My New Favorite Website

I dare you to not bookmark this site and check it every morning.

Your new morning ritual...

Maybe it's because I'm a former geologist, or because I just the other night finished Simon Winchester's awesome "A Crack in the Edge of the World" (more about this coming in a later post on Monday) but a site where I can just check to see where every earthquake in the world (of magnitude 2.5 or greater) occured on a daily basis -- and there are usually a dozen per day -- is awesome.

How else would I know that a small 2.6 quake happened yesterday in northern New Jersey! Which shouldn't be all that surprising to anybody who knows anything about earthquakes and North American tectonics -- it's just the crust essentially letting out a sigh of relief after having all the weight of Appalachians eroded off of it over millions of years. But still, without a site like that to check, I wouldn't have been able to instantly look at maps showing where it was felt and at what intensity. And that is just awesome. But come to think of it, while I have yet to feel a quake here in Washington, I do indeed recall feeling one in NJ when I was a kid of about 7 years old.

But getting back to this USGS site, thanks to it I now have something to talk to my mother about the next time I call her. I told you this site rocked!

Oh, and this is just too good. So you think earthquakes never happen by you? You think there's no chance of suffering damage? Then check this link to a map of all known earthquakes in the US with an intensity above 6. Now, this isn't to say these were >6.0 on the Richter scale, but at least an intensity VI or greater on the Modified Mercalli scale, which essentially translates to: felt by most people indoors and many outdoors, some people fall over, small items may fall and furniture may shift. Farm animals will be frightened.

Well, one look at that map will tell you that no cow is safe when it comes to seismic activity in the US.

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