Tremor Near Oahu

And now for a change, some breaking news: minor earthquake just off the SE tip of Oahu, magnitude 3.6, at 02:12:33 pm local time on Thursday. Here is the USGS data.

OahuTremorLocation
Source: USGS

This was just a small earthquake, the kind that happen all the time, all over the world. It was nothing like the October 2006 Earthquake! on the Big Island that shook Kaua’i. And of course, it is overshadowed by the deadly earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand 2 days ago.

I’m not even on Kaua’i, so I can’t report on what I felt, but I don’t see anybody reporting on it. The “did you feel it” website of the USGS only shows responses from Oahu and Maui Nei:

OahuTremorDidYouFeelIt
Source: USGS

What’s particular about it, is that it is one of the closest epicenters I have seen to Kaua’i. And since seismic activity is linked to volcanism in Hawai’i, I have to wonder if there is any chance to see another volcano–I don’t think Oahu is ready for that. Kaua’i has small eruption cones near Poipu that are dated to 10,000 years ago. Nothing recent, but certainly the age of Kaua’i island when it occurred was older than Oahu island is now—so it may be possible.

I tried to find a historical map of earthquakes in Hawaii, looking for the closest to Kaua’i. This is the best I could find, only going back to 1990 and only showing larger quakes. Smaller quakes such as aftershocks of Oct 2006 that happened on Lana’i (magnitude 3’s) are not shown—from other maps on the USGS website, I think the cutoff is magnitude 5.

OahuTremorHistorical
Source: USGS

So what this is showing is that, while not unheard of, there have only been 4 significant earthquakes near Oahu over 15 years, but this recent one doesn’t count as significant.

Just because I love these USGS maps, I looked at their current California map, which is always impressive for the constant amount of activity:

OahuTremorCalifornia
Source: USGS

Whoa, a magnitude 5 in Mexico we didn’t hear about (hopefully because damage was minimal), and what’s this? An earthquake just a few miles away from me less than an hour ago (I’m temporarily living in the Bay Area):

OahuTremorBayArea
Source: USGS

Magnitude 3.4, but I can tell you for sure that we didn’t feel anything from that one.

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1 Comment   »

  1. Lisa Larkin says:

    10:06 pm hawaii time… I just felt a shaky tremor here on the N shore kauai… Kilauea.

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