I didn't see anything stunning about it and also not surprised it triggered quakes on the West Coast of Mexico and U.S. as well as how much it rippled in the middle of the U.S.
So why are the people that studied for a living and get paid stunned?
4-12-2012Are 4 Big Earthquakes in 2 Days Connected?
The 8.6-magnitude earthquake that hit off the coast of Sumatra, Indonesia, yesterday (April 11) was followed by several decent-size shakes along the west coast of North America, but researchers can't say for certain whether all the temblors were related.
But earthquakes also send surface waves over long distances. The shaking from yesterday's Sumatra quake, for example, was picked up by seismic monitoring stations in the United States.
What researchers do know is that the Sumatra quake was interesting on its own. The quake was a strike-slip quake, meaning the fault moved horizontally, not vertically like the enormous 2004 earthquake that triggered the devastating Indian Ocean tsunami
"This particular earthquake is the biggest strike-slip earthquake that we've seen anywhere, and people are trying to figure out how much motion was on the fault," Vidale said. Either the fault went deeper or was under more strain than seismologists had realized, he said.
"It's too soon to say exactly what we'll learn," Vidale said. "So far, we're just surprised."
[See a movie of the Sumatra quake shaking the U.S. Midwest
See a movie of the Sumatra quake shaking the U.S. Midwest]