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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

Two new COVID-19 cases reported in Interior Health

The total number of Interior Health cases since the beginning of the pandemic is now at 522

West Kootenay mother searching for son missing since Sept. 1

Police are investigating the disappearance of Cory Westcott

Students/staff evacuate Rossland Summit School due to smell of smoke

SD20 says students in different learning groups didn’t come in contact with each other in evacuation

Man whose crime spree began in Nelson pleads guilty in death of female passenger

Anthony Cortez scheduled to be sentenced for 2017 incidents

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

2 British Columbians arrested, 3 at large in massive Alberta drug bust

Eight people are facing 33 charges in what police have dubbed Project Incumbent

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Trudeau ‘disappointed’ by RCMP treatment of Sikh officers over mask issue

World Sikh Organization of Canada said taking Sikh officers off the front lines constitutes discrimination

Liberals reach deal with NDP on COVID-19 aid bill, likely averting election

NDP and the Liberals have reached an agreement on COVID-19 sick-leave

Most Read