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.
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)
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
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.
Bottom line: 6.4 magnitude earthquake off coast of Baja California on December 14, 2012.
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.