Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Earthquakes in Paradise?

Earthquakes in Paradise?  When I saw this headline:
Slight tremor felt in Box Elder County
I clicked over to the article, expecting to see a report on a magnitude 2.5 or 3.0 earthquake – what we would have called a “slight tremor” back in California.  But this was a magnitude 0.9 quake, which only has about 1/1000th the energy of a magnitude 3.0 tremor!  There are millions of quakes that size every year in the U.S.  In California even most of the 3.0 quakes went unreported.  Here a 0.9 quake makes front-page news.  Wow!

Before we moved here I did some research into earthquake occurrence in the area.  The map at right (taken from the USGS earthquake site using their search facilities; click to embiggen) shows the last 10 years of earthquakes in our general area.  Our home is smack in the middle of that map.  The biggest earthquake was a magnitude 2.1 tremor about 10 miles east of us.  That's it!  If we were to pull such a map from where we used to live in California, it would be completely covered in those little circles :)

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