Recent Earthquake Activity – (World, Japan, Pacific Northwest, Belgium, Europe – Dec 1, 2012)

Portland, Oregon – Dec 1, 2012 – Just for fun: A look at this past month’s Earthquake activity in some of the regions I love. –

[Dec 7, 2012 inserted note:  For the more recent 7.3 quake off the coast of Japan, also see my blog post on that HERE.]

World

At least once a month, I take a peek at the recent earthquake activity reported by the USGS: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/map/  and (less frequently) a few others.  Here the gist for the past month:   Globally, all looks normal with the past month’s 1083 quakes of over 2.5 on the Richter Scale (300 most significant displayed – click through image for most recent).  The Pacific’s ‘Ring of Fire‘ is alive and rumbling as usual:

DATA SOURCE: USGS    http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/map/ Dec. 1, 2012 screenshot, with annotations added by me.

DATA SOURCE: USGS http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/map/
Dec. 1, 2012 screenshot, with annotations added by me.

  • A nice list of global quakes, maps and much more can also be found at the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismologyhttp://www.iris.edu/hq/

Japan

[Dec 7, 2012 inserted note:  For the more recent 7.3 quake off the coast of Japan, also see my blog post on that HERE.]

Often, I start my checking of quake activity by zooming in on Japan, just because I live downwind from those still-leaking nuclear plants.   Last month (Nov 3, 2012), I relayed the USGS info in the blog post, “15 quakes between 4.3 and 5.6 off the eastern coast of western Japan, some near Fukushima, in past 30 days.“.  I keep an extra eye on the east coast of Japan because a 7.0+, or perhaps much less than that, could possibly make the ongoing Fukushima nuclear accident much much worse than it already is.  I would like my “3 days heads-up notice” if it comes to that.

 This past month has been seismically a wee bit quieter in that general region, with 13 quakes over 4.5, and only 1 significant one (a 5.2 just 39 km SE of Iwaki) near the most troubled reactors (location marked on map between Sendai and Tokyo):

Earthquake data by USGS (click image for latest from http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/map/ ), zoomed in to part of Japan closest to J-Village.  Annotations added by me.

Earthquake data by USGS (click image for latest from http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/map/ ), zoomed in to part of Japan closest to J-Village. Annotations added by me.

Pacific Northwest

Aside from the regular (US, federal) USGS site mentioned above, this region has its own ‘Pacific Northwest Seismic Network’: http://www.pnsn.org/earthquakes/recent, which shows this past month had many tiny quakes, and an enormous (albeit normal) amount of small tremors.

Just north of Portland, Oregon, there was a 3.2 (on Nov 19, 2012 at 8 am), and earlier today a 3.3 near the California border (also reported it as a 3.5).  If you’re walking or driving, you might not even notice a 3.2, but if you’re laying still on the ground when it happens (as was the case with a 3.2 I felt the other month in Northern California), it’s already quite nice actually.  Those (up to 5.4 or so) are the fun ones.  

This past month’s quakes throughout the Pacific Northwest (Image below, inside red square – click through for more and most recent):

DATA SOURCE: http://www.pnsn.org/earthquakes/recent

DATA SOURCE: http://www.pnsn.org/earthquakes/recent  Square-marked quakes are from outside the PNSN network.  Screenshot Dec 1, 2012.

!–> Not shown are the ‘Slow Slip and Tremors, Observed and researched at the PNSN‘.  They’re too subtle to feel ‘m, but really cool to watch visually online by browsing the maps day by day, or in ‘Real Time.

Here’s a screenshot of slip & tremor observation in the past month (Nov 1 – Dec 1, 2012 –click through for more info, important notes, and most recent data):

SCreenshot of http://www.pnsn.org/tremor for past month on dec 1, 2012, showing 2536 epicenters.  Click Image to go to the data source.

Screenshot of http://www.pnsn.org/tremor for past month on dec 1, 2012, showing 2536 epicenters. Click Image to go to the data source.

The possibility of a massively destructive earthquake is on the minds of many people throughout the Cascadia Subduction zone.  A giant quake just off Southern Oregon would most likely include a tsunami which would devaste the coast of Humboldt County, CA as well (which is where I often spend time).  This article in Phys.org from last August (Northwest earthquake risk looms large’) can tell you more why:

Partial screenshot of http://phys.org/news/2012-08-year-cascadia-northwest-earthquake.htmlCLICK IMAGE for full article.

Partial screenshot of http://phys.org/news/2012-08-year-cascadia-northwest-earthquake.html
CLICK IMAGE for full article.

!–> For more information, also check out this special USGS report on ‘Earthquake Hazards of the Pacific Northwest Coastal and Marine Regions’:  http://pubs.usgs.gov/pp/pp1661f/   

Belgium

Not exactly known for earthquakes, they do happen there every now and then (mainly in eastern and southern Belgium, or in nearby Germany and southern Holland).  I include it in my overview here just because I love where I grew up.

–> The place to look is the seismology section of the Royal Observatory of Belgium (http://seismologie.oma.be/index.php).  Here’s a screenshot of seismic activity in the past 6 months (prior to Dec 1, 2012 – click through image for more, most recent, and historical data):

Also in Dutch, French or German, the Seismology Section of the Royal Observatory of Belgium shows the activity in and around Belgium for the past 6 months.  All quakes in the past half year were less than 2.0 on the Richter scale.  Click on image for most recent and more information.

Also in Dutch, French or German, the Seismology Section of the Royal Observatory of Belgium shows the activity in and around Belgium for the past 6 months. All quakes in the past half year were less than 2.0 on the Richter scale. Click on image for most recent and more information.  Screenshot Dec 1, 2012.

EUROPE regional:

For earthquakes in Europe and surroundings, see the European-Mediteranean Seismology Centre (EMSC-CSEM)http://www.emsc-csem.org/#2, of which the following image is an early Dec 2, 2012 screenshot, showing 88 quakes in the past 24 hours (1477 in the past 2 weeks) – click image for more details:

CLICK IMAGE for SOURCE:  http://www.emsc-csem.org/#2

CLICK IMAGE for SOURCE: http://www.emsc-csem.org/#2

Additional information can be found at these International Centers:

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