California Shake & Bake

Well it's been awhile since we had one of these. Sitting here minding my own business, doing some coding ( big shock! ) when the house jolted and then shook slightly for about 5 seconds.

Preliminary magnitude was 4.7 and did no damage, at least in my area. That's large enough it could have done some damage closer to the epicenter though. From the look of things on the USGS map there's already been one 2.5 magnitude aftershock, which I didn't feel here.

For you detail junkies: http://quake.wr.usgs.gov/recenteqs/Quakes/ci10275733.html
.........................
"It is pointless to resist, my son." -- Darth Vader
"Resistance is futile." -- The Borg
"Mother's coming for me in the dragon ships. I don't like these itchy clothes, but I have to wear them or it frightens the fish." -- Thurindil

Well. I guess that's that then.

       
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Posted on Sep 2, 2007 10:43 am by Samson in: | 12 comment(s) [Closed]
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It also raises the ever so interesting argument: Is there such a thing as earthquake weather?

I think so. I don't think it's a coincidence that the first noticeable quake in a long time takes place at the hottest time of year, when raging thunderstorms have been drenching the area for a week. And then suddenly the ground pops? Coincidence? We don't think so!

       
It's probably also not a coincidence that the news didn't bother to report the earthquake but did report that the heat wave is causing power problems out there. :(

       
Heh. Around here we don't report earthquakes unless they hit 5.0 or better. It just isn't significant enough. Now the heat wave, yeah. That's pretty bad. Almost a solid week so far of > 105 degree temps. The softies in LA tend to cry about that a bit more when the power companies are trying their scams again.

       
Lomo Prieta, the 1989 monster-quake if you recall, hit during October. I.e. not during hot season. Earthquakes are a tectonic matter -- why would air temperature or rain affect this? (Maybe it does, maybe it doesn't, I'm no geophysicist.) Anyhow, this could be empirically and scientifically verified by just looking at the data and seeing if there is a correlation between earthquake occurrences and high temperatures and rain.

       
Earthquake weather isn't just about summer, hot temps, and lots of rain.

Northridge, 1994. A very cold January morning, and it had rained recently before the quake. That was a pretty bad-ass earthquake if you were here for it.

It may not seem logical for something as trivial as surface weather to affect fault lines deep underground, but there's a lot we still don't know about this rock. I'm no statistician, geophysicist, or seismologist, but I am capable of associating quakes with extreme weather when it happens often enough :)

       
I could see a correlation between excessive precipitation, especially in conjunction with freezing weather, but I have no idea if one really exists and that certainly wouldn't account for excessively hot weather. On the other hand, the latest craze among the rich and famous seems to be blaming the global warming for everything, so maybe they'd be able to better draw you a specific correlation between the recent climate changes and the recent increase in tectonic shifts?

Personally, I rather prefer to think of all the recent global disasters (volcanoes, earthquakes, tidal waves, hurricanes, fires, etc..) as being nature's way of removing some of the excess abusers of her resources.. maybe even God's way of helping to wipe the slate a bit since the problems of Sodom and Gomorrah have grown beyond the confines of any couple of cities these days.. *shrug* ..of course, I'm naturally a bit skeptical about the latter idea.

       
I'm not denying "earthquake weather", even if I do find it implausible (except for proper extremes, but we're not in what I'd call "proper extremes";); I'm just saying that this claim can be empirically tested. One or two quakes do not represent even the tiniest blip on the radar when you consider time from a geological perspective. To really check this, we'd have to find that there is an actual correlation between particular bad weather (of the warm/cold, wet/dry variety) and quakes; only then do we have a plausible claim. Otherwise it's just anecdotal supposition with no basis in science. Now again I'm not saying it's wrong (or that it's true for that matter), I'm just saying that it takes more than seeing it once or twice for yourself.

and the recent increase in tectonic shifts?


What increase in tectonic shifts? I must have missed something in the news... I haven't noticed a particular increase in the frequency of big earthquakes.

Personally, I rather prefer to think of all the recent global disasters (volcanoes, earthquakes, tidal waves, hurricanes, fires, etc..) as being nature's way of removing some of the excess abusers of her resources.. maybe even God's way of helping to wipe the slate a bit since the problems of Sodom and Gomorrah have grown beyond the confines of any couple of cities these days.. *shrug* ..of course, I'm naturally a bit skeptical about the latter idea.


Well, as you say: personally, I think that going down that path is very dangerous. To make such a claim implies that the victims of the south-east Asia tsunami were chosen to die by God. And, well, I don't believe in "nature" being a force that actually makes decisions of any sort; if humans mess with the planet and screw up the ecosystem and other such things, it's all our fault.

       
Those Asians sure have noticed more Tsunamis (due to underwater quakes) and such recently..

You've never heard the expression "don't mess with mother nature" before? Of course she's a force that actually makes decisions. :P

       
California, meet the ocean floor. Enjoy your stay.

       
Actually it would be more like: California, meet the molten mantle. Either way the result ends badly for us :P

       
You guys ever seen that "End of the World" flash video? How's the end go... "And if we don't blow ourselves up first, all we Californians have to worry about is breaking off and going to hang with Hawaii... Alaska can come too"

       
*L* Sounds like quite the Luau!

       
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