Hurricane Harbor

A writer and a tropical muse. A funky Lubavitcher who enjoys watching the weather, hurricanes, listening to music while enjoying life with a sense of humor and trying to make sense of it all!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Wasting Time on the Web - Catalina Island Earthquake

Time You Enjoy Wasting is Not Wasted Time . . .

One of the things I do during the off season is check the Earthquake Map. Not, because I am worried on the end of the world in two days... but because I am tropically bored and mildly curious. Someone, somewhere over the last several days online mentioned a big earthquake any day in the South California area being "due" because of plate movements along other corresponding fault lines. Seems there was one the other day, I was of course watching coverage of the horrific Newtown massacre and missed the big quake that did happen on 12/14/2012 and it was rated at 6.3 on the Richter Scale. A spate of smaller quakes on Catalina and across South California occurred over the next few days as we watched a disaster of the non-geological kind. I'd like to give whoever predicted it credit, but to be honest with all the Tweets I read and articles I study and message boards I look over on weather that often careen out of control in the direction of geology... I get lost a lot. It's a good lost. I'm a believer in the old adage "time enjoy wasting is not wasted time" which has been attributed to a lot of people including John Lennon. Waste some time and read up on the saying in the Ps region of this blog.

And, sometimes it's good to waste time on Pinterest or reading up on geology to distract the mind from disasters that are harder to comprehend than the geological and meteorological time. Sort of like staring at the water vapor loop after staring too long at CNN or Fox.

So as I said I looked at today's map and whoah...there was that earthquake a few days back offshore in Southern California. Going in closer I saw lots of bulls eye circles hovering over Catalina Island. As I have lived in LA and know the area well anything in that area draws me in more so than say Vanuatu.  I also noticed a lot of continued activity in the general region of Central America which is interesting. I mean if there was a 8.0 earthquake in the land of the Maya.. would that not be their end of the world? We are all so ethnocentric by nature. When my youngest son was on vacation in Panama I checked the earthquake ticker often, now that he is back in Miami I'm less worried on South America breaking off from North America at the Panama Canal and drifting south towards Antarctica. Okay..I admit I really didn't worry on that as much as other things, but I did stare at the isthmus of Panama and pondered how that happened and why it's so narrow and it really does look on a map as if it is holding on desperately to South America who wanted to jump at some point but Panama held on tight.

Avalon... conjures up so many visions to people who have lived in Southern California..

Then again lots of people are a bit jumpy when they hear of any problem on Planet Earth right now. Let's call it the Mayan Question. People are thinking on it, laughing at it, and wishing we could just get the date past us and move on to where it's in the rear view mirror.

A look into Planet Earth with an eye towards understanding Global Time as I call it.

"The Islands as Part of the Transverse Ranges
Most of the mountain ranges of California trend north-south, but the Transverse Ranges, including the Santa Monica Mountains and their extension into the ocean, the northern Channel Islands, trend east-west. Geologists believe that, 20 million years ago, the platform on which the islands are located was oriented north-south along the coast, with San Miguel lying just offshore of San Diego. Forces resulting from relative movements of the Pacific and North American plates have caused the western Transverse Ranges to rotate clockwise to their present position. It is as if one sliver of the continent – the Transverse Ranges –got caught up in the shear between the plates. It rotated ‘much like a floating plank that has one end snagged on the river bank, while the other end is dragged along by the current’. Evidence for this rotation is found, in part, by magnetism in the rocks of the islands. When the rocks of the northern Channel islands were formed, magnetic particles in the rocks would have been in line with the magnetic poles of the Earth. Measurements now taken in the rocks of the northern Channel Islands show that the magnetic particles differing by about 100 degrees from a polar orientation, with the oldest rocks showing the greatest variance. This suggests that the islands have rotated clockwise about 100 degrees since the formation of the rocks.
East of the rotating block, a gap opened, creating the space now partially occupied by the Los Angeles basin. The space was filled from below by igneous rocks and the uplift and unroofing of mid-crustal metamorphic rocks like the Catalina schist."
The point is earth time is long term, not short term. So, if you live in the LA region know that the Channel Islands are part of the Santa Monica range that reigns above LA with the Hollywood Hills being the foothills and the setting for the ever famous Hollywood Sign. That sign hovered to the north of where I worked on Wilshire Blvd and was often framed in snow in the winter when snow fell on the high peaks of San Gabriel Mountains. The LA region is really a visual feast in real time for any geology nut.  Yeah, I said that :)

Anyone who doesn't believe me watch this video as someone hikes up to Sandstone Peak. There's mountains and chaparral and on a clear day you can see Catalina Island and the other Channel Islands. A half an hour straight up from the city and you are far, far away from the traffic on the Santa Monica Freeway.

What a beautiful shot...taken from the video, please watch it to appreciate our local California Mtns.

A nice video on youtube that shows you around Catalina is below... you'd think it was a location shoot for Burn Notice... not just off the coast of LA and San Diego and my old home town Long Beach!

There it is... 26 miles across the sea... the island of romance...

(rolling eyes.. song link... below, of course...)

Find some romance... be in Key West or Laguna or Catalina Island :)

And, if you want to stay on land..go to Laguna Beach... 

watch the sun set down over the Channel Islands :)

Trust me.. more fun than reading doom and gloom on the end of the world... 
vs the end to a beautiful day... 

And, if you can't get away and take a vacation. Take a ride on the electronic web and do some weather and island surfing and listen to a Youtube video and smile. Lord knows we can all use to listen to some good music and smile a bit these days.

Sweet Tropical Dreams,


Ps.... now I feel sooo much better. Going to take a long, hot shower and sing that song as best as I can and I'll be back with more info on DRACO later in the day.  Weather delays and snow days moving east from Denver to Chicago and possibly the East Coast and for sure the WV and PA part of the Appalachian Trail. (link to geological info above)


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