Category Archives: Seismic Stuff

Whole lotta shakin’

Well actually no. Despite three big quakes hitting within reach of Vancouver Island at 11 last night, all I can tell you is that the Sticker household might have been shaken, but not stirred in the slightest. Not really surprising as the tremors were geologically speaking on the other side of the Juan De Fuca fault zone. Which means that, although I was sitting at my desk at the time, I never felt a thing. Not a grumble, rumble or anything else going ‘umble’ in any way shape or form. Now this may be down to the quality of my office chair, which is very comfy indeed. However, my six ten inch(!) tall Lemon tree plants never moved a micron on their window-ledge perches. Nothing shook or even essayed the faintest shimmy. So I think we dodged a bullet there.

Now of course this could be a precursor to something I think of as the ‘Great unzipping’, where 700 miles of the North American West Coast undergoes a massive 9.0 plus Richter scale event, one which we’re often told is way overdue. However, when the Cascadia fault does go, we’d all better be good at learning to surf, really, really quickly. At least in downtown Victoria, where a three or four metre Tsunami would put a crimp in everyone’s day. The Sticker household not so much, as we’re a hundred plus metres above sea level. Although we have been hearing unexplained booming noises over the weekend, which might be the Yanks trying something secret out of Puget Sound, where their big Naval base is.

Central Washington University geology professor Nick Zentner has an interesting lecture on the topic. Could be another hundred and ninety years until the next great unzipping, or it could be tomorrow. Who says Mrs S and I don’t like living dangerously?

Update: At 12:02 PST today (Tuesday) I was mildly startled by a loud booming noise that actually rattled my office window.  Checked the online seismographs – nothing.  No quake reports, nothing in the newspapers or online news, nada.  But it was just like an explosion had happened nearby.  Yet construction explosions don’t sound like this and are always muffled by blast mats.  Curiouser and curiouser…..

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Fukushima; almost a year on

It’s almost eleven months to the day since a Tsunami overwhelmed the sea defences at Fukushima, Japan. Eleven months. Since then Germany started shutting down nuclear power plants, even though none of them are likely to be hit by anything like the Quake that hit a small area of Japan. Lots of people over here went into a muck sweat about it, chewing enough potassium iodide to make themselves much sicker than any Radioactive material from the damaged power plants might have done. More fool them. No doubt same will complain that every single sniffle they’ve had since has been radiation induced, despite XKCD’s amusing little graphic on the subject making a nonsense of such assertions.

The National post has some interesting before and after pictures of the area. Although there aren’t any shots of the three damaged power plants, the surrounding area is looking remarkably tidy.

If anyone’s interested in facts rather than rent seeking hysteria; The interim IAEA report can be found here. Of course a thorough cleanup of the reactor cores will take ten years, which is about par for the course, but with no attributable deaths (or even serious injury) to radiation poisoning, I’d say panic over. Not that any panic was justified in the first place. Chernobyl this wasn’t.

Katla update

There are rumblings and grumblings still going on after last nights tremor spike and small jokulhaup (Glacial flood) under Katla in Iceland but nothing definitive. Erik Klemetti reports that there’s a series of glacial cracks in Myrdasjokull, the glacier covering Katla. A bridge and the Icelandic ring road are washed out, but for the moment, according to our man on the spot Jon Frimann, tremor and quake activity has dropped off.

Could this be it? The whimper and not the bang like in 1999? As one who has tickets booked for Europe, I’d like Katla to either quiet down or hold off for another three weeks before giving us a serious fireworks display. I have the feelings my travel insurance has a volcanoes exemption clause.

Just for reference; the last time Katla did go up ‘properly’ was in 1918 with a VEI4+ Class eruption. By comparison, Eyjafjallajökull in 2010 was a VEI2+.

Steam column near Katla?

Have a look at the webcam on this link.

Something beyond Mt Unpronounceable seems to be throwing up a column of steam. Katla, or the East side of the Eyfjallajokull vent system?

It’s hard to tell. The Katla webcam is down, so no way of telling unless someone with their feet on the ground can report directly. Perhaps Jon Frimann will be able to keep us posted. Tremor plots for the area (See HVO and GOD) showed a small uptick in activity earlier today, BC time.

Just got back from work, and I’m on evening shifts all weekend. Will try to keep up.

Update: Steam plume seems to have gone, and tremor activity has dipped.

Christchurch NZ magnitude 6.0

Christchurch NZ earthquake 13th June 2011 Latest news following the last rather large teeth rattler in Kiwi land is that no one has been hurt and disruption is minimal. There’s a twitter feed here for those worried about road, rail and airport disruption. There’s also been a lot of 3+ magnitude stuff going on.

Screengrab as usual from the excellent Christchurch Earthquake map.

Update: Still a lot of 3+ magnitude, but today three broke the 4.0 mark and there was a 5 magnitude, all these larger shocks recorded around the Port Levy / Pigeon bay area.

Christchurch NZ Aftershock

Site of 5.5 Magnitude aftershock
Right on the tail end of the Greendale fault (Well, more or less) is the latest teeth rattler in New Zealand, at 16Km fairly deep. Epicentre, according to the very helpful Christchurch Earthquake map, just off the Lincoln Rolleston Road to the west of town. Local news here.