Thursday, December 30, 2010

Magnitude 4.2 - INDIANA

What? A 4.2 in Indiana? What's that all about? Any relation with the New Madrid Fault and rifting system? Makes me really wonder. Things seem to be going on not too far from the New Madrid system. I don't really know what to make of this earthquake at this time. It just happened minutes ago. I have to go up to the lab now, and talk to some researchers on all the recent events.

Magnitude 4.2 - INDIANA

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Quake Swarm at Salton Buttes Volcano - Dec 27, 2010

A couple of days ago, I felt some light tremors, checked the USGS site to discover the reason for the creaking house. The Salton Buttes volcano often has earthquake swarms, and this is one of them. What is interesting about this particular swarm, is that there has been two other swarms in the general area within a week and a half. There had been one a few miles to the south, and then one southwest near Ocotillo. Salton Buttes is a series of lava domes, and it still produces enough heat, that a nearby geo-thermal plant draws hot water and steam to drive it's turbines. The USGS lists this particular volcano as a possible volcanic hazard, should it some day decide to erupt. An eruption would effect Imperial County. Because the volcano is right next to the Salton Sea, an inland body of salt water, there is a risk of a water induced explosive eruption, if a certain type of lava came into contact with the salt water. There is a lot of rhyolite and obsidian around the volcano. When molten, rhyolite is a very slow moving and viscous lava. I went down there a few months ago and collected some of these rocks, and some tuff. In this video, I show these rock samples. There's more to come too!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

California: Quake Swarm at Salton Buttes Volcano

Today we're having a swarm of micro-quakes at the Salton Buttes volcano, which is an active volcano listed by the USGS as one. It has vents that vent through thousands of feet of sediment, which creates the Salton Sea mud volcanos and mud pots. These mud pots are deeply buried volcanic vents that you can actually walk up to. Anyways, back to the micro-quakes we're having. You will see a cluster of them in the middle of this map, right on the south end of the big lake. A bit over a week ago, we experienced a similar earthquake swarm just south of that, in Imperial. And a week ago, one near Ocotillo, way to the southwest of the Salton Sea, near the US-Mexico border. All of these recent swarms are related to the rift zone that they lie in. The tectonic plates are pulling apart here, thinning the crust as they do. Someday in the far future, the part of Southern California that lies on the Pacific plate with be divided from the mainland, and water will be between these sections of California.

There is a body of magma about four miles under the Salton Buttes, and a cooling magma pipe about a mile below the Buttes. One question comes to mind, are these small quakes something do do with moving magma, or contracting magma as it cools, or are they due to moving hot water and steam? There is a hydrothermal plant next to this volcano, just like there is one next to Cerro Prieto volcano, to the South, In Mexico. This is a good question that needs to be pondered. One way of finding out some answers is to look at the shape and nature of the waveforms from a seismograph, which can be found clicking around tise USGS page. Just click on a quake, then scientific at the top of the specific earthquake page. If the waveform is fuzzy looking, and less sudden looking, it's probably not related to a crack in the rocks, but moving fluids. You can also click on a specific quake and look at the depth of the quake. If it at the same depth of the magma chamber, about 4 miles down, it may have something to so with that magma indeed!

So click below and click around the quakes, and find your own answers. Have fun!

California-Nevada Fault Map centered at 33°N,116°W

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Yet another Earthquake Swarm in Imperial County, This Time Near Octotillo.

Been still feeling these little shakes, and neighbors claiming that they sense a big shaker on the horizon, it makes me think. all that said, I'm sticking to science, and we haven't yet concluded what indeed are precursors - but, my eyes are certainly open. This group of earthquake swarms is something to think about. Consider how the three parallel fault systems exchange energy and swap quake clusters. These are the San Andreas fault, Imperial fault, San Jacinto Fault, Elsinore fault - and many more down a bit to the south of Mexicali.

Are they precursors for a larger quake, or are they relieving pressures within the main fault systems? There is still no conclusion...

Friday, December 17, 2010

Earthquakes: Easter Sunday quake may put Southern California at greater risk of future temblors -

Earthquakes: Easter Sunday quake may put Southern California at greater risk of future temblors -

Indeed, I have been jumping up and down, telling of this profound risk - since the 7.2 Easter Earthquake. Precursor quakes the day before? Let sober minded people decide.

On April 4, 2010, I experienced a 7.2 earthquake that was centered south of Mexicali. I was in San Diego, which is pretty far away, but the quake was strong and lasted about 40 seconds. Before the quake, I had been eying the area where it was centered. I had learned that it was a part of a rifting zone. In a rifting zone, the ground within the rift's trough sinks. This article shows us what may well be the further lowering of a rifting trough. Is that indeed so? Thus my constant study and research.

Here is the article:

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


On Easter Sunday, 2010, in Solana Beach, California - I awoke from a nap to a long and strong earthquake. I immediately knew that it was far and very powerful. My building make slapping noises, squeaks and rattles. I could feel a distinct back and forth motion, and some slight rotation or whatever that was. And then well into the shaking, it intensified, then it petered out! This earthquake lasted about 40 seconds. It was not the first large earthquake I have felt!

While the quake went on and on, I struggled with my i Phone, trying to get my fingers to push onto a seismogram app I have. I couldn't get the app to go, until the very last. I caught the last few seconds of some pretty large waveforms! The waveforms almost maxed out on my app. This app is called i Seismo, and is put out by Objectgraph.

Once the quake was over, I checked on the USGS recent earthquakes CA/NV page, and saw one big red square. It was centered south of Mexicali, and the night before I had been watching a 3.5 and 4.1 near the Cerro Prieto volcano. This is a cinder cone that still emits heat and steam, powering the second largest geo thermal power plant in the world! It did not surprise me that a 7.2 magnitude earthquake like that one I felt on Easter manifested in this area. We are talking about one of the few areas of technic spreading on the surface, and not under sea.

Will, immediately, I picked up my various cameras - and started documenting the events and the science around it. So I will share my adventure and the quakes I feel here.