Quakes – Quantity Has A Quality All Its Own

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.

However…

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:

Both Hemispheres

A view of Earthquakes from the South Pole

A view of Earthquakes from the South Pole

Original Image with Clickable Details

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:

North Polar Earthquake Map

North Polar Earthquake Map

Original Image with Clickable Details

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

Quakes Hemisphere Map centered on Cascadia and off shore

Quakes Hemisphere Map centered on Cascadia and off shore

Original Map with Clickable areas for details

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.

North America

North America and Mid Atlantic Ridge Quake Map

North America and Mid Atlantic Ridge Quake Map

Original with clickable details

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

Live USA Quake Map

Original Image

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.

California Map

Action Closer to Me

Current quake map in California

Current quake map in California

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:

Gulf of California Quakes

Gulf of California Quakes

We’ve got 4 quakes of 4.x size all in about the same time frame.

In Conclusion

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.

Quakes near San Jose 12 January 2011

Quakes near San Jose 12 January 2011

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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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32 Responses to Quakes – Quantity Has A Quality All Its Own

  1. oldtimer says:

    It sound as though it is time for you to move house.

  2. Catherine Clark says:

    I see action at the Mendocino Triple Junction; I wonder what that means? It has been quite active there for a while now.

  3. Pascvaks says:

    I always told my kids, “If that little voice in your head starts talking, LISTEN!” Sometimes we have nothing to fly by except the ‘seat of our pants’. (Told them that too;-)

    ‘When all else fails, listen to your stomach.’

    I’m just full of it this morning.

  4. Ian W says:

    So when the Earth’s orbital shape alters – that must be due to change in some force on the Earth (quite a large one) providing a positive or negative acceleration. There are also measurable changes in angular momentum and the Length of Day metric. Surely these forces would cause stresses in the Earth’s crust?

    Or am I sounding too much like Landscheidt?

  5. @Pascvaks

    I always told my kids, “If that little voice in your head starts talking, LISTEN!” Sometimes we have nothing to fly by except the ‘seat of our pants’.
    Gravity acceleration changes before an earthquake:
    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/gravity-meter-pro/id360592895?mt=8

  6. E.M.Smith says:

    And, just a few hours after posting, we get a 4.5 just a few miles south of me. (Oddly, I don’t feel jittery about quakes this morning… hmmmm….)

    It’s that new big blue (as I type) square just south of the big yellow square just south of SFO / Berkeley… I’m being bracketted with 4.x quakes.

    It’s at times like this that I’m glad I studied the fault maps from the USGS prior to buying the house. I’ve had 4.x galore, 5.x in noticable numbers and often don’t even notice; even the odd 6-7.2 quakes without damage. “Location, Location, Location”!

    I notice that there was a 3.6 in Utah on the line headed toward Yellowstone… And Vanuatu is still rumbling.

    I’m still not liking the looks of things for folks along the Hayward / Calaveras system. The energy started down near Baja some months back. L.A. has been a swarm ever since. It’s slowly built up here (with my place now starting to look like a swarm on that map of California) and it’s all showing signs of being on the Haward / Calaveras and NOT on the San Andreas.

    Yet the East Bay (generic term for Berkeley / Oakland area) is not getting a lot fo motion. The energy is storing up there. If I had to guess, I’d guess about 1 or 2 years more. Probably going to be 20 or so more 4.x and 4 or 5 more 5.x size quakes south of there (from me down to LA) as the energy moves up. That will then be enough to give a 6.5 or so in the East Bay (given what’s already built up).

    All just my speculation. But it’s an informed speculation.

    @Oldtimer:

    I’m on a patch of stable ground with faults on each side of me, but far enough away that the forces are subdued. Also, the power tends to run N-S on the faults and I’m E-W away from them. All of this was “by design” (I’d had a couple of geology classes including a focus on California fault systems at University…) and it worked very well in the 7.2 Quake (“Superbowl Quake” or “Loma Prieta” quake).

