.0 ER -5.217 69.181 Set
    Mars 15h 1m 10s -17° 52.6′ 1.893 -4.846 68.851 Set
    Jupiter 4h 59m 39s +21° 53.8′ 4.739 -8.703 -135.836 Set
    Saturn 13h 47m 57s -8° 42.2′ 10.612 -10.331 88.278 Set
    Uranus 0h 26m 38s +2° 3.7′ 19.073 19.084 -71.627 Up
    Neptune 22h 13m 17s -11° 40.8′ 29.090 25.308 -33.335 Up
    Pluto 18h 28m 43s -19° 38.8′ 32.121 19.456 25.623 Up
    Universal Time: 2012-09-19 19:46:54

  23. adolfogiurfa says:

    As you see the moon will be then at a latitude -17ª 55.9´ South

  24. E.M.Smith says:

    California now at 1045 so we’ve picked up 10 in very little time… That’s 10 net above whatever rolled off the 2 week window at the other end, so may be more than 10 new if some old ones were rolling off…

  25. E.M.Smith says:

    I’ve added a capture of the California map (up top 2 down) with 1035 quakes on it (grabbed just before the current run up to 1056!) along with a map of the Salton Sea area showing that 748 of them are in that area alone.

    Clearly most of the “action” is on the Salton Sea chunk of the spreading zone / fault system.

  26. E.M.Smith says:

    Looking at the California map, presently at 1064 quakes and rising fast, one of the “odd things” is the way the quakes are spread out. ‘Normally’ there’s a line on the San Andreas, and some ‘onesy twosy’ quakes scattered around more inland.

    Now we’ve got what looks like large stresses active inland. Not only is the whole southern / L.A. Basin down to the Salton Sea full of pock marks (everything south of the transverse fault system) but there are two major northward ranging lines above it. One on the San Andreas and one more inland following the old ‘spreading zone’ line up to Mammoth Mountain / Lakes / Supervolcano, along with significant number of small ones (2+ scale) scattered all over the central valley.

    It really does look like the whole thing is just getting slowly squeezed / distorted. Just a very strange state of affairs. May it pass quickly…

  27. p.g.sharrow says:

    @EMSmith; That activity at Brawley, just south of the Salton Sea, may be an intrusion such as created the Marysville Buttes. I wonder about elevation changes in the Brawley area.

    Be careful of what you wish. An actual eruption in that that area would wipe out a very large part of the North American winter crop production. pg

  28. E.M.Smith says:


    I was hoping for a small (i.e. about 100 yards square) eruption a bit further out in the desert. There have been a few of those up toward Death Valley about 9000 years ago. Not a full on rift from the gulf to Palm Desert ;-) Or maybe just a cone that barely breaks the surface in the middle of the Salton Sea…

    I know, way to precise a ‘wish’ to have any reasonable probability of happening, but that’s what wishes are for…

    Like this one:


    Pisgah Crater, or Pisgah Volcano, is a young volcanic cinder cone rising above a lava plain in the Mojave Desert, between Barstow and Needles, California in San Bernardino County, California. The volcanic peak is around 2.5 miles (4.0 km) south of historic U.S. Route 66-National Old Trails Highway and of Interstate 40, and west of the town of Ludlow.
    Pisgah Volcano is the youngest vent, of four cinder cones, in the Lavic Lake volcanic field. There may have been activity at this site as recent as 2,000 years ago, though more likely 20,000 to 50,000 years ago. It is too young for the commonly used potassium-argon dating technique usable on specimens over 100,000 years old. No charred organic material for radiocarbon dating has been found.

    Lava at nearby and similarly active Amboy Crater is interbedded with Bristol Playa sediments at a depth of about 9 meters (30 feet) which are approximately 100,000 years old. Recent argon-argon dating reveals an age of approximately 18,000 years ± 5,000 years (~90% certainty) for the most recent flow.

    Lava flows extend 18 km (11 mi) to the west and 8 km (5.0 mi) to southeast of the cone, containing basalt primarily of the pahoehoe texture, with some a’a. The flows contain numerous lava tubes and caves

    So somewhere around the end of the last glacial to perhaps as recent as 2000 years. And just a few km of flow from one cone at a time…

    Just a little one…. Pahhleeease!!!!

  29. p.g.sharrow says:

    @EMSmith; How about an eruption north west of Lassen on the Pit River, just below Fall River. It would back up the Pit River to Canby. This is still an active area and it has happened before. That Brawley quake area looks to be an intrusion that will cause uplift but no outburst, Is Brawley a known geothermal area?
    Yes it is:
    Maybe GOD is warming up the bathtub. 8-) pg

  30. adolfogiurfa says:

    Do there live those little fishes that were preferred instead of farmers?

