Wednesday, August 24, 2011

When will another East Coast earthquake occur? Tsunami?

An East Coast earthquake is definitely more common than I thought that it was (see above)! So what about the potential for a tsunami to hit New York or New Jersey?

For a final look at the 5.8 magnitude Virginia earthquake, these two pictures will give you an idea of how prevalent earthquakes on and off the East Coast actually are? Not West Coast prevalent but enough to think about.

Prior to my office shaking yesterday I never really gave the potential for a trembler any serious thought, but these two graphics tell me that perhaps I should.

The picture above indicates all earthquakes that have been recorded.

The second picture is of the mid-Atlantic continental shelf located about 100 off of the coast of New York and New Jersey. It starts at 500' deep, goes to 7,000' deep and then drops to as deep as 20,000'!

Imagine for a second a severe earthquake hitting off of the coast of New York or New Jersey that caused part of the cliff to break off and go from 7,000' to the ocean floor at 20,000'.

What size could a tsunami potentially be from an event like that and what kind of damage would that do to New York City?

Just some food for thought before the Virginia earthquake conversations ends.

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