Yes, I’m being a “worry wart”. This is just a case of a whole lot of small stuff all over the place and it’s making me nervous. Add in some volcanoes starting up and the historical connection of cooling cycles with increased earthquakes and volcanic activity and, well, I’m jumpy. Feel free to just ignore it.
There is just SO much on these images that it’s hard to ignore. We’ve got a 4.x near, but not at, Mammoth Mountain. We’ve got a whole gaggle of 4.x in the middle of the Gulf of California (where the fault that eventually runs right next to my home starts getting it’s mojo…) and we’ve got an ‘inland quake pattern’ on the Calaveras and related faults (and further inland with a run up the Rockies and ending with a couple near the Cascadia, though a bit inland… right under the volcanic areas…). So I look to the Rest Of World for some solace and find 5.x popping up all over the place. If “5s portend 6-7 later” has any merit, this is “not good”.
OK, a brief look around the world:
Chile is still rocking and Vanuatu is still rolling. Then look at the ring of “Yellow” all around the edge. Yeah, it’s all “this week”, but that’s a lot for one week. But the Northern Hemisphere is worse! It looks like it’s got Chicken Pox:
South East Asia to Indonesia are real active, and that “Mexifornia” arc is none too quiet either. Then we’ve got “randoms” scattered all over to boot.
OK, I’m going to zoom in a bit on the area near me. Partly because it’s active and partly just because it’s near me.
Cascadia / California Centric View
Look at that Ring Of Fire activity! If quakes and volcanoes are linked (and I think they are to some extent) then I’d expect we’re looking at more volcanoes in the next year or two. I’m especially “not fond” of that Central America up through the Gulf of California headed at me arc of action.
Notice the yellow “bookends” in the mountains, one in the Sierra Nevada near Mammoth Mountain, the other up in South East Alaska near Canada. Yeah, “only” 4.x sized. But still, that says that the Cascadia is seeing action on each side. Then look at those 5.x in Central America and that 4.x cluster in the Gulf of California. No single “big one” but a whole lot of shifting stresses around. Like something is being squeezed and not quite yet broken.
Live USA Quake Map
Here you can see how those ones in the Gulf of California are on the same fault with all the action near L.A. and it ends up dividing the energy with part heading inland and part heading toward me. At the far end, Alaska is just one giant jello bowl along that fault system. Though again, curiously inland under the volcanoes and not on the red line of the fault itself.
Action Closer to Me
Original Image, with captions and description. The original is interactive with clickable regions for ‘close ups’.
In addition to that 3.0 near Mammoth (that yellow square just above the “o” in Fresno) we’ve got a 4.1 over on the Nevada border. Deformation and energy is ending up next to Mammoth. Not a great idea. Then there is that peculiar arc of blue (soon to be yellow) squares going out to The Channel Islands. Very odd. And up near me some little red dots (probably blue by the time you read this) on top of a sea of blue and yellow as the Calaveras / Hayward system takes the action leaving that red line of the San Andreas inactive headed north of San Francisco.
Oh, and here is a close up of the strange stuff in The Gulf of California:
We’ve got 4 quakes of 4.x size all in about the same time frame.
Yeah, globally they are only 4s and 5s and “nothing to worry about” or even feel unless you are right on top of them. But it just “looks wrong”. Before things were taking turns. Running this way or that around the plate. Taking a break for a few weeks. Now it’s more of “all over and all the time”.
No, nothing specific. No, nothing actionable. No, not even anything “reasonable”. Just “wrong”…
UPDATE 12 January 2011
Well, during the night I had a 4.5 just a ways south of me.