Aug 3, 2012

Earthquakes (Birthpangs) Ramp Up Again

Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Residents on the South Carolina coast may have a felt a slight rumbling Tuesday morning due to an earthquake; in fact, it was the third one in the state over the past week.
Anyone who has ever been in an earthquake will tell you, It leaves a lasting impression on you.
Living through a large earthquake hasn't only been an experience for James Knapp, as a professor at USC's School of Earth and Ocean Science, studying earthquakes is his job.
"It's a very unsettling feeling when everything around you is moving, there's really no place for you to go and seek shelter," shared Knapp.

In the past week, South Carolina has experienced three small earthquakes; a 2.0 magnitude in Spartanburg County, a 2.5 in Chesterfield County and 2.8 in Charleston County.
"It turns out that South Carolina has one of the higher earthquake hazards in the eastern United States," said Knapp.

"SC is a somewhat unusual place to have earthquakes because in fact, most earthquakes take place at boundaries between tectonic plates of the earth, and yet here in SC we're not on a plate boundary. We don't fully understand all of the factors that go into generating seismicity in the interior of a plate."

The Charleston 7.3 magnitude quake of 1886 may come to mind when you think earthquakes in the south; however, Knapp says the frequency of the recent small rumblings doesn't mean people need to panic.

Five Quakes Hit Santa Clara County

Five earthquakes shook Santa Clara County last week, with the largest one hitting one mile west of Cupertino. The closest quake to reach Campbell hit 15 miles away in Cupertino.

The tremor reached a magnitude of 1.8 on the Richter Scale on Thursday at 12:53 p.m., and hit four miles south-southeast of Los Altos.

The second largest quake measured in at 1.7, and struck four miles north east of Milpitas on Friday at 12:08 p.m. Another quake shook South County just a few hours later at 5:58 p.m. The shock, reaching 1.6, hit four miles south south-west of Gilroy and eight miles south of San Martin.

Two small quakes measuring in at 1.5 shook the county toward the beginning of the week, with the first one striking five miles east north-east of Gilroy, seven miles south south-east of San Martin and 11 miles south east of Morgan Hill at 2:41 a.m. on Sunday, July 22.

The second 1.5 temblor is believed to be the result of a quarry explosion occurring seven miles near a quarry east of Cupertino, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) website. The quake hit three miles south of Los Altos, three miles west of Cupertino and four miles south south-east of Los Altos Hills at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Generally, earthquakes that fail to break the 2.0 mark on the scale are difficult to feel far from the epicenter. As of Saturday afternoon, no one reported feeling the five tremors in Santa Clara County this week on the USGS website

6 quakes in last week off southern Oregon coast

6 quakes in last week off southern Oregon coast
GOLD BEACH, Ore. - Six earthquakes between magnitude 1.6 and 2.1 rumbled under the ocean less than 20 miles off the Oregon Coast in the last week, according to U.S. Geologic Survey records.
The most recent - and most powerful - hit early Tuesday morning.

And two quakes over 4.0 shook last week about 240 miles off Bandon.

Small quakes hit Oregon on a regular basis, both on and off coast.

Last Thursday, for example, a magnitude 1.4 shook 8 miles northeast of Springfield, and a 1.5 magnitude earthquake rumbled 11 miles east of Woodburn just before 9:30 a.m. Tuesday morning.

But for residents of the Oregon Coast, earthquakes - and the tsunamis they can trigger - have taken on renewed importance since March 2011.

The earthquake and tsunami that devastated parts of Japan last year caused damage on the Oregon Coast and continue to deliver debris to Northwest beaches.
The USGS told KCBY News that the recent swarm of quakes pose little tsunami risk. The plates involved move sideways instead of up and down, and earthquakes under magnitude 6 are not likely to generate tsunamis.