    Basically, I think I don’t need to move my house as I “chose well”. My “Florida Democrat Friend” had a home that was about 300 YARDS from the Hayward Fault. I talked him into moving to Florida. If I lived in that house, I’d be long gone… A 6.x on the Hayward and there will be significant damage to it. Slab, on a hillside, on a fault. Typical “new style” California. (I’m on sill poured foundations with a bolted down frame on flat compacted stable ground over a local rise of bedrock. I’ll get a sharp jolt, but none of the jello-bowl wobbly rock and roll that you get on deep loose fill – and that shakes homes to pieces. Yeah, a lot of time went into that decision…)

    @Catherine Clark:

    If you look at it, though, it’s ‘aimed’ at that outer fault. That one is not the highly damaging one. If it had bits of pre-shock quakes up the near fault (the deep subduction) I’d be more worried.

    So, to me, it looks like a bit is happening at each end, but the outer and less troublsome fault is where it’s headed.

    If you start seing the odd 4.x on the inner fault, I’d pack.

    @Ian W:

    There are tides in the earth crust and in the air as well as the water. There are spin moment “issues”. The LOD to PDO to solar state couple also implies some stresses into the crust. The details are messy and not highly predictable in detail, but the gross effect is pretty clear to me.

    Look at the maps. Lots of spots. On “the usual suspects”.

    @Pascvaks:

    And here I thought that was my wife in the kitchen shouting at me to “Get Up!”… ;-)

    But really, the number of times I’ve had an “irrational feeling” and ignored it, with bad things happening, is “not small”. The number of times I’ve followed it and avoided a bad thing is somewhat on the significant side (though sometimes you don’t know that you avoided a bad thing… If you buy new tires “just because” you don’t get to experience the unexpected flat / blowout… so scoreing that one is harder).

    My answer is to ‘ignore the little small voices and listen to the larger ones or the same thing twice or more”. Seems to work with only a few “You Idiot, WHY did you do that anyway after I KNEW it was going to turn out badly.” moments.

    When I feel that “By GOD, I’m going to make this happen regardless.” attitude pushing me toward something that has had a couple of “warning shots”, that’s when I usually “have issues”, so I’ve learned to sit back with a cup of tea and think about it for a while first instead.

    No idea how it works. (Well, really, lots of ideas and no data to sort them into good or bad or silly). Could just be the simulation program on the right side of the brain saying that the odds are not good from this run…

    Magnitude 4.5 – CENTRAL CALIFORNIA
    2011 January 12 08:51:03 UTC
    This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.Magnitude 4.5
    Date-Time Wednesday, January 12, 2011 at 08:51:03 UTC
    Wednesday, January 12, 2011 at 12:51:03 AM at epicenter
    Location 36.770°N, 121.499°W
    Depth 8.4 km (5.2 miles)
    Region CENTRAL CALIFORNIA
    Distances 9 km (6 miles) SSE (157°) from San Juan Bautista, CA
    12 km (8 miles) SW (226°) from Hollister, CA
    15 km (10 miles) ESE (102°) from Prunedale, CA
    72 km (45 miles) SSE (151°) from San Jose City Hall, CA
    Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 0.2 km (0.1 miles); depth +/- 0.4 km (0.2 miles)
    Parameters Nph= 71, Dmin=2 km, Rmss=0.2 sec, Gp= 36°,
    M-type=regional moment magnitude (Mw), Version=5
    Source California Integrated Seismic Net:
    USGS Caltech CGS UCB UCSD UNR
    Event ID nc71508850

    UPDATE: I’ve just looked at the close up map of this one. It’s on the San Andreas.

    Now that’s a stinker. One on EACH side. I’m going to have to think about that for a while. I’m adding the close up image to the posting above.

  7. As the great George Carlin said: “Pack your sh**s folk…WE are leaving! ”
    :-)

  8. George says:

    “If ‘5s portend 6-7 later’ has any merit, this is ‘not good’.”

    It really depends on the nature of the fault. If it is on a long fault capable of causing a 7+, yeah, I find them worrisome. If they are on small faults that don’t generate more than a 6 to begin with, well, I can ignore those (unless they are right under me). The Upland quake of around 1990 or so is one example. I was in Riverside when that one struck and felt it quite good. It knocked down a brick wall in Ontario but that was about the worst of the damage.

