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WOW! - Strong Earthquake in the Gulf of Mexico

  1. Sep 10, 2006 #1


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    WOW! - a strong earthquake in the Gulf of Mexico! That is rather rare!

    6.0 (Strong) - http://earthquake.usgs.gov/eqcenter/recenteqsww/Quakes/usslav.php
    Sunday, September 10, 2006 at 14:56:07 (UTC) = Coordinated Universal Time
    Sunday, September 10, 2006 at 8:56:07 AM = local time at epicenter

    Location: 26.327°N, 86.571°W
    Depth: 10 km (6.2 miles) - shallow enough to cause concern for tsunamis if the earthquake magnitude was in the 7+ range.

    403 km (250 miles) WSW (251°) from Anna Maria, FL
    404 km (251 miles) WSW (252°) from Holmes Beach, FL
    404 km (251 miles) WSW (253°) from Bradenton Beach, FL
    419 km (260 miles) WSW (245°) from Clearwater, FL
    530 km (330 miles) SE (139°) from New Orleans, LA
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 10, 2006 #2

    Bah, wimps. Thats not a strong quake. *lacking appropriate 'skeptic' smiley here.....*

    edit: Rare, but hardly unprecedented. Even Missouri has had a few major ones over the eons.
  4. Sep 10, 2006 #3


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    Yeah, it was wimpy, but because of the rarity it can be noted.

    In guam we had some bad earthquakes in the past.
  5. Sep 11, 2006 #4


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    'Strong' is the term USGS uses in its scale (6.0-6.99). It's not significant out at sea. It would have been significant if it had been a populated area, or if it had been large enough, e.g. mag 8 to cause tsunami. People along the coast probably would not receive warnings to evacuate places like Tampa, Mobile, and other coastal cities.

    It is wimpy, but one that size is exceedingly rare in the Gulf, and there is no fault lines, or at least not discovered, there. Plus the fact that it was relatively shallow.

    From an AP article -
    Interesting to see if this is a one time event, or if seismic activity will be developing in the area.
  6. Sep 11, 2006 #5


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    I guess it's already not a one time event, since another happened in February.

    I don't really know much about plate tectonics and earthquakes...could this have anything to do with the earthquakes in the Pacific (or somewhere else) that did occur along fault lines? I'm thinking something like a rumbling along the plate as a consequence of shifted edges? Like, if you take a sheet of metal and push one side in and hold the others fixed, the middle pops up or down to accomodate the shift at the edge.

    As if the Gulf coast doesn't have enough trouble with hurricane storm surges, now they have to start worrying about the possibility of tsunamis if this continues to occur?! I think I'm going to stake out my future beach front property in Arkansas before the prices go up. :biggrin:
  7. Sep 11, 2006 #6


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    By one time event, I was referring to Mag 6. The other was a mag 5.2, but I don't know exactly where, or how deep.

    The earthquakes on the 'Ring of Fire' (various tectonic intersections and subduction zones) are pretty regular, and the one in the Gulf is pretty isolated. I suppose there will be some investigation, especially if there is another similar or stronger earthquake.

    There are small (2-4 mag) earthquakes around Puerto Rico all the time - essentially daily. There are small earthquakes in the US (48 continguous states) periodically, but it's rare to see a mag 6 or greater in the US. They are likely on the San Andreas fault, Pacific NW, Hawaii and Alaska, but still uncommon.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2006
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