Thu, Sep 30 2004 12:35
Yes, that was another Earthquake
One of the things about living in California that you have to get used to is the ground moving. You see I live on the North American plate along with San Francisco and Steve Lai [and I think Steven Banks up in Seattle is on my plate as well]. Roger Otterson down in San Diego lives on the Pacific plate. If we both live long enough, Los Angeles will slip and be a suburb of San Francisco. Where in live in Fresno [you know the David Spade commercial.. NO, FresNO], we are pretty clear of the plates and earthquake faults so what normally happens is someone who is sitting will feel the quake, someone who is standing will not. Half of the office will go “Did you feel that?”, the other half of the office goes “Feel what?” So one of the ways that I can quickly confirm that it was indeed an earthquake and not a large truck rumbling by is a web site that tracks earthquake activitiy. Within about 3 minutes or so, the earthquake will pop up on the image in a nice big RED box. So far we had one on Tuesday in Parkfield, one yesterday morning also in Parkfield, one yesterday afternoon near Bakerfield, and the one that just hit about 11:55 a.m.
The funny thing about this earthquake is that a guy in the office was on IM to a client in Coalinga which is to the south of us and close to Parkfield. The person he was IMing wrote... “whoa... another strong earthquake” and Ken at first was thinking “what earthquake?” when it hit. Obviously the speed of the IM transmission was faster than the speed of the earthquake arriving in Fresno.
What's interesting on that map is how many earthquakes we have in California on a regular basis. If you look, every day there's a micro one occurring all over the place. Our earth is “humming” all the time with little movement and it's just a normal event. If the two plates that meet in California just naturally slipped, we probably wouldn't notice a thing. But sometimes the plates get “stuck” and then pent up energy is released when finally the one side “jumps” by the other side. I've travelled to Hollister, and San Juan Batista and a couple of other places where you can really see the San Andreas Fault literally “slipping”, there's obvious breaks in canals or other man made objects that really showcase the power of mother nature.
There's more stuff on Earthquakes at the PBS site. I'm really into history and if you have time you can check out the historial reports of the infamous San Francisco 1906 earthquake and even review photos online. The San Francisco Musuem has a virtual online musuem as well.
Mind you that it's not great to be living a city that shakes and moves THAT much, so I'm glad I live in Fresno where we go, “was that an earthquake?”
[we now return you to your regularly scheduled SBS blog]
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