    The Northridge (actually Reseda) quake was actually not that large, but it happened in a densely populated area. That one probably gives us a preview of what is in store for Fremont, Hayward, San Leandro, Oakland, etc. when the Hayward fault breaks.

    And 4+ doesn’t mean much to me most of the time as those relieve so little stress that they don’t do much unless a BUNCH of them happen over a long time. It’s the 5+ quakes that mean “some piece of rock cracked under stress and the surrounding area moved a bit with it” that tells you that there is a lot of stress in the surrounding area and the only thing that stopped it was another piece of “wedged” rock somewhere up (or down, as the case may be) the line.

    But we are “due” for the Hayward to break and it won’t be pretty considering it will cut off most power and water to a lot of the Peninsula when it does. Most of the power for the peninsula comes across the bay on those large transmission towers. SF is decommissioning their last power plant in the city and getting all their power from the East Bay. Hetch Hetchy will fail. Its going to be a mess. No water/power/sanitation for probably around 5 million people.

  9. “There’s something is the air….”, what about measuring atmospheric electric charge?

  10. Catherine Clark says:

    I live in Chicago; however, I have a LOT of family and some dear friends out there, so this is why I am concerned about the CSZ. You are correct, it is “aimed” at that outer fault. Yeah, a lot is happening at each end, but that also troubles me. And I will be very worried when I see 4’s (or larger) pop in at the inner fault; that is when I call family out there and make sure they are prepared – if Cascasdia breaks, it could cause the Seattle Fault to break also, which could mean a tsunami type wave on Puget Sound; Brian Atwater found evidence of at least one on PS that washed up about 20+ feet, so it is not far fetched. I have no desire to live out there ever again, LOL. I live about 600 miles from the NMSZ myself, but I am not too concerned about it at this point.

    <<<>>>

  11. PhilJourdan says:

    To Oldtimer – maybe nature will move his house for him? ;)

    As for the earthquakes, I find the maps fascinating and the information interesting. But this may be a case of TMI – since no one is raising alarms (like we constantly got in the 60s, 70s and 80s) about the “BIG” one. So all these shakes do not seem to have a pattern or rhyme or reason.

    Still – I no longer live in California so I can afford to be lacksidasical. ;)

  12. Today in California:
    http://www.huliq.com/10164/more-strange-bird-deaths-time-northern-california
    Dead birds before the Chilean 8.9 Richter earthquake in 2/27/2010
    http://www.3tv.cl/index.php?m=video&v=4051

    “There’s something in the air….” :-)

  13. E.M.Smith says:

    @Adolfo:

    You worry me some times…

    I’m trying desperately to not run out and look for dead birds.

    I’m not winning…

    It does not take much to stop a heart. The recent report on WUWT that lightning can generate anti-matter and then your reports of critters dying leaves me wondering if my love of running out into thunderstorms is ‘not too bright’ ;-)

    The ‘good news’ is that I’ve got a variety of ‘the usual birds’ outside my window as I type. A yellow bellied finch like guy, some hummers, and a couple of odd brown fellows… sparrows? Maybe a bit large for sparrows…

    Havn’t seen the crows that sit in the tops of the nearby trees in a whlie though… Maybe I’ll go out and see if they are around… couldn’t hurt…??

  14. George says:

    The last time Cascadia lurched, it caused a tsunami in Japan (January of 1700, I believe).

    All of your crows have flown south … about 15 miles or so. They are all down here in my yard :)

  15. E.M.Smith says:

    Um, George, can you go take a second look?

    I was outside about 6 pm and there were FLOCKS of black birds that I THINK were crows booking it north at great speed.

    I don’t know what’s got them spooked, but they are acting very strangely. Not a moment of pause (usually they hang out in the tree tops hollering at each other) just flat out as fast as they could fly headed ‘due north’.

    I really don’t like that…

    Adolfo, it’s all your fault 8-?

  16. George says:

    4.2 quake just now on the Vergeles fault (sort of runs from San Juan Bautista-ish toward Watsonville. A friend in Watsonville just IMed me to say it scared the daylights out of her.

    http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsus/Quakes/nc71509345.html

    Ok, something’s going on.