  31. E.M.Smith says:

    Looks like the count in California has stabilized and started a small drop. Eventually the high formation rate period reaches the end of the 2 week sample period and starts to roll off the count, then it will plunge in count number.

    The Salton Sea and Brawley are something near 100 feet below sea level. At various points in geologic history it’s been part of the Gulf of California; and it will be again… but probably not for a very long time. It is a spreading zone, so the (approximately) 9 miles deep accumulated sediments from The Grand Canyon / Colorado river will lower as the trench spreads. We’ve also got sediment trapping behind various dams now, so additions are lower. All this is on geologic time scales, though, so not likely to have visual impact in any one lifetime. But eventually the Gulf of California will extend to north of the Salton Sea. IMHO most likely during the NEXT interglacial melt pulse about 140,000 years from now. THEN the “little fishes” will be enjoying the place…

    @P.G. Sharrow:

    I’d love to see a little eruption near Lassen / Pit river! I’ve been waiting for it nearly my whole life! Growing up near there with stories of historical vulcanism I always wanted just a little one…

  32. philjourdan says:

    @E.M. sulphurous smells? IS Obama campaigning there? ;)

  33. E.M.Smith says:

    Magnitude 7.6 – COSTA RICA

    2012 September 05 14:42:10 UTC

    Earthquake Details

    This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.

    Magnitude 7.6

    Wednesday, September 05, 2012 at 14:42:10 UTC
    Wednesday, September 05, 2012 at 08:42:10 AM at epicenter
    Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones

    Location 10.120°N, 85.347°W
    Depth 40.8 km (25.4 miles)
    Region COSTA RICA
    Distances 10 km (6 miles) NE of Hojancha, Costa Rica
    11 km (6 miles) ESE of Nicoya, Costa Rica
    30 km (18 miles) ESE of Santa Cruz, Costa Rica
    44 km (27 miles) SW of Canas, Costa Rica
    Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 13.6 km (8.5 miles); depth +/- 6.2 km (3.9 miles)
    Parameters NST=737, Nph=737, Dmin=135.8 km, Rmss=1.42 sec, Gp= 18°,
    M-type=(unknown type), Version=F

    Magnitude: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
    Location: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)

    Event ID usc000cfsd

  34. Hugo M says:

    E.M., the mean epicenter of the numerous quakes at Salton Sea almosts coincides with the location of hitherto four large geothermal plants, which together do provide an electrical power of 600 Megawatts. The generators are driven by steam turbines. A steam-water mixture at 350 bar is produced by four boreholes, each about 1000 meters deep. The flow of thermal energy must be nearly two Gigawatt. I’m currently out of my depth to calculate the mass flow, but I’d guess it could be several metric tons per second. Now I’m curious to know if such a series of quakes happened there before these power stations went online. If so, has the depth or the mean magnitude changed?

  35. E.M.Smith says:


    There are sometimes small quakes near geothermal plants, but this is a rather large quake and a heck of a lot of small ones. I think them unrelated.

    The place in question is one of the major spreading zones on the planet and only one of a handful on land ( great rift valley of Africa, Iceland…). They are generally highly active places.

    When you hear hoofbeats, first think “horse” and only later look for a zebra…

    So the history of the seismic activity of that area is “very large”. On the same fault system, just a bit further south and north, there have been (or in Mexico presently are…) active volcanoes. ANYTHING can happen there; from a 7.x+ quake to a large volcano forming.

    IMHO, if anything, the geothermal plant may help prevent a new volcanic cone forming… if they make it big enough ;-)

    If you look at this graph of peak ground acceleration probable in a 50 year span:


    You will notice that the Salton Sea area is a deep rich brown. The highest possible. MAJOR quakes there are a certainty. Which means lots of “moderate” quakes are also a certainty.

    There is absolutely nothing at all unusual about a cluster of quakes of this size in that location. The only unusual thing is that we’ve not had more of them, or had a volcano sprout down there, in the last dozen thousand years…

    The place sits on top of a 9 mile deep rift, tearing a chunk off of the North American continent. The only reason we don’t have a 9 mile deep valley with a volcanic fountain at the bottom is that the Grand Canyon eroded into the rift and filled it up with wet sediment to 100 feet below sea level. (Yes, it’s 100 feet below sea level. IFF the little mound of dirt deposited by the Colorado River just south of the Salton Sea were breached, we get a 100 foot deep extension of the Gulf of California to the north…)


