Enjoying EarthSky? Subscribe.

273,996 subscribers and counting ...

6.4-magnitude earthquake off coast of Baja California

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center did not issue a tsunami warming following the earthquake, which occurred at 2:36 a.m. Pacific Standard Time.

December 14, 2012 earthquake via USGS

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is reporting an undersea, 6.4-magnitude earthquake that struck 142 kilometers (88 miles) off the coast of Baja California at 10:36 UTC (2:36 a.m. PST) on Friday, December 14, 2012. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center did not issue a tsunami warming.

It said the quake was recorded at a depth of 6.3 miles (10.1 kilometers).

Here are the details of the quake, from the USGS.

Event Time
2012-12-14 10:36:01 UTC
2012-12-14 02:36:01 UTC-08:00 at epicenter
2012-12-14 04:36:01 UTC-06:00 system time

31.219°N 119.551°W depth=10.1km (6.3mi)

Nearby Cities
262km (163mi) SSW of Avalon, California
268km (167mi) WSW of Rosarito, Mexico
275km (171mi) WSW of Imperial Beach, California
276km (171mi) SW of Coronado, California
745km (463mi) WSW of Phoenix, Arizona

6.4-magnitude undersea earthquake off coast of Baja California on December 14, 2012 via USGS

USGS says that Mexico, which sits atop three large tectonic plates, is one of the most seismologically active regions in the world. They say:

The relative motion of these crustal plates causes frequent earthquakes and occasional volcanic eruptions. Most of the Mexican landmass is on the westward moving North American plate. The Pacific Ocean floor south of Mexico is being carried northeastward by the underlying Cocos plate. Because oceanic crust is relatively dense, when the Pacific Ocean floor encounters the lighter continental crust of the Mexican landmass, the ocean floor is subducted beneath the North American plate creating the deep Middle American trench along Mexico’s southern coast.

Read more from USGS

Bottom line: 6.4 magnitude earthquake off coast of Baja California on December 14, 2012.

Deborah Byrd


EarthSky Newsletter

Nearly half a million daily subscribers love our newsletter. What are you waiting for? Sign up today!

Join now to receive free daily science news delivered straight to your email.