If seismic waves emerge near an island outside Africa and hit Canada, does anyone feel them?
Obviously not – judging by a phenomenon that occurred earlier this month.
Earthquake Coverage at Globalnews.ca:
The unusual seismic phenomenon originated near the island of Mayotte, off the coast of Madagascar on November 11.
They were discovered early by a Twitter @matarikipax user who published data from US geological exploration that revealed that they were detected at a monitoring station at Kilimba Mbego, Kenya.
The same user explained that the waves were discovered in Zambia, Ethiopia, Spain and New Zealand.
John Cassidy, a seismologist from earthquakes with natural resources Canada (NRC), later joined the fight, saying waves were discovered precisely through Canada, Victoria, Haida Guaya, Toronto, Ottawa and Halifax.
Clearly, the waves were observed all over the planet.
But it seems that nobody felt them, even when they came from – and that gave them an aura of mystery, Cassidy told Global News.
No one can explain why it happened.
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Usually, a tectonic earthquake generates primary waves (P-waves) and secondary waves (s-waves), but this does not produce either.
The country was moving up and down every 17 seconds while the waves were flowing – "very slow shaking," said Cassidy.
It is possible that an earthquake will happen, but if that happens, the event was certainly not "typical," he added.
"Based on seismic events and data on the formation of GPS, there is probably a volcanic bond – the movement of magma chambers, etc.," Cassidy said.
Seismic waves originate in an area in which a "earthquake swarm" occurred earlier this year.
Mayotte, which was formed by volcanic activity, noted "several hundred seismic events" observed in the area starting in May, according to the French geological surveyor BRGM.
The first took place on May 10. Then, five days later, the neighboring island of Comoros experienced an earthquake measuring 5.8 degrees, the largest ever.
Additional seismic events occurred in the area, but they have been tightened since July.
"This shows that the liberated seismic energy has weakened since the onset of the crisis, although some earthquakes are still felt by the population," BRGM said.
The cause of the swarm is still being investigated, but researchers believe it could be a combination of tectonic and volcanic effects – although this has not yet been confirmed.
The inner region B.C. suffered an earthquake in 2007, after having never seen tremors in the past.
Swarm is attributed to the magma that is injected into the lower crust under the volcanic belt Anachim, a phenomenon that produces "high-frequency, volcanic-tectonic earthquakes and spasmodic bursts."
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If volcanic activity is to be confirmed near Mayotte, then this will be the first to hit the area for more than 4,000 years.
And this is important for Western Canada, said Cassidy – there are also a number of volcanoes that have been asleep for thousands of years and could be activated again in the future.
"Understanding these signals from Mayotte will help us better understand the volcanic dangers here in Canada," he said.
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