USGS reports that a moderate earthquake struck under the North Atlantic Ocean; fortunately, there is no threat of a tsunami at this time of this earthquake along the east coast of the United States or in Europe. The 4.9 earthquake struck along the Reykjanes Ridge in southeast Greenland and southwest Iceland in the North Atlantic.
Today’s earthquake, which struck at 9:31 p.m. ET, was located 58.305 north 32.124 west at a depth of 10 km.
The earthquake was not strong enough to generate a tsunami.
This earthquake struck along the northern part of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge in the central Atlantic between the North American Plate and the Eurasian Plate; the African plate is south of the epicenter of today’s earthquake.
These plates are based on the scientific theory of plate tectonics, which describes the large-scale movement of the plates that make up the Earth’s lithosphere. Scientists believe that tectonic processes began on Earth between 3.3 and 3.5 billion years ago, building on the concept of continental drift, a scientific concept developed at the turn of the 20th century. Continental drift is the gradual movement of continents across the Earth’s surface through geological time.
Tsunamis are giant waves caused by earthquakes or underwater volcanic eruptions. In the depths of the ocean, the waves of the tsunami do not increase significantly in height. But as the waves move inland, they rise higher and higher as the depth of the ocean decreases. According to the National Ocean Service, the speed of the tsunami waves depends on the depth of the ocean rather than the distance from the source of the wave. Tsunami waves can travel as fast as jets over deep water, only slowing down when they reach shallow water. While tsunamis are often referred to as tidal waves, this name is discouraged by oceanographers because the tides have little to do with these giant waves.
These earthquakes add to an active period in the United States over the previous Memorial Day holiday weekend. As of Sunday night, more than 130 earthquakes rocked the continental United States. Also over the weekend, a strong 6.1 earthquake rocked south-central Alaska. And seismic activity continues on the Big Island of Hawaii due to volcanic unrest there.