    That system (all of it) is still active, so we still have spreading of Baja California away from Mexico, and the split of San Diego / L.A. from Arizona / Nevada is ongoing. We’ve put a big dam on the Colorado, so a LOT less sediment is being delivered. Eventually the spreading will now outpace the sediment delivery and the Gulf of California WILL extend north to Palm Springs. Just a matter of time. (but Geologic time, so measured in thousands to millions of years… hope the dam holds ;-)

    BTW, there is geologic evidence for periodic flooding via gulf intrusion further north, so this process has happened before. Both the flooding and the larger sediment fill. Rinse and repeat…

    So we’re talking about one of the most seismically active places on the planet, with 9 miles of ‘loose fill’ on top of a major spreading / volcanic zone. Somehow I don’t think some water cooling in the top mile is going to make much difference… But if the ‘gap’ between Baja and Mexico widens by, oh, a foot; well, all that fill has to spread out and sink / consolidate to compensate… and having a few dozen miles of fill drop by a few inches, well, ‘things shake’…

  36. adolfogiurfa says:

    Are earthquakes going south?

  37. E.M.Smith says:


    Think longer term time scale. I think they are moving north in the Americas…

    A few years back we had a series of 7.x in the Chile / Peru area. Then some more activity near Columbia / Ecuador. now it’s in Central America and with ‘precursor’ activity in California.

    IMHO, it’s about 3 years to the Cascadia letting loose; but we also might see a repeat of the Big One in L.A. first. Folks tend to fixate on the San Francisco 1906 quake and forget it was preceded by some major quakes further south.


    Earthquake History

    The first strong earthquake listed in earthquake annals for California occurred in the Los Angeles region in 1769, probably near the San Andreas Fault. Four violent shocks were recorded by the Gaspar de Portola Expedition, in camp about 30 miles southeast of Los Angeles center. Most authorities speculate, even though the record is very incomplete, that this was a major earthquake.

    Forty persons attending church at San Juan Capistrano on December 8, 1812, were killed by a strong earthquake that destroyed the church.
    Many mission buildings were severely damaged there and at San Gabriel. The shock probably centered on a submarine fault offshore.

    A violent shock near Fort Tejon in January 1857 threw down buildings and large trees at the Fort. It was also severe in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Sacramento.
    This earthquake has been compared to that of April 1906; both caused extensive displacement along the San Andreas Fault. One source notes, “The magnitude of the two events cannot have differed greatly.”

    A strong earthquake occurred on the Hayward Fault, the principal active branch of the San Andreas in central California, in October 1868. Some 30 persons were killed in the region. Damage was severe at San Francisco; many buildings were wrecked at Hayward and San Leandro. Until 1906, this shock was often referred to as “the great earthquake.”

    An earthquake in the Sierra – Nevada Fault system in March 1872, killed 27 people at Lone Pine and destroyed 52 of 59 adobe houses. Near Owens Lake, numerous depressions formed between cracks in the earth. One area 200 to 300 feet wide sank 20 to 30 feet; several long, narrow ponds formed. Thousands of aftershocks, some severe, appear to have occurred.

    Nearly all brick structures were wrecked, and many frame buildings were damaged in Vacaville by an earthquake on April 19, 1892. Damage was similar at Winters and Dixon, two small towns nearby. Ground fissures were noted in the area. The shock centered north of Santa Rosa, in the Healdsburg Fault area.

    On Christmas Day of 1899, six persons died and several were injured at Saboba, near San Jacinto, by a strong shock. At nearby Hemet, nearly all brick buildings were severely damaged, with only two chimneys remaining upright. This shock occurred on the San Jacinto Fault, and has been compared to the April 1918 (magnitude 6.8) shock in the same region.

    IMHO, that’s what comes next to California on the “Great Quake” pattern.

    Note that there was activity INLAND too. At Owens Valley, as the spreading zone heads north towards Mammoth Lakes. We also had the Hayward “go” ( it is ‘up next’ in the SF Area as it often lets loose near the time of a San Andreas quake, but a few years displaced one side or the other – since Loma Prieta happened, the highest risk is now in the East Bay).

