Quakes – Strange Daze

Well, Vanuatu Rocking isn’t all THAT odd, but they did get a 7ish scale event, and that matters. Then Colorado popped a modest one (that isn’t notable other than where it is, really), but now the East Coast has a large quake? At that point, the memories of the New Madrid quake have to start being dusted off.

What’s the deal? Well, we like to think we have a clue how things work, based on watching a few hundred years, but that’s nothin’ in geologic time scales. Continents break up, move around, slam into each other, get rifted, etc. All that leaves “damages” behind. And sometimes the stresses change enough that some of the damaged bits can shift, and we shake.

My GUESS would be that the major subduction events on the Pacific Ring Of Fire have removed some of the compression on the continent, so some blocks are shifting just a bit. But it could just as easily be that some great shift of subcontinental mantle flow has caused something big to start happening. Only time will tell, and the good news is that it’s likely to be a very very long time… Geology is like that.

Also of note: Take a look at the Asia map. There’s a string of 5.x scale events right across the middle of the place. There is a general trend to have quakes propagate along that line, so it looks like folks are getting a fairly regular dose of shake, rattle, and roll.

I’m a bit too pressed right now to credit all the folks in “TIPS” who pointed these out, so best to just look in that thread for them… Thanks to all.

Vanuatu

Vanuatu LIve Quake Map

Vanuatu LIve Quake Map

The Vanuatu Specs are:

Magnitude 7.0 – VANUATU
2011 August 20 18:19:24 UTC

This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.Magnitude 7.0
Date-Time Saturday, August 20, 2011 at 18:19:24 UTC
Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 05:19:24 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
Location 18.287°S, 168.132°E
Depth 28.5 km (17.7 miles)
Region VANUATU
Distances 69 km (42 miles) SSW of PORT-VILA, Efate, Vanuatu
177 km (109 miles) NW of Isangel, Tanna, Vanuatu
328 km (203 miles) SSE of Luganville, Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu
1853 km (1151 miles) ENE of BRISBANE, Queensland, Australia
Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 13.4 km (8.3 miles); depth +/- 4.7 km (2.9 miles)
Parameters NST=473, Nph=475, Dmin=455.3 km, Rmss=1.21 sec, Gp= 18°,
M-type=regional moment magnitude (Mw), Version=9
Source Magnitude: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
Location: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
Event ID usc0005hbt

Virginia

The Virgina Quake comes in at a 5.8 but reports of the experience sound stronger than that. Partly this may be due to the rock types being different. I’ve heard it said that the rocks “Back East” are more brittle so any given energy feels like more. The buildings are certainly less ready for the shaking than the West Coast folks…

Live Virgina Quake Map

Live Virgina Quake Map


The specs:

Magnitude 5.8 – VIRGINIA
2011 August 23 17:51:04 UTC

This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.Magnitude 5.8
Date-Time Tuesday, August 23, 2011 at 17:51:04 UTC
Tuesday, August 23, 2011 at 01:51:04 PM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
Location 37.936°N, 77.933°W
Depth 6 km (3.7 miles)
Region VIRGINIA
Distances 8 km (5 miles) SSW (195°) from Mineral, VA
11 km (7 miles) SSE (148°) from Louisa, VA
29 km (18 miles) NE (45°) from Columbia, VA
61 km (38 miles) NW (317°) from Richmond, VA
135 km (84 miles) SW (217°) from Washington, DC
Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 2.3 km (1.4 miles); depth +/- 3.1 km (1.9 miles)
Parameters NST= 22, Nph= 23, Dmin=50 km, Rmss=0.44 sec, Gp= 79°,
M-type=centroid moment magnitude (Mw), Version=B
Source Southeast U.S. Seismic Network
Event ID se082311a

Colorado

Honorable Mention to Colorado, just because they will have had a bit of startle from this (and partly as the idea of having TWO continental quakes in the same week is a bit fun and not likely to be in another posting for years ;-)

