Over 4000 earthquakes have occurred off the Pacific Northwest Coast

March 8th 2005


Senior Seismologist Tonight “Live” on ECTV; 4,300 Quakes and Counting

by Mitch Battros - ECTV

Senior seismologist Bill Steele will be on the ECTV ‘Radio Hour’ tonight at our regularly scheduled program from 9 PM to 10 PM (Pacific), to discuss the now over 4000 earthquakes that have occurred off the Pacific Northwest Coast.

Bill Steele has been the Seismology Lab Coordinator for the Pacific Northwest Seismograph Network (PNSN) at the University of Washington Department of Earth and Space Sciences since 1993. Mr. Steele directs the educational outreach program for the network, and serves as Public Information Officer (PIO) for both the PNSN and for many USGS earthquake-related research activities in the Pacific Northwest . Directing the expansion of the PNSN outreach program, he has worked extensively with private and public sector organizations to better address their information needs and to build coalitions to meet mutual concerns.

PNSN Website: http://www.geophys.washington.edu/SEIS/PNSN/

As always, you can count on me to ask very detailed questions as to the fast unfolding events off the Oregon, Washington, and Vancouver Island coast. A previous news release quoting Gary Rogers, a seismologist with the Geological Survey of Canada stating “two tectonic plates pulling apart”, really got my attention. Of course most of us are more familiar with tectonic plates “submerging” or sliding under one another. Or as in the case of most southern California quakes, a slide back and forth motion. But to hear of tectonic plates “pulling apart”…Wow and Yikes at the same time.

A news report filed by CBC earlier today reports: “A team of researchers from Canada, Hawaii, Oregon and Massachusetts left Seattle on Saturday to investigate.

"It's been a few years since we've had a really intense swarm like this along one of the spreading centers, but they do happen," said John Cassidy, an earthquake scientist with the Pacific Geoscience Center on southern Vancouver Island.

"If the ship does get out there on time, this will be one of the first chances to actually see what's happening as it happens."

The Sun continues to act out for some unknown reason. The Kp Index continues to indicate geomagnetic storms in progress.

Kp Chart: http://www.sec.noaa.gov/rt_plots/kp_3d.html

The GOES Electron Flux has settled down a bit, but it is far from nominal.

Electron Flux Chart: http://www.sec.noaa.gov/rt_plots/elec_3d.html

Well folks, I will take a chance tonight and introduce my thoughts of a possible solar connection to current seismic events. Now don’t be surprised if I am quickly taken to task or even shunned. But sometimes you just got to say “what the heck”, its time to make a move. As we all know, new concepts are very difficult to introduce into the scientific arena. And one had better come mightily prepared to back it up. And so I shall!!!


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März 2005

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