February 4, 2012 – Very Rare 5.7 Magnitude Earthquake Struck near Vancouver, Canada Less Than Two Hours Ago: The zone between two plates sliding horizontally past one another is called a transform-fault boundary, or simply a transform boundary. These large faults connect two spreading centers. They commonly offset the active spreading ridges and produce zigzag plate margins. However, a few occur on land, for example the San Andreas Fault zone in California. This transform fault connects the East Pacific Rise, a divergent boundary to the south, with the South Gorda — Juan de Fuca — Explorer Ridge, another divergent boundary to the north.
The picture at the very top of the post shows the location of today’s 5.7 quake. The picture above (from the USGS) shows the complex plate faults along the western portion of North America. The tremor hit at 3:05PM in New York, 2:05PM in Chicago, 1:05PM in Denver and 12:05PM in Vancouver, Seattle, Portland and Los Angeles. It occurred 105 miles west of Ucluelet, British Columbia, Canada; 128 miles south of Port Hardy, B.C.; 142 miles WSW of Campbell River, B.C. and 209 miles west of Victoria, B.C., Canada.
In the very south, we have a series of strike/slip and spreading zones in Baja California (the Sea of Cortez). This leads to the infamous San Andreas Fault that runs through California and off the coast, forming the Mendocino Fracture Zone.
Off the coast of Washington, Oregon and British Columbia, Canada; we have a complex series of spread and strike/slip faults. The Explorer Ridge, Juan de Fuca Ridge and Blanco Fracture zone are part of this fault system. Very close to the coast is the Subduction Zone, where very powerful earthquake may occur. Today’s quake occurred along that subduction zone. This is important because all around the Pacific Ring of Fire, extremely large quakes have occurred except along the subduction zone where today’s quake hit. This may portend a very powerful event to come. Any large event on this subduction zone would provide practically no notice at all of a killer tsunami because it is so close to land. The death toll and damages from such an event would truly be biblical in scope.
The Master of Disaster