[LMB] OT: Breaking News—really?

A. Marina Fournier saffronrose at me.com
Tue Oct 15 08:46:56 BST 2019


It’s a measly 4.5 in the SF East Bay, Pleasant Hill, in Contra Costa county. Possibly on one of the two Calaveras faults (A calavera [plural:calaveras]* (Spanish) is a representation of a human skull. The term is most often applied to edible or decorative skulls made from either sugar or clay which are used in the Mexican celebration of the Day of the Dead and the Roman Catholic holiday All Souls' Day), inland from the Hayward fault.

I mean, really! It’s a quake many folx near the epicenter won’t feel unless they are still. Possibly shallow, and there was a 2.5 10 min. before in the same area. For the record, I live in San Jose, in an area east of Hwy 17, north of Hwy 85, south of Hwy 280, and west of Hwy 87.

So the anchors go on for 10-15 min in the middle of a show just as the climactic scene is starting. In the news following our program, they essentially said the same things in three close segments. There’s a joke of source forgotten about coverage of events in CA, where the anchor scoffs at a 5+ magnitude quake, but 0.01”/0.25mm of rain triggers panic.

I do remember experiencing a foreshock of 4.9 in Sunnyvale (not SunnyDALE) about 2am in early August 1989, which was initially measured at 4.4. It was a good-sized thump with no follow-ups until mid-October, when under the highest mountain in the Santa Cruz Mountains, San Andreas stretched to relieve a cramp. When I was setting up the house in SCruz county, in September, crossing ‘the hill’ over Hwy 17, I realized I was crossing a plate boundary, and that Kurt would most likely be on the North American plate while I’d be on the Pacific plate, which is what happened. The substrate in Cupertino is very different from that on the coast.

This past two weeks there have been several <3.0 magnitude quakes scattered all over the Greater Bay Area. Now, it’s possible that people are a bit nervous because on Thursday it will have been 30 years since the 6.9 (originally measured at 7.1) Fun Ride (tm) at 5:04 pm PST. At the time, we’d been in a house for about a month, 5 mi from the hypocenter, as the Stellar’s Jay flies. While having lived 90% of my life in CA, this was the largest quake of my experience, with the most (1K+) aftershocks. When it’s said that the main shock lasted 15 seconds, it’s forgotten that the next 3-4 big aftershocks, one right after another, with hardly a beat between, made it feel like two minutes.

The Calabasas fault system and the Hayward fault, almost parallel to each other, were overdue for big quakes in 1989—and any on those faults will be felt/see damage throughout the Bay Area, as well as east, northeast, and southeast of the zone. Might be felt in Stockton or Fresno.

You did know I’m a tectonics geek, right? The day before, I’d visited the US Geological Service in Menlo Park, before meeting a friend for dinner, up on business. Yes, I was checking out where the major faults were, and Kurt claims the USGS decided to flip a switch to demonstrate. Riiiight.

I am absolutely fascinated with Iceland, and there are even other reasons I want to go.

OBBujold: when there is a tectonic map of Sergyar, I want to see it. Any mineral hot springs? Geysers?

A. Marina Fournier
Valley of Heart’s Delight, CA
saffronrose at me.com
sent from iFionnghuala

*as in a story by Mark Twain about a jumping frog.
A similar word, calabasa or calabaza, means a gourd, but is usually used for ‘pumpkin’. Aaaand speaking of those, this year’s heaviest pumpkin weighed 2175 lbs/987kg, grown by Leonardo Urena of Napa (city, I think), which nettes him a $15,225 check — the prize is $7/lb. The world record weight pumpkin was grown by a Belgian in 2016, at 2624.6 lbs/1190.5kg.


More information about the Lois-Bujold mailing list