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 March 12.

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

Family of Chilliwack pilot killed in Honduras trying to ‘piece together’ tragedy

Patrick Forseth has a number of friends in the area and was loved by everyone

VIDEO: Scorpion found in B.C. woman’s kitchen finds new home in Victoria

The Victoria Bug Zoo welcomed the scorpion on Saturday

Islander reaches Everest summit

Clayton Matthews’ team got to the top of the world last week

Proctor family brought back to ‘emotional state’ as her killer applies for day parole

Family member says life is a ‘roller coaster’ since Langford teen’s murder

Robert Barron column: Respect needed for 911 program

The dispatcher said she would send a police unit to my home

Rescuers finally persuade Eiffel Tower climber to come down

The official said the man was ‘under control and out of danger’ on Monday night

Justin Trudeau credits immigration for Canada’s growing tech sector

Trudeau stressed that Canada has become a major source of talent for tech all over the world

Feds launch tourism strategy designed to boost sector 25 per cent by 2025

The fund is supposed to back experiences that show off Canada’s strengths

Woman charged in Saanichton stabbing

One man treated for injuries, released from hospital following Friday assault

Florida woman celebrated as eight millionth passenger to Victoria’s cruise ship terminal

Greater Victoria Harbour Authority marks the occasion with Lekwungen Dancers, gifts, tours

Mamma Mia! poised to be biggest Chemainus Theatre show ever

Plenty of buzz as Island dinner theatre schedules ABBA-fueled romp

New book from Island author details social history of the E&N railway

Along the E&N tells the story of 32 establishments from Esquimalt to Campbell River.

Canadian Music Hall of Famer Steven Page to play Parksville

Barenaked Ladies co-founder performs at Knox United Church on June 1

Most Read