Earth Day 2020

Speaking of the earth housing us, Happy Earth Day.

I always forget about earth day. It surprises me that I do because I am fascinated with earthquakes, and I have always loved geography and terrain.

I think the main benefactor of the nasty virus is our Earth and atmosphere. Perhaps as we study this virus and others to come, we can incorporate some of the things learned through lockdown to start healing the planet.

Can you imagine what it would be like if Earth got seriously mad at us and started shaking hard in multiple locations. I love earthquakes, but no thank you. I do not want to be around when Earth gets fed up. I love wind also, but please no hurricanes or tornadoes.

Before heading to the lake yesterday, I found a free eight-hour online Earthquake course. I hope to start the course by next week if not sooner. You know, you think you know everything there is to know and then something that you did not know reveals itself and you scratch your head.

I researched the Tahoe-Truckee-Reno area for six years before moving here, and I had no idea of its earthquake potential. I had three reasons I did not want to move back from Southern California to the Phoenix desert. 1) I was losing my cooler weather. 2) No more earthquakes. 3) My skating path and all my fun would be over.

All that happened. And can you imagine losing earthquakes as being one of the reasons you do not want to move? My dad did not call me his Space Cadet for nothing, folks.

So, to not know what I know now is just odd.

There is the San Andreas fault, which is considered the most dangerous fault in North America. One end of the line is just east of Los Angeles, and the San Andreas has not really gone off for a while. There is a report that it is jammed north of Los Angeles and that these confined energies are possibly being released into other earthquake zones.

The San Andreas fault is west of the Sierra Nevada. East of the Sierra Nevada from north of Reno to Death Valley is an area they are calling Walker Lane. Walker Lane is a large zone of non-continuous faults. I am sitting just west of the Walker Lane path.

The areas that have been active of late are Southern California, the Walker Lane north (Carson City) and south (Mohave Desert), and Salt Lake City. It makes sense to me that the San Andreas is kinked up and neighboring fault areas are adjusting to that pressure.

I follow two earthquake Twitter feeds. LA Earthquakes and Nevada Earthquakes. My mom called me last week wondering why I had not called her about the earthquake. I did not know what she was talking about. Her friend said it was at a lake.

I went out to Twitter and I found that Mono Lake, California, had a magnitude 5.4 quake. Mono Lake is toward the north end of the Walker Lane zone. There have been constant swarms at Mono Lake since the initial quake. Mono Lake is 100 miles from me, but it was reported that some in the Carson Valley felt that shaker.

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What I find most interesting is how Carson City has had small 1.7 quakes during the swarms. It seems the Carson City (scattered) Fault needs to relieve a little pressure after a certain number of Mono Lake aftershocks. It was a fun pattern to notice.

There are two models in play for what will happen with this earth based on earthquake activity, past, present, and future. We will never see it because the models are 15 million years in the making.

They are still interesting to imagine. The San Andreas model shows L.A. and the Baja Peninsula broken off from the mainland and it makes its way north to San Francisco. That is kind of scary, and it is all too close for comfort. The second model is the Baja expanding the ocean to the doorstep of Reno, putting me right in the new ocean. I need to bury something here in the event it pops up 15 million years from now like a dinosaur find.

So, I put myself back into an earthquake zone without even realizing I was doing so. The online course should be interesting. As for the earthquakes, I do not want to be sitting at the epicenter of a magnitude 7 quake, but I am mentally prepared for it if it happens. I do hope a large quake does not come at this time because of my cats. They were desert dwellers. They do not get this shaking thing.

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