Sunday, January 11, 2009

Whole lotta shakin' going on

Last year saw a significant increase in the number of temblors of magnitude 3.0 or greater in Southern California and the northern portion of Baja California, according to data from Caltech and the U.S. Geological Survey.

The region recorded 267 shakers with magnitudes of 3.0 and above last year, compared with 125 in 2007. Seismologists said 2008 had the highest number of such quakes of any year since 1999.

What experts don't know is whether the quake cluster is a harbinger of bigger quakes to come. The 1990s was considered a seismically active decade in Southern California, producing the magnitude 7.3 Landers quake in 1992 and the destructive Northridge temblor in 1994. During the quake cluster of 1999, the region was hit by the magnitude 7.1 Hector Mine temblor in the desert and several sizable aftershocks. There were 828 quakes with magnitudes of 3.0 and above that year.

Lucile Jones, a seismologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, said that although experts can't predict future quake activity, it appears Southern California is waking up from a steep drop-off in seismic activity so far this decade.
The USGS daily earthquake list for southern California.

The ones that have happened between November 2008 and January 9, 2009.

This could get exciting....

crossposted at SteveAudio


Steve Bates said...

Scary stuff. Maybe it's just familiarity, but I'll stick with moving wind and water, which is frightening enough, in preference to shaking earth.

The best reference I've ever seen to that song was a Houston Chronicle headline a few years back about a city project to repair sinkholes in a large number of streets: "Lotta Hole Shapin' Goin' On".

Stay safe, ellroon!

ellroon said...

Let the San Andreas snap AFTER January 20th. Then we'll know the government will actually try and help us rather than just fly over and stage photo ops.

Maybe even FEMA will work by that time...

Ali said...

I'd give it a few more months, just to be sure.

I think I have a photo of myself standing on the san andreas fault. I thought it was cool! Would think somewhat differently if I lived there.

ellroon said...

(Give it a few more geological years and southern California will take San Francisco and join Canada....)

And yes, I've been through several earthquakes, none life-threatening to me, but it sure makes me think what I would do when I'm at the mall with all those glass windows or at Costco with those huge stacks of inventory. But walking around in a hard hat isn't in, so...