Global Earthquake Watch

Many earthquakes occur every day around the world. I’ve written a few articles about Vancouver earthquakes in the past only because the topic presented itself with the worry that was going on in British Columbia at the time.

Now, more that ever I feel inclined to track earthquakes since Haiti and Chile had some pretty devastating mass movements, but also because I now live in Costa Rica, which itself is an earthquake zone (see map below). In fact, we felt the fallout from an earthquake off the coast of Chile just last week.

World Seismic Activity Map

Apart from the US Geological Survey’s latest earthquake site, the best and most concise resource I have found is on Twitter and by following WheresItShaking. These two sites alone can keep me up to date with what’s going on in the world.

At school, I always wanted to get involved with Geology and enjoyed the study of Plate Tectonics. As well as my studies as a Chemist, I won’t ever forget the enjoyment of studying rocks and the earth, most likely because of the fact that the school trips (or at least one of them) were most legendary.

Vancouver Earthquake

On the news today they were discussing this. Seismologists were discussing small quakes in the Pacific just off the coast of Vancouver Island, they were saying how these mini-quakes could, in fact, be “gradually unlocking the tension in the Juan de Fucas and North American plates”.

This is good news for us all, perhaps we won’t have that BEHEMOTH quake that they’ve all been predicting!

Vancouver earthquake revisited

Just checking in with the situation on the Vancouver Earthquake situation and there could be some good news in store for us if scientist can manage to coax some really helpful bacteria to save us all!

Researchers at UC Davis have discovered microbes that can quite literally help the process of rock forming by converting lose sediment into the hard stuff. Although only tested on a lab scale, Bacillus Pasteurii, could be the answer to soil liquefaction caused my earthquakes.

It is suggested that the majority of the destruction from a Vancouver Earthquake could come in the form of mass movement or soil/earth liquefaction, a process where soft deposits such as clay, are converted to a jellylike state by severe shaking causing a situation where structures (buildings) could sink and collapse. Eeeeek!

Check out the other articles about a potential Vancouver earthquake here:

Keep up to date with global earthquake activity.

Vancouver earthquake update

So whatever happened with this big ‘ole Vancouver earthquake that’s supposed to be hitting us? I haven’t heard much in the news recently.

A quake registering 7.3 on the Richter scale was last experienced way back in 1946. A quake of 7.3 is classified as “major” on the Richter scale and can cause serious damage over larger areas. One thing we have to remember is that construction and infrastructure standards have come a long way so I wonder if these scales of magnitude (like Richter or Mercalli) actually take into consideration these new developments? The Richer scale was developed in 1935 and Mercalli in 1902, surely this needs to be updated? Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

I wish a scientist or geologist would comment on this blog because a lot of people have emailed me and asked me about this. Read the other article.

Vancouver Earthquake and Plate Tectonics

Apparently, Vancouver is going to be hit by a “big one”. At school, before I went to university I studied Geography at school as well as Geology. I know a little bit about plate tectonics and how and why earthquakes and mass movement occur. When will the Vancouver earthquake hit

Juan de Fuca plate - a big player in a possible Vancouver EarthquakeThe Juan de Fuca plate is being forced under the North American plate creating a “subduction zone”. This subduction has formed a lot of magnificent mountain areas in the Cascade Volcanic Belt (where volcanic mountains have formed that are not all within the Cascade Range). The movement of one plate beneath each other is never a smooth process. These plates tend to lock up until it reaches a point where there is so much pressure and stress that it violently moves. It is this mass movement that causes an earthquake.

This could trigger a Vancouver earthquake.

I can see Mount Baker from my window. There are many other mountains that you may have heard about in and around Vancouver, BC such as:

  • Mount Silverthrone
  • Devastator Peak
  • Mount Fee
  • Black Tusk
  • Cinder Cone
  • Opal Cone
  • Mount Garibaldi
  • Watts Point

Baker incidentally still shows steam/fume activity from its crate but is considered dormant. They also said this about Mount St. Helens which erupted famously in 1980 and was observed around the world in the media. Luckily, that did not trigger a Vancouver earthquake.

I definitely do not believe that we’re going to die, but if we were living on Vancouver Island I would be worried. Vancouver Island is a direct formation resulting from plate tectonic activity. Good reads for this include Global Tectonics and Earth as an Evolving Planetary System. (I believe the latter was on my course reading list at school).