    So in my hypothetical view: First we get the L.A. basin have a ‘repeat’ of the 1857 type of event (dampened a bit up north as the Loma Prieta chunk of the San Andreas is already relieved). Then the Hayward / Calaveras lets loose and the East Bay area of S.F. Bay ‘gets it’. Then the Cascadia ‘lets the big one’ rip…

    Historically, the Cascadia has often moved prior to the San Andreas; so it is also possible that we get ‘two ends toward the middle’ with the Cascadia and L.A. going before the Hayward. In reality we could get most any pattern, even Hayward first, then the other two; but my ‘sense of it’ is that this time the activity has been drifting north from South America…

    Oh, and the Cascadia has sometimes ( 1700) let loose within a few years of a major destructive quake on the Subduction Zone in Japan… rather like we just had…



    The 1700 Cascadia earthquake was a magnitude 8.7 to 9.2 megathrust earthquake that occurred in the Cascadia subduction zone in 1700. The earthquake involved the Juan de Fuca Plate underlying the Pacific Ocean, from mid-Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada, south along the Pacific Northwest coast as far as northern California, USA. The length of the fault rupture was about 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) with an average slip of 20 meters (22 yards).

    So IMHO it’s “anytime now” for both the Cascadia and the L.A. Basin. (In geologic time that’s measured in ‘a few decades’…)

    But keep an eye on the lunar /solar cycle…


  38. Hugo M says:

    E.M., you repeatedly assert a 9 miles layer of silt in this area. I’ve certainly understood this argument. However, at a pressure of 350 bar the fast flowing steam/water mix in the boreholes at Salton Sea must be extremely hot, at a depth of only one kilometer. (You would expect a hydrostatic pressure of 100 bar and perhaps 50 degree at this depth. Where does the excess heat come from?) In addition, a large amounts of fast flowing hot water is an excellent solvent. While it is plausible to think that geothermal plants can trade bigger quakes for smaller ones (or may even prevent vulcanos to form), it is still an assumption, which is not necessarily true everywhere. Salton Sea would be a good place to test at least the quake hypothesis.

  39. E.M.Smith says:

    The excess heat comes from the magma down under the rest of the rocks / sediment. It’s had a few thousand years to heat a few dozen cubic miles of sediments.

    Typically there are two wells. One is for injection, the other for extraction, and the fluid can take a very wide path between them. Exposure to LOTS of rocks is the key element.

    There isn’t a lot of solubility to quartz and feldspar… though yes, there are some mineralized bits in the water. We’re talking tons of dissolved salts compared to megatons of rocks…

    Don’t know how you propose to ‘test’ the hypothesis via the Salton Sea. Total energy we extract is essentially none compared to total input. Total groundwater vastly exceeds the quantity in the injection wells. Etc. etc. Other geothermal places have “done a test” via various downtimes. Only thing noticed was a change in things in the Mag 1 and under class of quakes and highly localized to the specific location. Best estimates is “no real impact”.


    The Salton Sea geothermal field lies in the Salton Trough, the landward extension of the Gulf of California, an area of active crustal spreading. Surface volcanic rocks of the field consist of five small rhyolite domes extruded onto Quaternary sediments of the Colorado River delta. Two domes are linked by subaqueous pyroclastic deposits; the others are single extrusions with or without marginal lava flows. The domes are low-calcium, alkali rhyolite with 1 to 2 percent crystals. Similar silicic rocks found in wells have been extensively altered by geothermal brines. …

    Many recent studies (Wilson, 1965; Atwater, 1970; Larson and others, 1972; Moore, 1973) have suggested that the Gulf of California is the locus of a spreading ridge along which the Pacific Plate is being rifted away from the North American Plate at a rate of perhaps as much as 6 centimeters per year (Larson, 1972). …

    The (Salton Buttes) volcanoes lie within the Salton Sea geothermal field where temperatures measured in wells drilled for geothermal brines range up to 360 degrees C at depths of 1,500 to 2,500 meters (Helgeson, 1968). The wells produce a hot brine containing up to 160,000 ppm of dissolved solids, chiefly Cl, Na, K, Ca, and Fe (White, 1968). Under the influence of this hot saline brine, the sediments of the Salton Trough are being transformed into metamorphic rocks of the greenschist facies (Muffler and White, 1969). …

    The Salton Buttes are four small volcanoes designated from southwest to northeast as Obsidian Butte, Rock Hill, Red Island, and Mullet Island. Red Island is composed of two domes linked by a deposit of subaqueous pyroclastic material; the other volcanoes are single domal extrusions with or without marginal lava flows. The domes are spaced at intervals of 2 to 3 kilometers along a northeast trend. ..

    So you are concerned about the salts in the water (naturally occurring) while discounting the extant volcanoes, magma intrusions, and 6 cm / year spreading.

    I think I’ll go with volcanoes, magma, and a few inches of speading (so all the fill has to sink and spread to accomodate) rather than the salts in the water near the 2 km level.