  17. E.M.Smith says:

    OK, I’m now officially spooked and will be watching those damn crows far more than they like 8-}

    We’ve got a big red spotch right after the crows were booking it In Flocks straight away from that spot faster than I’ve ever seen them go…

    Magnitude 4.0 – CENTRAL CALIFORNIA
    This is a computer-generated message — this event has not yet been reviewed by a seismologist.Magnitude 4.0
    Date-Time Thursday, January 13, 2011 at 04:00:35 UTC
    Wednesday, January 12, 2011 at 08:00:35 PM at epicenter
    Location 36.804°N, 121.544°W
    Depth 8.5 km (5.3 miles)
    Region CENTRAL CALIFORNIA
    Distances 5 km (3 miles) S (188°) from San Juan Bautista, CA
    11 km (7 miles) E (88°) from Prunedale, CA
    13 km (8 miles) SE (137°) from Aromas, CA
    14 km (9 miles) WSW (250°) from Hollister, CA
    67 km (42 miles) SSE (152°) from San Jose City Hall, CA
    Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 0.2 km (0.1 miles); depth +/- 0.4 km (0.2 miles)
    Parameters Nph= 75, Dmin=3 km, Rmss=0.16 sec, Gp= 36°,
    M-type=regional moment magnitude (Mw), Version=3
    Source California Integrated Seismic Net:
    USGS Caltech CGS UCB UCSD UNR
    Event ID nc71509345

  18. George says:

    Seems there was similar activity of about the same magnitude (a little smaller) back in 2004:

    http://www.gilroydispatch.com/news/124688-quake-swarm-rattles-area

  19. George says:

    Magnitude keeps shrinking for this event. Now down to 3.9 was 4.4 at one point.

  20. E.M.Smith says:

    We’re not the only ones with a bit ‘o rock and roll.

    Magnitude 6.5 – BONIN ISLANDS, JAPAN REGION

    This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.Magnitude 6.5
    Date-Time Wednesday, January 12, 2011 at 21:32:55 UTC
    Thursday, January 13, 2011 at 07:32:55 AM at epicenter
    Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
    Location 26.944°N, 140.006°E
    Depth 520.4 km (323.4 miles)
    Region BONIN ISLANDS, JAPAN REGION
    Distances 220 km (135 miles) W of Chichi-shima, Bonin Islands, Japan
    275 km (170 miles) NNW of Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, Japan
    975 km (600 miles) S of TOKYO, Japan
    Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 14.4 km (8.9 miles); depth +/- 10.7 km (6.6 miles)
    Parameters NST=219, Nph=235, Dmin=217.2 km, Rmss=0.83 sec, Gp= 47°,
    M-type=teleseismic moment magnitude (Mw), Version=d
    Source USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
    Event ID usc00011yn

  21. E.M.Smith says:

    @George:

    It is important to match the “event ID”. For example, this one is from last night a bit after midnight in almost the same place and is a 4.5 so we’ve got a few to sort out:

    Magnitude 4.5 – CENTRAL CALIFORNIA

    This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.Magnitude 4.5
    Date-Time Wednesday, January 12, 2011 at 08:51:03 UTC
    Wednesday, January 12, 2011 at 12:51:03 AM at epicenter
    Location 36.771°N, 121.496°W
    Depth 8.1 km (5.0 miles)
    Region CENTRAL CALIFORNIA
    Distances 9 km (6 miles) SSE (156°) from San Juan Bautista, CA
    12 km (8 miles) SW (226°) from Hollister, CA
    16 km (10 miles) ESE (102°) from Prunedale, CA
    72 km (45 miles) SSE (151°) from San Jose City Hall, CA
    Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 0.2 km (0.1 miles); depth +/- 0.3 km (0.2 miles)
    Parameters Nph=105, Dmin=2 km, Rmss=0.19 sec, Gp= 36°,
    M-type=regional moment magnitude (Mw), Version=8
    Source California Integrated Seismic Net:
    USGS Caltech CGS UCB UCSD UNR
    Event ID nc71508850

