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Old 01-30-2012, 06:04 PM
 
Location: Near L.A.
4,115 posts, read 8,306,179 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BayAreaHillbilly View Post
I think about earthquakes and plan for the inevitable.

Now, if I lived in St. Louis, I would dread earthquakes.

Granted, New Madrid does not misbehave as often as our youthful upstarts out here, but when it does ... I would not want to be anywhere near there. Talk about being unprepared.
Yeah, I think this applies to a stretch from about the Quad Cities of Iowa and Illinois to Vicksburg, Mississippi, and from Columbia, Missouri to Lexington, Kentucky. This is a huge chunk of real estate that would realize billions of dollars of damage and a colossal loss of life were the New Madrid Fault to pull another 1811-12. The earthquake preparation and retrofitting just isn't there. I imagine cities such as St. Louis, Memphis, Louisville, and Nashville, and smaller cities like the Quad Cities, Evansville, Terre Haute, Lexington, Jackson (TN), Clarksville (TN), Springfield (IL), and Jonesboro (AR) would all suffer significant damage. The oil is more clay and/or sand based in those areas, especially sandy and sedimentary in river cities, so the impact of earthquake waves would be much broader and travel much further than even a 7.8-8 in California, more than likely.

You know, I was born and partially raised in Western Kentucky, the very heart of the New Madrid Fault Zone. In fact, it was in extreme WKY and West Tennessee where Reelfoot Lake was created in 1811-12. Why? It's the former body of the Mississippi River in that area. A series of 8-9 magnitude quakes struck the area over the course of 4-5 months. During one of those quakes (I believe the initial in 1811), the Mississippi River not only flowed backward for three days, it carved a new bed for itself in many areas. As a result, what is now Reelfoot was created as the Mississippi took a new life of its own; since there is no downriver current there, you can see plenty of cypress trees growing and imagine how deep their roots go.

Can anybody tell me about a sudden, drastic and immediate natural creation as a result of ONE earthquake in California? I have yet to find any as dramatic as Reelfoot.

A 5.3 struck in the Wabash Valley Fault Zone in Southern Illinois which is to the New Madrid what the Hayward is to the San Andreas, an auxiliary fault that is arguably as or more active. It was felt as far away as Washington, DC, Wisconsin, and Central Mississippi; brick facades crumbled on some old buildings in Louisville. Louisville is some 180 miles from the epicenter. 14 WFIE in Evansville, IN broadcasted the quake live and it looked more violent than a 5.3. Just imagine what would happen if a 7, 8, or 9 hit.

By the way, yes, I did think about earthquakes as a kid. I have a beloved grandmother and many relatives still in WKY, so I think about what would happen if a quake struck there. Given the more rock-based and generally less sedimentary nature of the soil in most areas in California, I'd actually rather be in an earthquake here than there.

Last edited by EclecticEars; 01-30-2012 at 06:30 PM..
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Old 01-30-2012, 06:31 PM
 
Location: California Mountains
1,448 posts, read 2,281,068 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mstnghu2 View Post
I'm curious as to where you lived. I almost never give any thought to earthquakes. The last earthquake I remember feeling was a small one back in either late '07 or '08 while I was out to eat one evening. It's very rare to feel earthquakes and I live right in the middle of earthquake country.
We lived/live everywhere in OC since 1950. The two occasions that stopped my routines were the 6.0 Whittier in 1987 (we lived 13 miles away at the time, everything in the house was shaking very hard including the bed I was sleeping on) and the 6.7 Reseda/Northridge in 1994 (I was in the car 50 miles away when I felt the strong shake. I thought something was wrong with the engine, pulled into a gas station, got out. Someone said it was an earthquake, a big one. I sped home, ignoring all traffic rules to check on the children. Cell phones were not popular back then.)

Anything less than 5.9 would not even register in my mind.

Last edited by Ol' Wanderer; 01-30-2012 at 06:40 PM..
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Old 02-02-2012, 10:15 PM
 
Location: San Francisco
434 posts, read 735,976 times
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For information on Bay Area earthquakes, I suggest downloading the free Google Earth program (if you don't already have it) and then picking off some of the files at this USGS web page:

Google Earth/KML Files

Liquefaction susceptibility, a tour of the Hayward fault; it's all here. Very valuable.
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Old 02-03-2012, 05:33 PM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
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It happens so rarely around here, that I always forget we have earthquakes.
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Old 02-05-2012, 12:04 PM
 
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The Loma Prieta earthquake freaked the hell out of me as a kid! I didn't want to go to sleep that night. The only time I think about earthquakes is when I'm crossing freeway overpasses (Los Angeles has a ton of them).


Los Angeles Earthquake - YouTube
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Old 02-06-2012, 09:23 PM
 
2,878 posts, read 8,112,899 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mstnghu2 View Post
I'm curious as to where you lived. I almost never give any thought to earthquakes. The last earthquake I remember feeling was a small one back in either late '07 or '08 while I was out to eat one evening. It's very rare to feel earthquakes and I live right in the middle of [i]earthquake country[/I].

