Interesting Earthquake Offshore Northern California


As always, the entire earth is very active and it has been unusually active in the last 30 years with some very major earthquake/tsunami events.  Not all big earthquakes cause tsunamis or volcanic eruptions.  But when the planet is being influenced by the sun which has a big influence as does the moon, our planet goes through active cycles and quiet periods.


When the mega-continent of Pangaea tore itself apart, this began a process of mountain building as the various quarters flew away from each other, now we have a situation where they are all, except for the North Pole, moving together again at the North Pole.


The newest plate is the Pacific Ocean plate.  It is being crushed by North and South America and is being pushed relentlessly into Alaska, Siberia and the rest of Asia.  Sailing on top of this plate is a very inactive place: Australia.  No volcanoes, mountain building or earthquakes hit that serene continent!


But all around Australia’s sides and especially northwards is greatest violence of all sorts as is India causing in Asia as it slams hard into the underbelly of the Eurasian plate.


We just had a 6.0+ earthquake offshore of California’s Redwood Coast yesterday when I didn’t have my computers working.  It was in a key area offshore and didn’t cause much damage to humans on shore.  It is in a most interesting spot, though:screen-shot-2016-12-09-at-8-43-23-am

Note the dark blue line at a 90 degree angle to the California coastline.  The shape of the coastline is echoed undersea, it is ‘pulled’ sideways there which is actually the landmass moving, I guess, attached to the dark blue fault line that is underwater.  This is the terminus of the infamous San Andreas Fault Line.


A close-up shows how the curvature of the long, Pacific Ocean fault line causes a bulge on land, and the sea bed next to the coastline is ‘crinkled’ like a bed sheet rumpled sideways.screen-shot-2016-12-09-at-8-44-49-am

It is rather faint but we can see this absolutely straight line goes across the entire Pacific Ocean, terminated at the Eastern end by the long line of ancient volcanoes that are now underwater but are still visible as the Hawaiian island chain today.


The end of this very long chain is the big volcanoes on the main island of Hawaii.  The mystery as to why the geology of the Pacific is this odd way of having several multi-thousand mile long ‘folds’ and ‘canyons’ has theories but we know not all that much about why they are so straight and how old are these folds, etc.


And the island chain of Hawaii shows clearly that the direction of movement of the Pacific Plate has changed greatly from nearly due-north to northeast.  Why?  We really don’t know exactly why.


Yesterday’s earthquake is a friendly reminder that California, which is demanding we all bow to the voters there, is a highly dangerous, nay, insanely dangerous place to park anything or anybody.  But then, so is Italy!  Not to mention the Queens of all Crazy Places to live: Japan and also Indonesia, two places that host some of the biggest destruction events.


Indonesia nearly wiped out all humans during the last Ice Age!  Mt. Toba blew up and it was extremely cold.  Which reminds me: it will be near zero here on my mountain this week!  Ouch!


So much for ‘we will roast to death’ though I note here that California believes they are roasting to death and want it colder.  Why they don’t move out baffles me.  I used to live there, after all!  I moved!  Can’t fix the stupid.



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4 responses to “Interesting Earthquake Offshore Northern California

  1. Those are great shots of the seabed.
    I had no idea there were those 3 enormous straight faults running clear cross the ocean.
    Extreme rotational stress on the globe?

  2. emsnews

    We literally have no idea.

  3. Jim R

    I don’t think that east-west feature under the Pacific is the San Andreas fault. The west coast is very complex geologically, and has many many faults. In general, the San Andreas fault runs from southeast to northwest, and the whole coast from Baja California to San Francisco is grinding northwest toward Alaska.

    But I think the ‘standard’ tectonic model has the Pacific plate diving under North America, grinding along from west to east, and making another complex set of faults as it goes. There’s plenty of evidence that, over the last several million years as the Atlantic got wider along the big rift in its middle, the Pacific has gotten smaller.

    And the hills and mountains of the west coast seem to have been built of former islands, like the Hawaiian Islands, which were carried on the Pacific plate, and then scraped off by North America to become part of the larger landmass on the coast. The Rocky Mountains (and likewise the Andes) are very new as mountains go, only a few hundred million years old.

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