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Minor Quake Off Oregon Coast Rattles Only Sensors, No Tsunami Alert Issued

Published 07/12/2017 at 4:34 AM PDT - Updated 07/12/2017 at 5:14 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Minor Quake Off Oregon Coast Rattles Only Sensors, No Tsunami Alert

(Oregon Coast) – A small but slightly startling magnitude 4.1 quake hit offshore from the Oregon coast Tuesday at 7:14 p.m. There are no reports of it being felt and no tsunami alert was issued.

The USGS said it takes a 7.0 quake to create a tsunami.

It occurred about 250 miles west of Coos Bay, and just under 300 miles west of Corvallis. It was at a depth of 10 km, or about 6.2 miles.

You can keep up with Pacific ocean earthquakes in the Northwest and west coast with the Live Earthquake, Tsunami Updates from Oregon Coast, Washington. B.C., California, Alaska section.

The area in which the quake occurred is part of a section of seismic faults about 300 miles off the Oregon coast, at the edge of the Juan de Fuca plate. It was in the Blanco Fracture, which is connected to the larger Juan de Fuca fracture. This is the volcanic hot spot known as the Cascadia Subduction Zone, where the Juan de Fuca plate is slowly separating from the Pacific Plate, causing small quakes to happen with regularity.

This is not unusual for this region. It is, however, expected to one day release a massive earthquake along the Oregon coast and result in a major tsunami. For now, these quakes – including small clusters of them – happen numerous times a year.

According to USGS stats, this section of the Oregon coast has had about five small quakes since the beginning of the year, and it averages about 20 per year.

Near the beginning of the month, a sizable magnitude 5.8 earthquake hit western Montana about 12:30 a.m. No damage was reported but it was felt hundreds of miles away, including as close as Spokane, Washington. It was centered about five miles southeast of Lincoln, Montana.

Social media lit up, even on the Oregon coast, with some wondering if it might trigger a tsunami alert. There was never any possibility of that.

This quake has some scientists looking at the area more closely, however, with a few hoping it's not a sign the dormant super volcano beneath Yellowstone National Park is flickering back to life. If that erupts in full force it would wipe out most of the western U.S.

See how that doomsday volcano is related to the Oregon coast.


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