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Small, 4.1 Quake Off Southern Oregon Coast / Gold Beach on Sunday

Published 05/18/21 at 5:25 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Small, 4.1 Quake Off Southern Oregon Coast / Gold Beach on Sunday

(Gold Beach, Oregon) - A small undersea quake shook the ocean floor Sunday off the southern Oregon coast, a magnitude 4.1 quake that happened a little closer than usual. It rattled just before 8 a.m. at a depth of about 6 miles. (Graphic courtesy USGS)

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The quake was about 110 miles west of Gold Beach, or roughly 100 miles from Port Orford. Most quakes offshore tend to happen about 150 to 200 miles or so offshore.

According to the USGS, there were three reports of it being felt: including one from Gold Beach and another in California.

A set of smaller quakes – below magnitude 3.0 – happened on May 11 and 12.

Earthquake magnitude measurements are extremely wide although the increments may appear small. A 7.0 is 1,000 times bigger than a 4.0, according to the USGS. But it is 31,622 times stronger in its release of energy.

Like most quakes off this part of the southern Oregon coast, it occurred along the Blanco Fracture.

See Oregon, Coast Earthquake Updates - Live Data Oregon, Washington, California, Tsunamis

Around 20 quakes a year are generated by the Blanco Fracture, which makes this essentially business as usual for the hotspot. It's the greater Cascadia fault that is the worrisome section, which will someday release a magnitude 9.0 megathrust and create havoc along the Oregon and Washington coastlines.

Contrary to some popular rumors these days, the Cascadia Subduction Zone is not releasing pressure with these smaller quakes. The big one will come no matter what the smaller faultlines do. MORE COASTAL PHOTOS BELOW

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Above: Gold Beach area, courtesy Oregon State Parks




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