Natural Resources Canada recorded a Magnitude 6.2 Earthquake roughly 200 km off the coast of British Columbia slightly before 1.20 pm local time (slightly before 8.20 pm GMT) on Tuesday 3 September 2013. This is a large quake and would be potentially quite dangerous in an inhabited area, but occurred significantly offshore and no witness reports have been made, though it is possible it was felt in coastal areas by people who have not come forward. No tsunami warning was issued for this quake, which has been followed by at least five aftershocks with Magnitudes between 4 and 6.
The approximate location of the 3 September 2013 British Columbia Earthquake. Google Maps.
British Columbia is located on the western margin of the North American Plate, close to the Challenger Trench, along which the Explorer and Juan de Fuca Plate are being subducted. These are two remnant parts of the ancient Farallon Plate, which formerly underlay part of the eastern Pacific, and which has now been largely subducted beneath North America. The Explorer an Juan de Fuca Plates pass under the North American Plate as they sink into the Earth, but this is not a smooth process, with the plates constantly sticking together then breaking apart as the tectonic stresses build up.
Witness reports can help geologists to understand the processes going on in Earthquakes and the structures in the rocks that cause them. If you felt this quake you can report it to Natural Resources Canada here.
See also Magnitude 3.6 Earthquake in Washington State, Magnitude 5.3 Earthquake shakes Vancouver Island, Magnitude 4.3 Earthquake in central Washington State, Earthquake off Vancouver Island and Earthquake off the coast of Vancouver Island.
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