BANDON, ORE - A 6.0 magnitude earthquake jolted the ocean floor over 150 miles off the coast of southern Oregon Tuesday evening.
Officials with the West Coast/Alaska Tsunami Warning Center said the quake was not large enough to produce a tsunami. The Coos County Sheriff’s office did not get any reports of people who felt the quake, either.
The National Earthquake Information Center Reports the quake struck at 7:31pm Pacific Standard Time. The epicenter was out at sea 152 miles to the northwest of Bandon.
No damages were reported after Tuesday's quake.
On Monday, there was a 5.6 magnitude quake off the northern California Coast. They were both part of the most active quake zone close to the West Coast, according to KGW Meteorologist Rod Hill. The Blanco Transform Fault Zone has triggered some 1,500 earthquakes over the past 40 years.
Back in 2008, the zone produced a swarm of 600 quakes over a ten-day period. Doctor John Nabelek, with Oregon State University, is a lead researcher of the Blanco Fault Zone and said despite the activity, a tsunami was highly unlikely.
Nabelek said the movement of a transform fault is horizontal in nature, as the plates move sideways past each other. This type of motion does not create enough vertical displacement on the ocean floor to generate tsunamis.
The professor's research indicated the strongest possible quake in the area could be a 6.5. He believes a 6.0 quake like Tuesday's can be generated once each five years.
The active fault zone is close enough to the West Coast to be picked up by many of the 60 land-based seismographs deployed from British Columbia to California. This fact, makes the zone a unique scientific learning experience for geologists.
Dr. Nabelek said the transform fault is similar to the well-known San Andreas fault. The Blanco Zone is more active, but the San Andreas has the potential to produce stronger magnitude quakes.
Weak earthquakes near magnitude 1.0 also occurred Tuesday near Sherwood, Oregon and Hockinson, Washington.Courtesy KGW.com