    Interim results of a new conceptual modeling effort for the Salton Sea geothermal field (SSGF), in the Salton Trough of southernmost California, show that this resource: (1) is hotter at depth (up to at least 389 degrees Centigrade at 2 km) than initially thought; (2) is probably driven by a still-cooling felsic intrusion rather than (or in addition to) the primitive mafic magmas previously invoked for this role; (3) may be just the most recent phase of hydrothermal activity initiated at this site as soon as the Trough began to form ~4 m.y. ago; (4) is thermally prograding; and (5) in spite of 30 years’ production has yet to experience significant pressure declines. Thick (up to 400 m) intervals of buried extrusive rhyolite are now known to be common in the central SSGF, where temperatures at depth are also the hottest. The considerable thicknesses of these concealed felsic volcanics and the lack of corresponding intermediate-composition igneous rocks imply coeval granitic magmas that probably originated by crustal melting rather than gabbroic magmatic differentiation. In the brine-saturated, Salton Trough sedimentary sequence, granitic plutons inevitably would engender convective hydrothermal systems. Results of preliminary numerical modeling of a system broadly similar to the one now active in the SSGF suggest that a still-cooling felsic igneous intrusion could underlie deep wells in the central part of the field by no more than a kilometer. The model results also indicate that static temperature profiles for selected Salton Sea wells could have taken 150,000 to 200,000 years to develop, far longer than the 20,000 years cited by previous investigators as the probable age of the field. The two viewpoints conceivably could be reconciled if the likely long hydrothermal history here were punctuated rather than prolonged. Configurations of the temperature profiles indicate that portions of the current Salton Sea hydrothermal system are still undergoing thermal expansion. A newly consolidated, field-wide reservoir database for the SSGF has enabled us to reassess the field’s ultimate resource potential with an unprecedented level of detail and confidence. The new value, 2330 MWe (30+ year lifetime assured) closely matches an earlier estimate of 2500 MWe (Elders, 1989). If this potential were fully developed, the SSGF might one day satisfy the household electrical-energy needs of a fourth the present population of the State of California.

    We’re talking “way big” and “way hot” with some of it fairly old, and some fairly new. We’ve got large magma intrusions making mountains of granite and felsic rocks intruded into the sediments, all under a lot of heat and pressure and high salt levels; and having large thermal stresses (both in the heating and the cooling). A magnitude of energy that would run 1/4 of state electricy needs for 30 years (with plenty of heat left at the end and assuming no new magma additions…)

    So taking a tiny fraction of that energy out with some water is not going be a very large part in proportion. We’re talking small fractions in any one year.



    The combined capacity at Imperial Valley is 327 net megawatts (nominal). The plants produce enough electricity to power over 100,000 homes.


    has a nice picture, but it isn’t clear if this is an injection pump, or the extraction / de-scaling equipment.

    The first link also proposes to recover some zink in the process:

    Besides investing in energy generation, CalEnergy has also spent $400 million on a facility to extract 300,000 metric tonnes of zinc per year from spent geothermal brines at Salton Sea geothermal power plants.

    Zinc has a specific gravity of about 7, so about 7 tons / cu Metre. I make that about 43,000 m^3 IF it were a solid at depth, but it isn’t; it is already in the brine. That would be a height change of about 43/1000 m or 7/100 or 4.3 cm over a 1 km x 1 km area. But the area is larger than that, and the zinc is in the brine, not being freshly dissolved. All in all, any net deficit in volume is more likely to come from steam loss, IMHO.

    Yet the groundwater feed into the deeper levels is unaccounted in this model. We’ve got a whole sea of salt water sitting on a sediment column acting as a fluid injector. Frankly, trying to solve the net mass balance looks mighty hard to me. That water originally got there by processes that continue today…

    Is it possible that this particular quake storm was caused by the geothermal wells?

    Yes. Just not very likely. There was a massive ramp up all over the State and in areas well away from this particular cluster (though the cluster was a significant part of the counts). We’ve had a couple of 7.x + in the last couple of weeks (3 by my count) globally.

    Typically the geothermal quakes are in the 3.5 and under scale.


    What are the chances this deep geothermal drilling near The Geysers could set off one of the larger faults, like the San Andreas?

    Here’s what we know: You can think about The Geysers – the upper three miles (4.8 kilometers) of crust – as a sponge, and the sponge is wet. Now we’re taking fluid out of the sponge, and we’re taking heat out of the sponge. When you dry out a sponge, it contracts. The Geysers is contracting. From the data, we can see it pulling in, which means that it’s changing the stress field around it.

    Surrounding the field are some active faults, which have the capacity for some larger earthquakes. So one day one of the tectonic faults is going to move. People are going to ask the question: Did the shrinkage of The Geysers cause the movement of the fault? If that’s the case then we have a larger issue.