    Then this one is a 3.9 at about 1.5 hours ago that has an event ID that matches the 4.0 I posted above (that I think is the 4.4 or 4.2 you have referenced. It’s a question of energy and distance. As the location is made more accurate, the enrgy gets an adjustement. So I think that the 4.4, 4.2, and 3.9 are the same, but you need to match the event ID as “things happen” in the same place ;-)

    Magnitude 3.9 – CENTRAL CALIFORNIA

    This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.Magnitude 3.9
    Date-Time Thursday, January 13, 2011 at 04:00:35 UTC
    Wednesday, January 12, 2011 at 08:00:35 PM at epicenter
    Location 36.804°N, 121.544°W
    Depth 8.5 km (5.3 miles)
    Region CENTRAL CALIFORNIA
    Distances 5 km (3 miles) S (188°) from San Juan Bautista, CA
    11 km (7 miles) E (88°) from Prunedale, CA
    13 km (8 miles) SE (137°) from Aromas, CA
    14 km (9 miles) WSW (250°) from Hollister, CA
    67 km (42 miles) SSE (152°) from San Jose City Hall, CA
    Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 0.2 km (0.1 miles); depth +/- 0.4 km (0.2 miles)
    Parameters Nph= 75, Dmin=3 km, Rmss=0.16 sec, Gp= 36°,
    M-type=regional moment magnitude (Mw), Version=5
    Source California Integrated Seismic Net:
    USGS Caltech CGS UCB UCSD UNR
    Event ID nc71509345

  22. George says:

    I have just been going by the map

    http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqscanv/FaultMaps/122-37.html

    And seeing that red square shrink in size.

  23. E.M.Smith says:

    Interesting… You are looking at a “fault map” with quakes on it, while I’m looking at a ‘quake map’ with faults on it, both from the same USGS oranization…

  24. George says:

    Yes because to me the location of the quake is more important than its size. A 4.x on a short fault such as Vergeles causes me a different level of concern than one on the Calaveras. Generally, the longer the fault, the larger the EQ it can produce. A small quake on a small fault, no big deal. A small quake on a long fault, I pay more attention.

    But I am concerned with even small ones on the Monta Vista fault, as that one cuts only a few blocks from my home going from South San Jose, through Cupertino and Los Altos (under Foothill College) and through Palo Alto to almost Menlo Park. Not a very long (nor particularly active) fault but is in a very built up area. But it hasn’t done anything major in almost a million years and is probably only capable of generating a 6.5 anyway.

    What worries me most, though is the whole Calaveras/Hayward system. There was a 7.3 on the Calaveras in 1861 and a 7.5 on the Hayward in 1868. So two 7+ quakes over a period of about 10 years in the East Bay and nothing really major since on that fault.

    From Wikipedia about Hayward:

    The Calaveras Fault is considered to be continuous from the Danville area south to Hollister. It was long believed that there was no connection between the Hayward Fault and the Calaveras. Recent geological studies[3] (particularly the examination of very small and deep earthquakes) suggest that the two faults may be connected. If true, this would have significant implications for the potential maximum strength of earthquakes on the Hayward, since this strength is determined by the maximum length of the fault rupture and this rupture could extend beyond the juncture point and so include some portion of the Calaveras.

    Combined with the historic record, the last five major events were in 1315, 1470, 1630, 1725, and 1868 Combined with the historic record, the last five major events were in 1315, 1470, 1630, 1725, and 1868 [12], which have intervals of about 140 years (note that 2008 is 140 years from the major 1868 event).

    But faults don’t break on the “average” year but note that it always seems to break within about 160 years. So the chances of seeing the Hayward and/or the Calaveras break with a 7+ in the next 20 years is actually pretty darned good.

    Now the portion of the San Andreas at around San Juan Bautista has been “creeping” for many years. It isn’t locked and you can see a steady drumbeat of little MM1 and MM2 quakes around there. That actually makes me feel GOOD if I lived in that area because it means stress is constantly being relieved as it is being built up. But it also means that stress is being transferred to the Northern part which hasn’t been “creeping”. Loma Prieta broke 11 miles deep and for a distance of only 22 miles of fault and did not break the surface. It was MM6.9 (surface wave mag. 7.1). But the road across Struve Slough bounced hard enough that the concrete supports under the bridge punched right through the road bed and the bridge collapsed:

    Something that breaks 30 or more miles of fault in the East Bay is going to be a monster these days and I expect to see it in my lifetime, probably within the next 20 years.