Live Colorado Quake Map

Live Colorado Quake Map

Magnitude 5.3 – COLORADO
2011 August 23 05:46:19 UTC

This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.Magnitude 5.3
Date-Time Tuesday, August 23, 2011 at 05:46:19 UTC
Monday, August 22, 2011 at 11:46:19 PM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
Location 37.070°N, 104.700°W
Depth 4 km (2.5 miles)
Region COLORADO
Distances 15 km (9 miles) WSW of Trinidad, Colorado
33 km (20 miles) NW of Raton, New Mexico
54 km (33 miles) S of Walsenburg, Colorado
290 km (180 miles) S of DENVER, Colorado
Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 12.5 km (7.8 miles); depth +/- 2.8 km (1.7 miles)
Parameters NST=372, Nph=372, Dmin=18.9 km, Rmss=1.25 sec, Gp= 14°,
M-type=centroid moment magnitude (Mw), Version=A
Source Magnitude: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
Location: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
Event ID usc0005idz

General Comment

So I’d expect that the USGS funding will likely be safe for another year or two ;-)

And I’d wonder if anyone will tell DC that maybe it’s God’s way of saying “Naughty Naughty!” ;-)

I also note in passing that Japan continues to get a swarm (if you mouse around on the Asia map at the link you can find a bunch of 5.x and 6.x in that cluster) and the rest of the world is looking rather “active” too…

And southwest of Sumatra picked up a 6.0 scale event. One hopes it is not a preparation for a volcano… but “Hope is not a strategy. -E.M.Smith”…

The only really good news is that Chile and South America seem be be getting a break, at last.

The California map continues to “run hot” with over 350 quakes on it, and Nevada has picked up some more out near the volcanic fields.

Southern Hemisphere

A view of Earthquakes from the South Pole

A view of Earthquakes from the South Pole

Original Image with Clickable Details

Northern Hemisphere

North Polar Earthquake Map

North Polar Earthquake Map

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 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

North America

North America and Mid Atlantic Ridge Quake Map

North America and Mid Atlantic Ridge Quake Map

Original with clickable details

And remember, I have a dedicated CSZ page with closeups

California Map

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

California Quakes with fault lines

California Quakes with fault lines

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:

http://www.volcano.si.edu/reports/usgs/

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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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14 Responses to Quakes – Strange Daze

  1. R. de Haan says:

    Just for the record:

    Southern Europe is quite active too.
    Not only along the obvious locations like Turkey, Greece and Italy also the same odd quakes like the Virginia quake more to the North where quakes are not expected.

    According to: http://www.emsc-csem.org/#5

    631 quakes over the past two weeks in total

    We’re in shaky times all right.

  2. PhilJourdan says:

    I only live a few miles from the Va Quake. It was fun! I guess the only real damage was in DC – but then they are a rat infested place in any event.

  3. Pascvaks says:

    There simply has to be a connection, a common denominator, or thread. Bet CO2 has something to do with it too; and Arctic sea ice melting. Let’s say a few to you-know-who that New Madrid keeps quiet for another century or two. I have a feeling there’s a lot of people on this planet who’ve heard about the quake and the hurricane that’s coming and the economy that’s failing and the President who isn’t and all that, and they’re thinking to themselves that our-you-know-who isn’t as strong as their-you-know-who and that it’s only a matter of time before the whole-you-know-what is all theirs. One planet of many worlds. What a life!

  4. adolfogiurfa says:

    It looks like something big is coming for you and not precisely the double deep :-)
    Interesting times indeed. Check earthquakes in america during the maunder minimum.