    In the Salton Sea area, the ‘fault’ is 9 miles down and is a spreading zone, not a locked slip / strike fault. There’s a huge mass of mixed loose fill and intruded magma between the extraction and the ‘fault’ location. I’m just not seeing much in the way of mechanism. Especially given that the reservoir rock has not cooled and that the brine is reinjected and there is no record of subsidence (at least not in what I’ve been able to find).

    So I simply see no reason to put the geothermal as causal in any bucket other than “plausible but highly unlikely”. For a 3 or smaller, right under the plant, at about the area / depth of extraction? Sure, maybe. For a major quake storm with an over 5.x “launch”? Sounds more like something much more interesting caused by nature to me…

    Now if you can find some record that says “They drew out xxxx megatons of brine but only reinjected 80% of that” I could see a mechanism via cavity formation / brittle failure… but that still would also depend on showing no groundwater makeup source AND has the problem that there were no reports of pressure fall off in the extraction wells…. so even that has some hurdle to deal with…

  40. E.M.Smith says:

    Much shorter form:

    I think that 6 cm of spread over 15 km of depth x hundreds of km of length of “spreading” of the zone has more total volume so more total impact / quake causality than 4 cm x 1 km x 1 km of zinc extraction (or even 10 cm x 1 km x 1 km is lots of other stuff is lost too).

    Oh, and from that California quake history link:

    Two destructive shocks nearly one hour apart caused about $1 million property damage in southern Imperial Valley on June 22, 1915. Six persons were killed and several injured by the second quake at Mexicali, located just inside the Mexican border. Unstable banks of the New and Alamo Rivers caved in many places. Magnitude 6 1/4, both shocks.

    A shock on the San Jacinto Fault in April 1918 caused heavy damage at San Jacinto and Hemet. Only one new concrete and one frame building remained standing in the business section of San Jacinto; property loss was about $200,000. The dry earth surface was broken up, as though by a harrow, in the San Jacinto Fault area southeast of Hemet. One auto was carried off the road by a slide; many area roads were blocked. Magnitude 6.8.

    Long before they had geothermal power plants, two back to back 6.x scale events in the Imperial Valley…

    It’s just what happens there.

  41. Hugo M says:

    E.M. – well, the DOE document you linked above showed me for the first time that they indeed reinject the water raised from the production well. The other description I’ve seen made it appear as if these plants were based on a production well only and were thus extracting considerable amounts of hot water from the ground. They still can not reinject all of the raised water, because the their thermal engine actually forms a closed loop and thus needs a condenser or a cool tower. Such devices normally need to evaporate water in order to disperse the residual heat effectively. (The 250 MW is only the net electric power transfered to the public power grid, around 300 MW are used for other purposes). But I’m d’accord that with a almost closed loop there is no big mechanism in sight which could trigger quakes.

  42. adolfogiurfa says:

    Forecasts by the italian physicist Giovanni Imbalzano:

  43. E.M.Smith says:


    Thanks! But it’s not a real volcano yet… just some gas… Still waiting for some glowing red lava ;-) But there is more distributed activity along the various faults that are volcanic zone and not so much along the slip strike faults, so I’m still hopeful ;-)

    Central America had a nice string of ‘small ones’ too. “The Energy Aproacheth”…

  44. philjourdan says:

    @Adolfoguirfa – YIKES! Not good at all. Thanks for the link.

  45. Hugo M says:

    There is a study of the Salton Sea Geothermal System, which, among other, did also measure Helium-3 in 2003-2008:

    The helium isotope data indicate a strong mantle component, with R/Ra from 6.08 to 6.64 (Fig. 5B top), which is within the range of typical Sub-Continental Mantle (SCM; Gautheron and Moreira, 2002), including that of western USA (Dodson et al., 1998). The δ C values would also be consistent with a dominant mantle origin. In the CO2/ 3He vs δ 13C plot (Fig. 5b bottom) Salton gas appears to be close to typical SCM values which are CO2-enriched in comparison to MORB (Sano and Marty, 1995; Kampf et al., 2007; Hahm et al., 2008; Tedesco
    et al., 2010).

    Source: Mazini et al, Fluid origin, gas fluxes and plumbing system in the sediment-hosted Salton Sea Geothermal System (California, USA) ,Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research 205 (2011) 67–83; http://folk.uio.no/hensven/Mazzini_JVGR_11.pdf

    Their Figure 4 shows a schematic crossection of the geothermal system at Salton Sea.