    The fuse is lit, we just don’t know how long it is.

  25. E.M.Smith:

    But the raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only,
    That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
    Nothing further then he uttered – not a feather then he fluttered –
    Till I scarcely more than muttered `Other friends have flown before –
    On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before.’
    Then the bird said, `Nevermore.’

    (Edgar Allan Poe:”The Raven”)
    :-)

  26. E.M.Smith says:

    @George:

    I agree entirely.

    Unfortunately, the stress that is creeping past Holister is ending up near me… I’m at the very bottom of the fault, and a ways to the side, so the energy mostly ought to head away from me. But…

    It’s going to be a mess and I’m going to be very close to it and it’s going to be very soon in geologic terms. I’d give it 5 to 10 years max. Maybe a whole lot sooner.

    Thus my ‘fixation’ with quake watching…

    BTW, documenting the 7.0 in the Pacific:

    Magnitude 7.0 – LOYALTY ISLANDS
    This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.Magnitude 7.0
    Date-Time Thursday, January 13, 2011 at 16:16:41 UTC
    Friday, January 14, 2011 at 03:16:41 AM at epicenter
    Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
    Location 20.617°S, 168.489°E
    Depth 5.9 km (3.7 miles)
    Region LOYALTY ISLANDS
    Distances 125 km (80 miles) NNE of Tadine, Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia
    135 km (85 miles) SSW of Isangel, Tanna, Vanuatu
    285 km (180 miles) NE of NOUMEA, New Caledonia
    1755 km (1090 miles) ENE of BRISBANE, Queensland, Australia
    Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 13.7 km (8.5 miles); depth +/- 0.5 km (0.3 miles)
    Parameters NST=688, Nph=700, Dmin=>999 km, Rmss=0.79 sec, Gp= 14°,
    M-type=centroid moment magnitude (Mw), Version=B
    Source USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
    Event ID usc00012cx

  27. P.G. Sharrow says:

    @ George
    Loma Prieta broke 11 miles deep and for a distance of only 22 miles of fault and did not break the surface. It was MM6.9

    I was doing some work at Watsonville in that time period and remember a big fissure and displacement in the road and field east of the airport. I was lucky that I was not working there that week. The guys at the Hadco plant said the floor in the plating shop was jumping up and down like waves in the ocean. pg

  28. E.M.Smith says:

    @P.G. Sharrow:

    IIRC there was also a break at the surface in the Santa Cruz mountains of about 100 ft long and a few feet deep. But it was ascribed to land subsidence / shift of the dirt hillside. (Even though it was right over the fault).

    FWIW, I called it “Surfing the P wave”… the floor undulates with the up and down P wave and you feel like sufing… Then the S wave hits and it’s a lot less fun ;-) as you get more side to side motion…

  29. @E.M.Smith

    Now that you talk of seismic waves, you have made me remember that when I was a kid (more than 60 years ago), I made a visit to the catacombs of a very old church, there there was a big round pit of about 30 ft. wide, and the priest who was guiding us told us that round hole have been made “for the earthquakes”, which are very common here.

  30. pyromancer76 says:

    Wow! 5 to 10 years (1/13)? Glad you are watching so closely. I also think something big — upper 6.x or lower 7.x is due in Southern California, given the history of these larger quakes here. I am working on supplies and intelligent actions for the emergency.

    I found the following interesting — from a reply(Lurking, 1/15) to a comment on Erik Klemetti’s blog bigthink.com/blogs/eruptions: “‘Sittwe: An amazing rock mass has emerged from the seawater near the offshore islands of Pharonga, located 20 miles south of Sittwe, the capital of Arakan State’

    And

    ‘In November of 2010, an island arose from the sea off the Balochistan coast of Pakistan’

    “Given that both of these areas are in marine environments with heavy sedimentation, and that each lie on either side of the Indian subcontinent, I have to wonder if the the northward march of India is related. Diapir movement is where more mobile and ductily-deformable material is forced into brittle overlying rocks. That is pretty much the mechanism of the salt domes of the Gulf of Mexico. The salt oozes up like it was squeezed from a tube of toothpaste.

