Saturday, 8 October 2016

Magnitude 2.9 Earthquake in Orange County, California.

The United States Geological Survey recorded a Magnitude 2.9 Earthquake at a depth of about 14.5 km about 3 km to the northwest of Seal Beach in Orange County, California,slightly before 1.55 pm local time (slightly before 8.55 pm GMT) on Thursday 6 October 2016. There are no reports of any damage or injuries relating to this quake, but people have reported feeling it across much of northern California.

The approximate location of the 6 October 2016 Orange County Earthquake. Google.

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.

 The extent of and movement on the San Andreas Fault. Geology.

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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1 comment:

  1. Sorry to quibble, but this showed up on my news feed and it seems very strange to me, not the quake, but the fact that this is reported as if it's a newsworthy quake.

    In California, the ground's so beaten up from repeated quakes that it's difficult to feel a 2.9 from even a short distance away from the epicenter. As it happens, I was walking 14 miles away from Seal Beach at the time and certainly didn't feel it, nor did the person whom I had an appoinment or she would've asked me, since she knows my interest in seismology.

    Northern California is 350-400 miles away. So how could there be reports of it there?

    I guess you meant southern California, but even there, we have quakes that size all the time and generally don't feel them at any distance. It needs to creep towards at least 4 to be worth a mention in this part of the world.