At least 200 tiny tremors hit between Victoria and Seattle on March 12. (@earthquakeguy/Twitter)

200 tremors recorded near Vancouver Island due to ‘tectonic dance’

The tremors were not felt but provide useful information to scientists

At least 200 tiny tremors were noted — not felt — between Victoria and Seattle on Tuesday.

According to John Cassidy, earthquake seismologist for Natural Resources Canada, the noted tremors are not earthquakes but shaking ground that can easily be recorded and monitored.

“[The wave recordings] look kind of like a windstorm coming in, things start to shake gradually, then they shake off a little more and then it rolls off slowly,” Cassidy explained.

RELATED: ‘Earthquake swarm’ strikes off Vancouver Island for past four days

Typically, Vancouver Island moves towards the Lower Mainland at a rate of approximately one centimetre per year but every 15 months or so, a ‘slip’ is recorded. First discovered by two local scientists, Gary Rogers and Herb Dragert, a tremor and slip event is when the Island ‘slips’ back a few millimetres into the ocean.

“In this region where we see tremors, [the plates] are actually going back and forth like a tectonic dance that Vancouver Island does every 14 or 15 months,” Cassidy noted.

Episodic tremor and slip is a very small, slow slip that occurs more frequently than the massive, sudden shifts that characterize a bigger earthquake. By tracking the number of tremors over a period of days scientists are able to tell if an episodic tremor and slip is occurring. This helps them understand the subduction fault beneath the earth including where it’s locked in place and where it’s storing energy aiding in what to expect during future earthquakes.

RELATED: More than 150 tremors hit Vancouver Island in the past 24 hours

“We know from earthquakes around the world that awareness and preparedness make a huge difference in minimizing the impact of earthquakes,” Cassidy said. “Getting under a table, holding on, being away from windows that might break or chimneys that might collapse.”

Cassidy added there is no need for panic but said these tremors are good reminders about the rock that we live on.

“This is an earthquake zone and earthquakes occur here on a regular basis, but larger earthquakes have occurred here and will occur in the future,” Cassidy said.



kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Former Maple Ridge resident in Sonic Boom Music Fest

Aaron Graham will be featured at the upcoming Sonic Boom Music Festival

UPDATE: Styrofoam melting machine the cause of Saturday’s fire in Pitt Meadows

Fire spread quickly to surrounding Styrofoam and lumber

Looking Back: Books and haircuts

What do they have in common?

Bees facing high mortality after long, hard winter

Some Pitt Meadows beekeepers seeing half of their hives die

Pitt Meadows hits record high

Environment Canada put Pitt Meadows at 19 C

VIDEO: RCMP ask kids to help name soon-to-be police dogs

13 German shepherd puppies will be born this year

NDP’s Jagmeet Singh steps into the House of Commons, making history

Burnaby South MP becomes first visible minority to lead a federal party in the House of Commons

Chilliwack grad says modest dress codes don’t protect girls from assault

Sardis alumni was ‘catcalled, harassed, and groped by my male classmates’ despite modest clothing

One of the biggest cow shows in Canada is coming back to the ‘Wack

Prize money of $240,000 is on offer at the spring Holstein show Friday at Chilliwack Heritage Park

‘Considerably large’ tractor tire fell and killed 3-year-old girl on B.C. farm

Delta’s deputy fire chief said crews tried to helicopter girl out after a tractor tire leaning against a barn fell onto her

VIDEO: Race and sport examined at new We Are Hockey exhibit in Abbotsford

UFV SASI hosting exhibit looking at hockey history and race

Nearly 40% of British Columbians not taking their medications correctly: poll

Introduction of legal cannabis could cause more issues for drug interactions

Mining company fined $70,000 after two workers killed in B.C. truck crash

Broda Construction pleaded guilty to failing to provide safe workplace at Cranbrook rock quarry

B.C. argues it cannot stop Trans Mountain, but it can protect environment

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says only Ottawa has the authority to decide what goes in trans-boundary pipelines

Most Read