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Series of Three Small Quakes Off Oregon Coast Sunday, Monday

Published 01/29/2018 at 1:55 PM PDT - Updated 01/30/2018 at 2:35 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Series of Small Quakes Off Oregon Coast Sunday, Monday

(Oregon Coast) – A series of three small quakes rattled off the Oregon coast on Sunday and Monday, none of which were large enough to be felt or trigger a tsunami alert. (Graphic courtesy USGS).

All three happened about 140 miles west of Coos Bay, on the southern Oregon coast. Each was about 10 kilometers in depth, or 6.2 miles.

The first was a 4.9 magnitude which happened about 2:36 p.m. on Sunday, January 28.

The second occurred at 6:51 a.m. on Monday, January 29, recorded as a magnitude 2.9. Another of a magnitude 2.8 shook less than an hour later at 7:34 a.m.

It takes a magnitude 7.0 quake or higher to generate a tsunami.

Last week, a 7.9 earthquake in Alaska did generate a brief tsunami watch for the Oregon coast in the middle of the night, but it was canceled after about two hours.

4.9 is considerably higher than many of the 2.5 to 3.0 quakes that normally happen off the coast. The quakes all occurred near the Blanco Fracture Zone adjacent to the Cascadia Subduction Zone.

Submarine quakes in this region are quite normal and a regular part of the geological processes on the sea floor of the Oregon coast. It's all part of a network of faults called the Cascadia Subduction Zone, a 600-mile long stretch that will one day bring a much larger quake and tsunami to the area. This is an area where two plates of the Earth's crust meet and grind against each other: one carrying the continental U.S. and the other hoisting the Pacific Ocean.

You can keep up on earthquake data aroun the Northwest and the Oregon coast at Oregon, Coast Earthquake Updates - Live Data Oregon, Washington, California, Tsunamis. -- Where to stay in this area - Where to eat - Maps and Virtual Tours. More of the Oregon coast below:

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