Sea-Floor Sunday #59: January 9, 2010 earthquake and the Eel River submarine canyon
This week’s Sea-Floor Sunday image shows the location of yesterday’s (January 9th, 2010) M6.5 earthquake offshore of northern California. I wanted to highlight that the location of this earthquake is almost right on the Eel River submarine canyon.
Here are some increasingly zoomed-in maps of the earthquake epicenter in relation to the sea-floor topography.
This final map below is from the GeoMapApp tool, which gives a slightly different view of the same data.
Although the head of the submarine canyon is not currently connected to the river mouth (was abandoned as sea level rose since the Last Glacial Maximum) but still receives a lot of sediment via reworking of shelf sediments.
When I saw the location I wondered if this event might have triggered a submarine sediment-gravity flow (turbidity current, debris flow, etc.), which is known to occur in this area. The Eel system is relatively well monitored so there might even be some data to address this question — I don’t have time at the moment to do the necessary research, but I will follow up in the coming weeks.