If seismic waves appear near an island in Africa and hit Canada, does anyone feel it?
Apparently not – seen from the phenomenon that materialized earlier this month.
Coverage of earthquakes at Globalnews.ca:
An unusual seismological phenomenon originates near the island of Mayotte, off the coast of Madagascar on November 11.
They were detected early by Twitter user @matarikipax, who posted data on the US Geological Survey which showed they were detected at a monitoring station on Kilima Mbogo, Kenya.
The same user tweeted that waves were also detected in Zambia, Ethiopia, Spain and New Zealand.
John Cassidy, an earthquake seismologist with Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), then joined Fray, saying that waves had been detected right in Canada, in Victoria, Haida Gwaii, Toronto, Ottawa and Halifax.
Obviously, waves are visible throughout the planet.
But no one seems to feel it, even where they came from – and that has given them a mystery, Cassidy told Global News.
No one can explain exactly why it happened.
READ MORE: Magnitude 6.8 earthquakes attack the island of Greek tourists
Usually, tectonic earthquakes produce primary waves (P waves) and secondary waves (wave-s), but this one also doesn't produce.
The ground moves up and down every 17 seconds when the waves flow – "trembling is very slow," said Cassidy.
It might be that an earthquake happened, but if that happens, the event is definitely not an "ordinary" one, he added.
"Based on seismic events and GPS formation data, there is a possibility of volcanic linkages – movement of magma space, etc.," said Cassidy.
Seismic waves originating in the area where the "thunder earthquake" occurred earlier this year.
Mayotte, which was formed by volcanic activity, saw "several hundred seismic events" recorded in the area starting in May, according to French geological surveyor, BRGM.
The first occurred on May 10. Then, five days later, the neighboring island of Comoros experienced an earthquake measuring 5.8, which was the largest earthquake ever recorded.
Further seismic events have occurred in the area but they have subsided since July.
"This shows that the seismic energy released has been weakening since the beginning of the crisis, although some earthquakes are still felt by the population," said BRGM.
The cause of the herd is still being investigated, but the researchers believe it could be a combination of tectonic and volcanic effects – although that hasn't been confirmed.
B.C Interior Area experienced an earthquake in 2007, after never recording an earthquake.
The herd is associated with magma which is injected into the lower crust below the Anahim volcano belt, a phenomenon that produces "high frequency, volcanic-tectonic earthquakes and spasmodic bursts."
READ MORE: 3 earthquakes that measure between 6.5- and 6.8-magnitude crashing Vancouver Island
If volcanic activity is confirmed near Mayotte, then this will be the first to reach the area in more than 4,000 years.
And this is important for Western Canada, Cassidy notes – there too, there are a number of volcanoes that have died for thousands of years and they can reactivate in the future.
"Understanding these signals from Mayotte will help us better understand the dangers of volcanoes in Canada," he said.
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