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'Swarm' of earthquaes off Oregon coast puzzles scientists





Jinx
Over 600 earthquakes have been recorded in the past week in the Pacific Ocean just off the Coast of Oregon. What's unusual about these quakes is the fact that they are occurring in the center of a tectonic plate, not near the edge where they would normally happen. They also aren't following the usual pattern of one large quake followed by several aftershocks. Maybe we are witnessing the birth of a new volcano?



Quote:
Geologists at Oregon State University are preparing to divert a research ship to investigate an unusual offshore swarm of earthquakes -- including three of magnitude 5 or larger -- about 170 miles southwest of Newport.

The earthquakes started about 10 days ago and are continuing, although they appeared to taper off slightly Thursday night, said Robert Dziak, an OSU marine geologist in Newport. Instruments have recorded more than 600 tremors, many of them very small.

The quakes are puzzling because they are not occurring along the edge of the tectonic plates that make up Earth's crust, where geologists are used to seeing seismic activity. Instead, they're centered in the Juan de Fuca Plate, a span of crust off the northwest coast, about 40 miles from the plate's edge.

http://www.oregonlive.com/news/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/news/1207976111181180.xml&coll=7
Soulfire
An earthquake occured Friday (April 18th) at 5:30 am (EST) near Evansville, IN. Here in Quincy, MI, ~372 miles away, we awoke with our beds shaking and pictures falling off of the walls.

No serious damage occured anywhere, and I believe it was a 5.6 on the Richter scale.

Hm.

Nowhere near a plate boundary.
liljp617
Soulfire wrote:
An earthquake occured Friday (April 18th) at 5:30 am (EST) near Evansville, IN. Here in Quincy, MI, ~372 miles away, we awoke with our beds shaking and pictures falling off of the walls.

No serious damage occured anywhere, and I believe it was a 5.6 on the Richter scale.

Hm.

Nowhere near a plate boundary.

Yeah I live in Louisville, KY and we got a 5.2 on the scale I think. Epicenter was in Illinois. But we are on the New Madrid fault line or whatever so...

Never having experienced an earthquake, it was one of the craziest things I've experienced waking up at 5:30AM to a 30 second earthquake and not really know what was going on lol

Edit: Had another one (said it was an aftershock) last night at about 1:30AM..was a 4.2 I think. Feel like California!
coolclay
Thats really nuts, I hadn't heard about this until now thanks for posting. I really have no idea why something like that would occur, unless maybe there is a fracture forming in one of the plates which happens, but has never been witnessed before.
Jinx
Yeah, the New Madrid fault doesn't move often, but when it does they tend to be big ones. The most famous of the New Madrid quakes were the three magnitude 8 quakes that happened in 1811-1812. They were felt over 1,000 miles away, and even rang the church bells in Boston. They were followed by thousands of aftershocks and even changed the course of the Mississippi River. It's the most active fault in the US East of the Rockies.
There was a 4.2 aftershock yesterday, and it wouldn't surprise me if there were more.
For more info on the New Madrid fault: http://quake.usgs.gov/prepare/factsheets/NewMadrid/
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