    Other interesting figures are contained in Hulen et al, 2001 (figure 2 & 8). Figure 8 shows a cross section containing a rhyolite intrusion at approx 2 km depth: http://www.gps.caltech.edu/classes/ge111/Papers/Hulen.pdf

  46. p.g.sharrow says:

    We have now had a moderate quake swarm at Dell Rio, the bookend to the Imperial Valley quakes of last week, on the San Andreas fault as well as to the Japan quake on the trans pacific fault. The New Moon is tonight so the period of greatest strain relief is in the next 48 hours, about late afternoon tomorrow. My WAG is L.A. might get their latte cups rattled or broken. Next time Portland. pg

  47. E.M.Smith says:

    @P.G. Sharrow:

    Interesting links. Yup, volcanic stuff happens under the ‘fill’. And it isn’t “done”, just resting…

    There’s been a 4.4 and a 4.0 at about Eureka where the Cascadia splits and goes offshore.

    Oh, and look at The Geysers near Clearlake. Having an ongoing swarm of “dinky ones”. Just peppered in a pile of little squares…

    My sense of it is that volcanic stuff is kicking up and strike slip stuff is falling off. There was a volcano let loose in Central America too IIRC the nightly news last night…

  48. E.M.Smith says:

    Hmmm…. and a 4.7 in the middle of the Cascadia spreading zone:

    Magnitude 4.7 – OFF THE COAST OF OREGON

    Earthquake Details

    This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.

    Magnitude 4.7

    Friday, September 14, 2012 at 20:24:21 UTC
    Friday, September 14, 2012 at 11:24:21 AM at epicenter
    Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones

    Location 44.130°N, 129.040°W
    Depth 1 km (~0.6 mile) (poorly constrained)
    Distances 390 km (242 miles) WNW of Bandon, Oregon
    397 km (246 miles) WNW of Coos Bay, Oregon
    463 km (287 miles) W of Corvallis, Oregon
    463 km (287 miles) W of Dallas, Oregon
    Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 18.8 km (11.7 miles); depth +/- 7.3 km (4.5 miles)
    Parameters NST=386, Nph=399, Dmin=403 km, Rmss=1.4 sec, Gp=169°,
    M-type=body wave magnitude (Mb), Version=8

    Magnitude: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
    Location: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)

    Event ID usc000cpc1

  49. adolfogiurfa says:

    That Salton lake issue seems the correct answer from wise Gaia to all those CO2 global warmers and their irresponsible blaming to Gaia´s most dear effluvia…

    If you see the maps you will notice there is a “zipper” going from the Gulf of California to Juan de Fuca strait in the north.

    Thus California will become the New South Vancouver Island!

  50. E.M.Smith says:


    Yes, but it will take a few hundred million years…

    There are some local mountains (the Pinnacles National Park being the most spectacular) where one half is “up here” and the other is down nearer to Los Angeles. Eventually (as SF is on the continent side and LA is on the Pacific Plate side) LA becomes adjoined to SF. The Sliver of land that has Santa Cruse on it, ends up off shore somewhere up north…


    The Cascadia is a spreading zone off shore and a subduction zone at the edge of land, so there’s a bit of a race condition. The San Andreas delivering more land “up north” and the Cascadia sucking it down to melt and make volcanoes in the Pacific Northwest. So it might end up as a Volcano instead of an off shore island…

  51. Pascvaks says:

    I check this link at least once a day, like Drudge, part of my opening ritual –
    lately, as I know y’ll have noticed as well, things haven’t been vibrating as much. This prompted me to have a look at quakes in the last 30 days at
    In the FWIW category a little recap of recent >4 quakeology:
    18 Sep 1
    17 Sep 0
    16 Sep 0
    15 Sep 1
    14 Sep 7
    13 Sep 14
    12 Sep 18
    11 Sep 25
    10 Sep 20
    9 Sep 22
    8 Sep 25
    7 Sep 30
    6 Sep 19
    5 Sep 17
    4 Sep 35
    3 Sep 25
    2 Sep 23
    1 Sep 41
    31 Aug 39
    30 Aug 20
    29 Aug 17
    28 Aug 21
    27 Aug 49
    26 Aug 37
    25 Aug 18
    24 Aug 17
    23 Aug 8
    22 Aug 10
    21 Aug 15
    20 Aug 12

    Well, OK, just a wiggle. But what’s wiggling?;-)

  52. Pascvaks says:

    PS: So far nothing yet today >4. And that’s the way it is, -1600Z, 19 Sep 2012, and you were there. (anyone believe in inter/intra-galactic gravity waves?;-)

  53. adolfogiurfa says:

    @Pascvaks: You should include in your list some “social earthquakes” too, we are in a Solar minimum, and it has been shown that these issues affect also the brains of people:

  54. adolfogiurfa says:

