Thursday 25 July 2013

Magnitude 4.3 Earthquake hits Kern County, California.

A Magnitude 4.3 Earthquake occurred in Kern County, California, slightly after 9.45 am local time (slightly after 4.45 pm GMT) on Wednesday 24 July 2013, according to the United States Geological Survey. The quake occurred at a depth of 6.6 km, roughly 150 km north of Los Angeles or 75 km west of Bakersfield. The quake is unlikely to have caused any damage or casualties, but was felt as far north as North Fork as far south as Anaheim.

The location of the 24 July 2013 Kern County Earthquake. Google Maps.

California is extremely prone to Earthquakes due to the presence of the San Andreas Fault, a tectonic plate margin that effectively bisects the state. The west of California, including Santa Barbara and Los Angeles, is located on the Pacific Plate, and is moving to the northwest. The east of California, including Fresno and Bakersfield is on the North American Plate, and is moving to the southeast. The plates do not move smoothly past one-another, but constantly stick together then break apart as the pressure builds up. This has led to a network of smaller faults that criss-cross the state, so that Earthquakes can effectively occur anywhere.

Witness accounts of Earthquakes can help geologists to understand these events and the underlying structures that cause them. If you felt this quake (or if you were in the area but did not, which is also useful information) then you can report it to the United States Geological Survey here.

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