Just got back from a work trip to San Diego. Last night in my hotel room I found out that a 5.2 earthquake is a lot more noticeable from the 9th floor. It was enough to shake the bed, make the whole building sway, set the shower doors rattling, and slosh the water in the toilet bowl. I felt several of the aftershocks, too. The local news reported it as a ‘swarm’ of earthquakes.
That term sounded a little weird, so I did some digging and found out that yes, that is the accepted term for a group of earthquakes in the same area. There is some argument over how close together in time they have to be to constitute a swarm, but mostly it caught my attention because “swarm of earthquakes” struck me as strange. The mental image I get is of a bunch of tectonic plates buzzing around each other like angry wasps.
So today I’m recovering from an exhausting week, complete with earthquakes and travel irritations and very long days. To tide you over until I have time to do more real writing again, here’s a cool video on how earthquakes work. There’s no sound, but the animations are good and it’s by far the best of the videos I found – not too cheesy, and not too dumbed-down.