Don't Worry (Yet) About Those Little Earthquakes Around Seattle | KUOW News and Information

Don't Worry (Yet) About Those Little Earthquakes Around Seattle

Dec 1, 2015

Is the ground feeling a little shaky these days? That's because there's been more and bigger earthquakes than usual in the Pacific Northwest, including a 3.0 magnitude in Stanwood, Washington yesterday. 

State seismologist John Vidale said most of these quakes are clustered up north near Glacier Peak. He added that there hasn't been that much activity in the area for decades. 

However, Vidale said this isn't part of a larger trend. "We're watching the map a little more closely than usual, but that's about all this burst of activity deserves."

Vidale warns "the big one" is still on the horizon. He said these small earthquakes relieve only a small amount of pressure.

"If we're worried about a magnitude 9 earthquake, it would take on the order of a million magnitude 3s to let out that stress to delay the magnitude 9," Vidale said. "The rate of the small earthquakes is no where near what it would take to let out the stress that's building up from the plate tectonics."