As shown in the image above, a magnitude 6.8 occurred on the Juan de Fuca plate in 2018. An event of this size can look alarming. Is The Big One next? Since this earthquake is now 2 years old we can say no, this earthquake was not a foreshock to a larger earthquake. Thankfully!!
Let’s look at some recent history.
In years: Below is a chart generated from United States Geological Survey (USGS) data, showing the number of times magnitude 4+ earthquakes have struck the region between 1/1/2000 & 11/24/2020. 2008 was a soaring outlier, while all’s quiet on the western front in 2020… too corny?
In months: Below is an Excel chart. Each point shows the number of earthquakes in a single month. January 2010 appears as the farthest point on the left (8 earthquakes that month), with November 2020 on the right (0 earthquakes this month so far). While ten years is an incredibly short amount of time in geologic terms, I find it helpful to see common monthly amounts. 17 M4+ is the maximum per month this past decade, 0 being the lowest.
I’ve added this page because I think it’s important to know when to be worried. Yes, history shows us we are overdue, but seeing articles in the paper about these smaller quakes should not be cause for alarm. They are just business-as-usual for the region.