California Quakes

7.1 magnitude Earthquake hits California

On the 4th of July, a major earthquake (6.4 magnitude) struck a remote part of the Mojave Desert in Southern California; perhaps the strongest in nearly 20 years. Shockingly, the next day a bigger one hit the same area.

So it figures that the first quake did not release the entire energy that had built up and therefore a second major quake was necessitated. Here’s one opinion on the reasons for these earthquakes: The Faults That Ruptured in Twin California Quakes Are Very, Very Weird, Geologists Say.

USGS has a website that gives detailed technical information on earthquakes. This includes an interactive map, regional information and a tectonic summary which informs that the earthquake occurred as the result of shallow strike slip faulting in the crust of the North America plate. At the location of this earthquake, approximately 150 km northeast of San Andreas Fault – the major plate boundary in the region – the Pacific plate moves to the northwest with respect to the North America plate at a rate of approximately 48 mm/yr. The location of the earthquake falls within the Eastern California shear zone, a region of distributed faulting associated with motion across the Pacific:North America plate boundary, and an area of high seismic hazard. USGS has a website that gives detailed technical information on earthquakes. This includes an interactive map, regional information and a tectonic summary which informs that the earthquake occurred as the result of shallow strike slip faulting in the crust of the North America plate. Here’s the link.

Why are parts of Europe so warm now?

Do the jet streams have something to do with this? It appears that it does. Jet streams are relatively narrow bands of strong wind in the upper levels of the atmosphere. The unusual weather we see today may be due either to the crimping of the ribbon of air that controls weather systems in the Northern Hemisphere or the weakening of the jet stream, depending on who you read. The link that survives wins.

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