DJTeddyBear
DJTeddyBear
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August 23rd, 2011 at 12:55:35 PM permalink
Ya know what? Earthquakes are a LOT more common than the average person would believe.

This US Geological Service Latest Earthquakes in the World web page is kept up to date and lists the earthquakes in the last 7 days. It's a LONG list.

The first thing it shows is that there was an after-shock, 2.8 magnitude, near the first quake, but very near the surface.

[edit] Make that the second thing. A quake in the south Pacific was recorded while I was writing the above post.
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FleaStiff
FleaStiff
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August 23rd, 2011 at 1:05:57 PM permalink
The New Madrid, Tennessee earthquake rang church bells in Boston so effects can be felt far away.
Nareed
Nareed
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August 23rd, 2011 at 1:09:00 PM permalink
Quote: DJTeddyBear

Ya know what? Earthquakes are a LOT more common than the average person would believe.



Of course. But most are so light you don't notice them without instruments.

Quote:

The first thing it shows is that there was an after-shock, 2.8 magnitude, near the first quake, but very near the surface.



As someone on a first name basis with seismic activity, let me be the first to tell you that anything under 4.0 is beneath contempt :P
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thecesspit
thecesspit
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August 23rd, 2011 at 1:09:00 PM permalink
I know it can depend on the sub surface rocks... how well the geology transfers the energy out to the surroundings.
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pacomartin
pacomartin
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August 23rd, 2011 at 1:22:56 PM permalink
Quote: Doc

To follow up on my earlier comment, I am 500 or 600 miles from NYC as the crow flies. Do folks who are that far apart from each other typically feel movement from the same quake? My only experience has been with quakes that are only "felt" very close to the center, within maybe 100 miles, with the more distant detection requiring instrumentation. What is typical for something of this scale?



Because the earthquake was shallow, and the east coast is not interrupted by mountain ranges, this earthquake was felt a long way. Much further than your typical West Coast earthquake.

Virginia has not had an earthquake of this magnitude in 100 years, and this one is 150 miles closer to the ocean than the one last century. It is very unusual to say the least. The last earthquake of this magnitude in VA was in 1897, which is very close in time to the mega earthquake in New Madrid MO in 1895.

Admittedly the reaction was probably a bit much, but people are not as jaded as they are on the West Coast. A lot of people assumed terrorist attacks.


Similarly if you look at damage contours from two earthquakes of similar magnitude, a repeat of the New Madrid earthquake from the 19th century would be far more expensive and cost more lives. The rivers would flood (a problem not expected in Southern California).


USGS estimates that a repeat of the New Madrid earthquake would be, far and away, the most expensive earthquake in US history.
toastcmu
toastcmu
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August 23rd, 2011 at 4:03:20 PM permalink
I was working in my office in Alexandria, Va (on the 6th floor) when it hit today - at first I was like, what is that? It took me about halfway through it to realize what it was, and that point, everything was moving side to side in my office - to me the most disconcerting feeling was the fact that I could feel the floor pulsating like a sine wave at the same time. Being so close to the Federal Courthouse, I had to make sure it wasn't terrorism or something at first, but all of us were - "was that an Earthquake?"

No damage, but commuting home sucked royally today. I waited at work an extra 90 mins before even trying to get home.

-B
avargov
avargov
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August 23rd, 2011 at 4:11:26 PM permalink
I thought the New Madrid quakes were in 1811-12. Was there another smaller quake there in 1895?

Edit: I guess there was, but compared to the big ones there, 6.6 is nothing.
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Nareed
Nareed
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August 23rd, 2011 at 4:50:15 PM permalink
The East Coast is made of more solid, contiguous rocks. That means there are far fewer faults than in more active areas. And that means there are no break lines to check an earthquake's spread. So any quakes in the east are felt farther and stronger than they are in the west. On the other hand quakes are far less frequent in the east.

I just though up a forest analogy, but I'm at work and should pretend to be working :P
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AZDuffman
AZDuffman
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August 23rd, 2011 at 5:52:29 PM permalink
I have now been in 2 east coast earthquakes in 2 years or so and felt neither, though others with me did.

So today I could not come back to work from lunch because as I did there was a fire evacuation when someone burned their lunch in a toaster oven.

An hour later the county workers said, "we have to evacuate, there was an earthquake or something." I was like WTF, are you kidding around?


I will leave it to some of the better stat people as to the odds of having your building evacuated twice in the same day for different reasons.
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Toes14
Toes14
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August 23rd, 2011 at 8:23:53 PM permalink
Best tweet of the day related to the Earthquake - "As all of Washington, DC leaves work at the same time, the US experiences a brief economic recovery"!
"Bite my Glorious Golden Ass!" - Bender Bending Rodriguez

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