    “I have read that there is a strong lateral motion involved in some of the material sandwiched between India and the Tibetan plateau. (E-W)”

    As part of this discussion it was mentioned (no proof given) that underwater volcanoes are more active than usual. I am not thinking of volcanic eruptions in this comment, but the plate movements that I imagine they represent — pressure, heating, extension, smashing, delaminating, sliding.

    I know I have read that an earthquake on one part of the Earth does not radiate to another….but. All plates are moving (as fast as fingernails grow?); some move faster than others at different times. In any case, I would imagine that there will be (have been) times when this movement and that and that other one will allign(happen, along with certain solar minima) in some unusual way and cause havoc. Is movement on the Indian plate of interest as you watch over your geographical location and its future?

    P.S. Eruptions is an excellent blog to keep up to date on most of the immediate eruptions. Amateurs and experts (Iceland, Italy, US-Russia, South America, Indonesia, some Africa) comment there and it seems to serve as a collection point for data.

  31. pyromancer76 says:

    Re the crows: When we sit outside with a glass a wine often in the spring-summer-fall, occasionally in the winter, the crows regularly fly overhead at about a certain time in the evening. Sometimes over 100 — I have counted. Mostly going from the beach to some place inland to roost overnight. Other evenings they change directions, some go this way and some go that. Then the 100 coalesce again. Fascinating. Then there are the seagulls overhead in large groups. Maybe you don’t have to worry about the habits of birds.

  32. E.M.Smith says:

    @pyromancer76:

    I have a group of crows that regularly hang out in the local treetops. (We’ve got a couple of redwoods that are the highest things around for a ways… and the next block over has a very tall diciduous something … beech? birch? that they like too. So I’m pretty familiar with their usual movements. These guys were moving in an ‘unusual’ way. They were leaving something. (Basically, we’re where they usually “go” to just sit around and make noise ;-)

    I’ve seen gulls ‘book it’ through when there is a storm hitting the coast, so it could just be weather they are fleeing. But whatever it was, it was the only time in about 2 decades of watching that I’d seen it… then we had a quake.

    So I’m not going to panic over the birds, but I am going to pay closer attention…

    Those islands popping up is an interesting thing! The big question for me would be how deep is the water. The area is volcanic, so if it’s not too deep it’s just more of the same. Then again, having a thin bit of crust buckle and lift out of the water would be a strange thing indeed and does remind us just how ‘relative’ sea level can be…

    BTW, had a little one on that line along the Nevada border headed toward Lassen Volcanic National Park. That’s three in a line pointed that way. Hope it’s not a trend either…

    Magnitude 3.5 – NORTHERN CALIFORNIA
    This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.Magnitude 3.5
    Date-Time Monday, January 17, 2011 at 07:10:12 UTC
    Sunday, January 16, 2011 at 11:10:12 PM at epicenter
    Location 39.876°N, 120.482°W
    Depth 9.1 km (5.7 miles)
    Region NORTHERN CALIFORNIA
    Distances 1 km (1 miles) NW (313°) from Lake Davis, CA
    7 km (4 miles) N (11°) from Delleker, CA
    7 km (5 miles) N (352°) from Portola, CA
    62 km (38 miles) SSE (167°) from Susanville, CA
    170 km (105 miles) NNE (30°) from Sacramento, CA
    Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 0.2 km (0.1 miles); depth +/- 0.5 km (0.3 miles)
    Parameters Nph= 17, Dmin=4 km, Rmss=0.07 sec, Gp= 90°,
    M-type=local magnitude (ML), Version=3
    Source California Integrated Seismic Net:
    USGS Caltech CGS UCB UCSD UNR
    Event ID nc71511045

    If this pattern continues (and there is little reason to expect it would…) there would be a 3 or 4 in Lassen in about a month. I’m hoping it’s ‘three on a match’ and things just end.

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