Thursday 5 September 2013

Magnitude 3.2 Earthquake in southern California.

The United States Geological Survey recorded a Magnitude 3.2 Earthquake at a depth of 14.5 km, 5 km northwest of Borrego Springs in San Diego County, southern California, slightly before 9.05 pm local time on Tuesday 3 September 2013 (slightly before 4.05 am on Wednesday 4 September, GMT). There are no reports of any damage or casualties from this quake, but it was reportedly felt over a wide area.

The approximate location of the 3 September 2013 Borrego Springs 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.

Follow Sciency Thoughts on Facebook.