  5. adolfogiurfa says:

    I just felt it (as a 4 degrees in Lima, Peru)
    Magnitude
    6.8
    Date-Time
    Wednesday, August 24, 2011 at 17:46:11 UTC
    Wednesday, August 24, 2011 at 12:46:11 PM at epicenter
    Location
    7.644°S, 74.506°W
    Depth
    145.1 km (90.2 miles)
    Region
    NORTHERN PERU
    Distances
    82 km (51 miles) N (2°) from Pucallpa, Peru
    205 km (127 miles) W (271°) from Cruzeiro do Sul, Brazil
    313 km (194 miles) NE (36°) from Huanuco, Peru
    568 km (353 miles) NNE (30°) from LIMA, Peru
    Location Uncertainty
    horizontal +/- 18.2 km (11.3 miles); depth +/- 12 km (7.5 miles)
    Parameters
    NST=200, Nph=200, Dmin=544.4 km, Rmss=0.89 sec, Gp= 47°,
    M-type=regional moment magnitude (Mw), Version=7
    Source
    Magnitude: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
    Location: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
    Event ID
    usc0005j3l

  6. R. de Haan says:

    @Adolfogiurfa,
    Do you refer to this paper about ?
    Influences of solar cycles on earthquakes
    http://www.scirp.org/journal/PaperDownload.aspx?paperID=5319

  7. pyromancer76 says:

    See also J.H. Shirley, The Distribution of great Earthquakes in time, 2007: http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2007AGUFM.S33C1473S. From the period 1900 to 2007 (the present), “The distribtion of great earthquake occurrence times with respect to the 11-yr solar sunspot cycle is nonrandom at the 99.4% level….increased event frequency…approaching sunspot minima…and…maxima. A pronounced deficit of events is found for the intervening times, when solar activity is most rapidly rising, and then most rapidly falling”. Can’t say anything about the science. He is/has been connected with NASA and JPL.

  8. R. de Haan says:

    “The only really good news is that Chile and South America seem be be getting a break, at last.”

    That good news is shortly lived unfortunately:

    DATE and TIME (UTC) LAT-ITUDE LONG-ITUDE MAG-NITUDE DEPTH km REGION
    24-AUG-2011 18:16:51 -7.77 -74.17 5.3 128.5 PERU-BRAZIL BORDER REGION
    24-AUG-2011 17:46:11 -7.64 -74.51 7.0 145.1 PERU-BRAZIL BORDER REGION

  9. adolfogiurfa says:

    The singularity of this earthquake is that, like the one of the east coast in USA it was felt almost everywhere, up to more than a thousand kilometers away from the epicenter.

  10. E.M.Smith says:

    I wonder if I got out of California just in time?

    Magnitude 4.2 – CENTRAL CALIFORNIA
    2011 August 24 11:59:51 UTC

    This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.Magnitude 4.2
    Date-Time Wednesday, August 24, 2011 at 11:59:51 UTC
    Wednesday, August 24, 2011 at 04:59:51 AM at epicenter
    Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
    Location 37.546°N, 118.872°W
    Depth 10 km (6.2 miles)
    Region CENTRAL CALIFORNIA
    Distances 14 km (9 miles) SE (137°) from Mammoth Lakes, CA
    17 km (11 miles) W (264°) from Toms Place, CA
    28 km (18 miles) WNW (301°) from Round Valley, CA
    254 km (158 miles) ESE (115°) from Sacramento, CA
    Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 0.2 km (0.1 miles); depth +/- 0.4 km (0.2 miles)
    Parameters Nph= 53, Dmin=6 km, Rmss=0.04 sec, Gp= 68°,
    M-type=regional moment magnitude (Mw), Version=8
    Source California Integrated Seismic Net:
    USGS Caltech CGS UCB UCSD UNR
    Event ID nc71625245

    I do hope this is just “The Usual” that you get around a supervolcano site from time to time and not “the start of something big…. really big…”

    h/t to Tim Clark in ‘tips’ for spotting it…. (though he could have put the comment here on the quake thread ;-)

    Vanuatu had a nice aftershock and there is a curious set of matching quakes: One north of Iceland, the other in the South Atlantic nearer Antarctica.

    I don’t know why, but it just seems like there are a lot of “odd” quakes in this set.

    @Pascvaks:

    Are you saying that you-know-who will do who-knows-what to their who-who or that their who-who is is going to be all ha-ha as they have an ah-ha! moment?

    Just wondering… ;-)

    But it does seem rather like there’s a pattern of Biblical Proportions (or perhaps Biblical Reference) in what’s happening…

    @Adolfo:

    Remind me not to say “The only good news is…” about quake quite places….