    An important commentary of our friend Michele Casati at NIA:
    September 19, 2012 at 13:38 | # 19 Reply | Quote
    Simone :

    I think Michele Iceland is preparing subsequent alignments are talking about here are two shock significant enough just taken place:

    No simone, partly because the specific characteristics of planetary alignments is that of being managers, impulsive and occur in the true sense of the word, such as switches or triggers.
    And most importantly of energy releases occur with M> 6, all at once and not on and off the site.
    calls Tidal spring Nicola Scafetta.
    Do not expect the warning signs.
    M7.2 As in Turkey in the past year …
    Check the planets and the Moon near the October 23, 2011 …
    and find out …. here, I just gave a little “clue” on the subject of the next article.


  55. Pascvaks says:

    Regarding my last two comments: Forget Them!
    PS: Apparently someone at DOJ was watching me as I typed and called IRIS at
    and changed the data on the No Quake days and set off a lot of quakes today. I just can’t win! Big Brother got me again! All my work is for nothing, what a waste!
    And the link at
    don’t even ever go there, nothing but lies, all lies, sorry folks;-(

  56. E.M.Smith says:

    Looks like a 6.x at the end of the Aleutians. Both sides of the Cascadia zone have now moved.

    No, not a lot. But it’s the one place not participating in the recent large changes of energy distribution.


    2012 September 26 23:39:54 UTC

    Earthquake Details
    This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.

    Magnitude 6.4

    Wednesday, September 26, 2012 at 23:39:54 UTC
    Wednesday, September 26, 2012 at 02:39:54 PM at epicenter
    Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones

    Location 51.634°N, 178.293°W
    Depth 9.9 km (6.2 miles)
    Distances 34 km (21 miles) S of Tanaga Volcano, Alaska
    1487 km (923 miles) SSE of Anadyr’, Russia
    1580 km (981 miles) E of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy, Russia
    1597 km (992 miles) E of Yelizovo, Russia
    Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 13.9 km (8.6 miles); depth +/- 2.6 km (1.6 miles)
    Parameters NST=833, Nph=853, Dmin=114.7 km, Rmss=1.17 sec, Gp= 22°,
    M-type=”moment” magnitude from initial P wave (tsuboi method) (Mi/Mwp), Version=E

    Magnitude: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
    Location: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)

    Event ID usc000cwni

  57. adolfogiurfa says:

    @E.M.: Before the big 9.0 Japan earthquake the OLR increased over the earthquake spot. Now it is happening the same on California:

  58. E.M.Smith says:

    Magnitude 7.3 – COLOMBIA

    2012 September 30 16:31:35 UTC
    Earthquake Details

    This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.

    Magnitude 7.3

    Sunday, September 30, 2012 at 16:31:35 UTC
    Sunday, September 30, 2012 at 11:31:35 AM at epicenter
    Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones

    Location 1.972°N, 76.329°W
    Depth 162.1 km (100.7 miles)
    Region COLOMBIA
    Distances 9 km (5 miles) WNW of Isnos, Colombia
    33 km (20 miles) WNW of Pitalito, Colombia
    61 km (37 miles) SSE of Popayan, Colombia
    66 km (41 miles) SW of La Plata, Colombia
    Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 2.9 km (1.8 miles); depth +/- 6.4 km (4.0 miles)
    Parameters NST=800, Nph=800, Dmin=388.7 km, Rmss=0.92 sec, Gp= 14°,
    M-type=teleseismic moment magnitude (Mw), Version=C


    Event ID us2012gdap

  59. P.G. Sharrow says:

    Yes It does appear that the northeast portion of the Pacific ring is getting more active. Looks like our turn in the bucket. pg

  60. E.M.Smith says:

    @P.G. Sharrow:

    Yeah, I’m getting that “Indian underwear” feeling… the activity seems to be ‘creeping up’ from South America, then looking at the California map (now, and back when it surged over 1000 quakes) and it looks like things are piling up here. Can only do that so long…

    Then on the other side, we had that batch of large quakes over the last couple of years, moving the energy along toward the Cascadia. So coming from both directions…

    FWIW, new quake posting here:


    with a static capture image of the quake location.

    Will it be The Cascadia? The East SF Bay Area Calaveras / Rogers / Hayward ares? The L.A. Basin? Any and all of them are ‘ripe’ and have historical precedent for being ‘ready’. ( Length of time to prior quake, patterns of precursors, etc.)

    Any one or two of them could likely be ‘blown off’, but when you have a dozen of them; the odds stack up. Last time I looked, the odds of a Great Quake in California as a whole was approaching certainty inside 30 years. That was about 15 years ago…

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