Saturday, April 30, 2011

It's a Temblor

Not a tremblor.  

 Arizona roadcut reveals fault lines, taken on the fly (we're not stopping).
More drive-by photography.  I find fault lines to be deeply interesting...imagine the force of movement the earth must have made when creating these shifts.

Temblor is from the Spanish word 'Temblar', to shake.  It means exactly what we think it means, and it comes from the Latin:  tremulus, to shake.  Since California is a hotbed of shaking, and California once belonged to the Spanish, it makes some sense to me that we call earthquakes by what is essentially an Spanish word.  I do wonder, however, how temblor came to be in common usage.

I've been addicted to the Pacific Northwest Earthquake Tracker for quite a while now.  It records any earthquake larger than a 1.0 on the Richter scale.  Today, there have already been three; 1.1, 1.3 and 1.7 in various parts of the Puget sound area.  Yesterday there were 9 of them, three of which were at (surprise!) Mt. St. Helens.  St. Helens has not gone quiet, and there are several small quakes beneath Mt. Rainier on any given week, as well.

The only time that I have noticed a long period of earth quiet was for three days after the recent 9.0 quake in Japan.  We're all connected...sobering, isn't it?  I consider those daily mini quakes a comfort, a little 'steam' being let off, so to speak.  

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