    @R. de Haan:

    Well, that was quick ;-)

  11. R. de Haan says:

    Something is going on in the Czech Republic
    Region name [+]
    2011-08-26 14:10:56.7
    44min ago
    50.25 N 12.44 E 12 2.1 CZECH REPUBLIC
    2011-08-26 13:23:37.0
    1hr 31min ago
    50.27 N 12.41 E 8 2.3 CZECH REPUBLIC
    2011-08-26 13:18:35.0
    1hr 36min ago
    50.25 N 12.48 E 4 2.3 CZECH REPUBLIC
    2011-08-26 09:06:25.5
    5hr 49min ago
    50.23 N 12.48 E 10 2.4 CZECH REPUBLIC
    2011-08-26 08:52:40.0
    6hr 02min ago
    50.24 N 12.39 E 3 2.7 CZECH REPUBLIC
    2011-08-26 08:51:05.0
    6hr 04min ago
    50.21 N 12.50 E 2 2.5 CZECH REPUBLIC
    2011-08-26 08:26:07.7
    6hr 29min ago
    50.23 N 12.41 E 5 2.6 CZECH REPUBLIC
    2011-08-26 06:54:05.0
    8hr 01min ago
    50.23 N 12.45 E 10 3.5 CZECH REPUBLIC
    2011-08-26 06:15:45.0
    8hr 39min ago
    50.23 N 12.41 E 6 3.2 CZECH REPUBLIC
    2011-08-26 06:07:05.0
    8hr 48min ago
    50.25 N 12.48 E 6 2.3 CZECH REPUBLIC
    2011-08-26 05:54:14.4
    9hr 01min ago
    50.25 N 12.48 E 12 2.3 CZECH REPUBLIC
    2011-08-26 04:40:08.8
    10hr 15min ago
    50.25 N 12.48 E 2 2.5 CZECH REPUBLIC
    2011-08-26 04:17:51.7
    10hr 37min ago
    50.23 N 12.44 E 6 2.5 CZECH REPUBLIC
    2011-08-26 03:46:14.0
    11hr 09min ago
    50.25 N 12.44 E 12 2.4 CZECH REPUBLIC
    2011-08-26 03:40:24.7
    11hr 15min ago
    50.23 N 12.48 E 8 2.0 CZECH REPUBLIC
    2011-08-26 03:30:06.0
    11hr 25min ago
    50.25 N 12.44 E 4 2.0 CZECH REPUBLIC
    2011-08-26 02:55:59.0
    11hr 59min ago
    50.22 N 12.38 E 2 2.5 CZECH REPUBLIC
    2011-08-26 02:47:13.0 50.24 N 12.48 E 5 2.4 CZECH REPUBLIC
    2011-08-26 02:36:26.0 50.23 N 12.40 E 2 2.8 CZECH REPUBLIC
    2011-08-26 02:32:25.0 50.23 N 12.48 E 6 2.6 CZECH REPUBLIC
    1
    F
    2011-08-26 02:17:30.0 50.23 N 12.45 E 2 3.1 CZECH REPUBLIC
    2011-08-26 02:13:13.5 50.25 N 12.48 E 12 2.0 CZECH REPUBLIC
    2011-08-26 02:09:59.0 50.25 N 12.44 E 2 2.5 CZECH REPUBLIC
    2011-08-26 01:45:27.7 50.23 N 12.38 E 5 2.9 CZECH REPUBLIC
    2011-08-26 01:40:35.3 50.21 N 12.43 E 5 2.4 CZECH REPUBLIC
    2011-08-26 01:38:04.3 50.25 N 12.48 E 10 1.9 CZECH REPUBLIC
    2011-08-26 01:35:30.4 50.46 N 13.50 E 2 2.5 CZECH REPUBLIC
    2011-08-26 01:02:59.4 50.26 N 12.36 E 3 2.3 CZECH REPUBLIC
    2011-08-26 00:55:58.0 50.20 N 12.48 E 2 2.6 CZECH REPUBLIC
    2011-08-26 00:35:02.0 50.23 N 12.43 E 4 3.0 CZECH REPUBLIC
    2011-08-26 00:15:34.0 50.25 N 12.39 E 5 3.0 CZECH REPUBLIC
    2011-08-26 00:10:02.4 50.25 N 12.48 E 6 2.3 CZECH REPUBLIC
    1
    IV
    2011-08-25 23:33:22.0 50.21 N 12.38 E 10 4.0 CZECH REPUBLIC
    2011-08-25 23:17:06.8 50.23 N 12.44 E 12 2.1 CZECH REPUBLIC
    2011-08-25 23:05:42.0 50.22 N 12.36 E 2 3.0 CZECH REPUBLIC
    2011-08-25 22:55:03.3 50.23 N 12.44 E 4 2.8 CZECH REPUBLIC
    2011-08-25 22:46:32.0 50.23 N 12.43 E 4 2.5 CZECH REPUBLIC