Anyways, major earthquakes that cause significant damage are few and far between. I'd be much more afraid to live where there are hurricanes and tornadoes. Those storms cause more damage each year and loss of life than earthquakes here do. I'm more worried about getting in a car accident on a daily basis than being in an earthquake.
I agree with your second paragraph, but the comment in the first one about rarely feeling a quake, in earthquake country, really caught my attention!

I am in the Imperial Valley (on the Mexican border, east of San Diego and South of Palm Spings). This area is to Southern California is what Parkfield is to Central CA. We regularly (on an approximately 20 year basis) have recurring 6.0 or greater quakes on different faults in the area. During the "down" years, we regularly have smaller tremors and swarms. Every couple of years we have a 5. Earthquakes are definatly a noticeable way of life here...however I understand your sentiment, only because SF hasn't been as active as it should be or historically has been. You said it well, you are in earthquake country... but if you aren't feeling regular, minor quakes, the writing is on the wall. I think a lot of people in CA can relate to your comment, but I think it makes a good point about how most of the state is prone to large, somewhat infrequent quakes. Other areas have more regular quake activity, almost like clockwork.

I have been woken up many times by quakes....but only "scared" by two. I have felt countless "thuds" or bumps. I think most people in my area feel several one or two jolt temblors a year when at rest. Most of them are not scary...people do get used to them here and we just have a sense of awarenss and respect for them.

I see a very blase attitude by people who rarely experience quakes in CA in general...and when people comment on here that they don't notice quakes or feel an adrenaline rush from them when they do, I assume they must be very faaaar from the faults or epicenters or in an area that is in a seismic lull, which describes most of coastal CA. When you live near an area that generates frequent tremors, they command a certain amount of attention. But again, it isn't fear per se, rather awareness and acknowledgement. The areas with the most frequent quakes in CA also are the least populated...

I think everyone who has had the experience of only "noticing" one or two quakes over a life time should be aware that they probably have lucked out, especially in the Bay Area. The seismic lull from previous large quakes is fading and the region is entering a new phase for more frequent activity. We can't do anything about that, but hopefully people can evolve their thinking and realize the past 50 years won't necessarily be indicative of what the future will hold.
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Old 02-06-2012, 10:06 PM
 
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The only time I think of an earthquake is when I'm driving on the bay bridge.

Last edited by irishman_irl; 02-06-2012 at 10:33 PM..
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Old 02-06-2012, 10:21 PM
 
12,308 posts, read 14,400,432 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by just_wandering View Post
The only time I think about earthquakes is when I'm crossing freeway overpasses (Los Angeles has a ton of them).
Me toooo... and bridges.
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Old 02-07-2012, 12:02 AM
 
Location: California Mountains
1,448 posts, read 2,281,068 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chelito23 View Post
I think everyone who has had the experience of only "noticing" one or two quakes over a life time should be aware that they probably have lucked out, especially in the Bay Area. The seismic lull from previous large quakes is fading and the region is entering a new phase for more frequent activity. We can't do anything about that, but hopefully people can evolve their thinking and realize the past 50 years won't necessarily be indicative of what the future will hold.
I believe that not many Californians can forget that we live in an earthquake country. However, "noticing" earthquakes does not mean we must have them at the front of our minds and allow them to affect our way of life.

During my lifetime living in CA, I have noticed hundreds of small earthquakes but I was aware that among the big ones, only two had disrupted my routines. I noticed them the same way I noticed accidents on the freeways. Do I think about accidents every time I get in the car? No, I do not. I drive defensively and trust that my number is not going to be called early, and leave it at that. Do I think about earthquakes every time the ground below me shifts? No, I do not. It is a part of life in CA, and I am actually glad that there are so many small releases that they do not register in my mind anymore. The more small releases happen, the less I worry about a big one.

I spent a few years in tornado and hurricane states, and life in those states is not the same as life in earthquake state. People in other states talk about tornadoes and hurricanes all the time because unlike earthquakes, tornadoes and hurricanes arrive like clockwork. There is football season, there is hurricane season, and there is tornado season. People prepare for tornadoes and hurricanes every year, but the preparation only helps to ease their minds about water, food, and medical supplies. It does not stop a tornado or slow down a hurricane.

We do not have that annual event in CA, thus earthquakes do not live in our minds. We "notice" them, but we have the choice of not acknowledging them with our daily breath.

Last edited by Ol' Wanderer; 02-07-2012 at 12:25 AM..
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Old 02-07-2012, 06:28 PM
 
2,878 posts, read 8,112,899 times
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Good points! I think being aware is one thing and noticing is another. But you are right, no one goes around worrying on a regular basis at all.
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