Seismo-Watch

Special Earthquake Report No: 00-009

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WEST OF EUREKA, NORTHERN CALIFORNIA

ML 4.2 (NCSN)

Mw 4.5 (UC Berkeley)

00/09/22
10:50:27 (3:50 a.m. local time)
40.86N
124.45W
12.4 km (5.8 miles)
C

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Eureka, California, September 22, 2000 (Seismo-Watch) -- Preliminary data indicates that an earthquake registering M4.5 occurred off the Northern California coast west of Eureka.
 
The earthquake occurred at 10:50 UTC or 3:50 a.m. PDT about 16 miles west of Eureka in the Pacific Ocean. The focal point was placed at 12.4 km beneath the surface and the preliminary fault plane solution from the U.C. Berkeley suggested pure strike-slip motion along either a northwest or northeast trending plane. There have been no aftershocks at this time.
 
The quake occurred close to a prominent northeast trending seismic belt within the Gorda microtectonic plate which has produced several significant temblors in the past, including the powerful M7.3 earthquake on November 8, 1980. That temblor injured six and caused nearly $2 million in damages (1980 dollars). It does not appear to have occurred along the Cascadia megathrust, the fault by which the Gorda plate is being forced under the the North American plate.
 
Perhaps because of the early morning hour of the quake, there have been no felt reports from the region at this time. It is unlikely to have caused any damage and probably was not strong enough to knock light items from tables of shelves.
 
Earthquake activity on the California North Coast has been relatively quiet in past weeks. It is usually the site of a couple-three to a dozen or two events per week, however, for the past few weeks and since a M4.1 temblor on August 13, seismicity has dropped to a crawl. In fact, this was the only event recorded in the region in the past few days.
 
 

Sources: USGS, UCB, personal communications.

Update: 8:00 a.m., September 22, 2000.

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Subtract 8 hours from Greenwich Mean Time to obtain PST or 4 hours for EDT
Location Quality: A (good), B (fair), C (poor), D (bad)
Magnitude: Ml (local or Richter magnitude), Lg (mblg), Md (duration), Mb (body wave), Ms (surface wave), Mw (moment)

Standard Sources Include:
U.S. Geological Survey, National Earthquake Information Center, Golden, CO (NEIC)
Harvard Geophysical Observatory, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA (HRV)
U.S. Geological Survey, Northern California Seismic Network (NCSN)
University of California, Berkeley, Seismological Laboratory (UCBSL)
Southern California Seismic Network (USGS & Caltech), Pasadena, California (SCSN)
California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California (Caltech)
various wire reports and/or personal communications

All data are preliminary and subject to change.
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