    From http://www.emsc-csem.org/#2

  12. Roger Sowell says:

    Nah, the East Coast quake was just a geostatic rebound. Turns out the USGS was investigating the cause and concluded it was due to a large mass suddenly lifted off the surface. The Earth below lifted up. This last happened about 12,000 years ago when the ice cap melted. The cause this time, they found, was all the gold is gone from Fort Knox. Turns out that China now demands to be paid in gold. . . (sarc off for those who think this comment was meant seriously).

  13. E.M.Smith says:

    Looks like the Alaska quake is downgraded to a 6.8 instead of a 7ish… And we’ve popped a 6.7 in Argentina. Nice symmetry to that… One can only hope that the Alaska quake is not a ‘pre-shock’…

    Here’s the details on the Argentine quake, then the Alaska quake:

    Magnitude 6.7 – SANTIAGO DEL ESTERO, ARGENTINA
    2011 September 02 13:47:11 UTC

    This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.Magnitude 6.7
    Date-Time Friday, September 02, 2011 at 13:47:11 UTC
    Friday, September 02, 2011 at 10:47:11 AM at epicenter
    Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
    Location 28.422°S, 63.146°W
    Depth 592.8 km (368.4 miles)
    Region SANTIAGO DEL ESTERO, ARGENTINA
    Distances 31 km (19 miles) W of Anatuya, Santiago del Estero, Argentina
    130 km (80 miles) ESE of Santiago del Estero, Argentina
    257 km (159 miles) E of Catamarca, Catamarca, Argentina
    805 km (500 miles) NNW of BUENOS AIRES, D.F., Argentina
    Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 16.4 km (10.2 miles); depth +/- 10.4 km (6.5 miles)
    Parameters NST=413, Nph=421, Dmin=620 km, Rmss=0.7 sec, Gp= 36°,
    M-type=teleseismic moment magnitude (Mw), Version=A
    Source Magnitude: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
    Location: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
    Event ID usc0005n9z

    Magnitude 6.8 – FOX ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN ISLANDS, ALASKA
    2011 September 02 10:55:54 UTC

    This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.Magnitude 6.8
    Date-Time Friday, September 02, 2011 at 10:55:54 UTC
    Friday, September 02, 2011 at 01:55:54 AM at epicenter
    Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
    Location 52.185°N, 171.684°W
    Depth 35.5 km (22.1 miles)
    Region FOX ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN ISLANDS, ALASKA
    Distances 45 km (27 miles) SW of Amukta Island, Alaska
    85 km (52 miles) SW of Yunaska Island, Alaska
    1658 km (1030 miles) WSW of Anchorage, Alaska
    2410 km (1497 miles) W of WHITEHORSE, Yukon Territory, Canada
    Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 14 km (8.7 miles); depth +/- 4.4 km (2.7 miles)
    Parameters NST=824, Nph=825, Dmin=172.5 km, Rmss=0.81 sec, Gp= 54°,
    M-type=centroid moment magnitude (Mw), Version=9
    Source Magnitude: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
    Location: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
    Event ID usc0005n83

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