Why are there more earthquakes on the west coast?

The remains of a mobile home are seen after a gas fire destroyed it as the result of a magnitude 6.0 earthquake Sunday,(AP Photo/Ben Margot)
The remains of a mobile home are seen after a gas fire destroyed it as the result of a magnitude 6.0 earthquake Sunday,(AP Photo/Ben Margot)

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – 22News storm team meteorologist Ashley Baylor was here Sunday morning when the earthquake occurred in Northern California.

A 6.0-magnitute earthquake shook parts of the Bay Area Sunday morning.  The epicenter was located 4 miles northwest of American Canyon, California or 8 miles south-southwest of Napa, California.  This is the strongest earthquake to hit this area since the Loma Prieta earthquake almost 25 years ago.

California is right above two tectonic plates, the Pacific plate and the North American plate.  The boundary between these plates is called the San Andreas Fault.  When tectonic plates shift, they cause friction beneath the earth’s surface.  When those plates rub together, the release of the energy causes seismic waves that cause the ground to shake.  Think if you were to rub two rocks together – same idea, except these rocks are millions of square miles.

The Bay Area earthquake likely happened along a smaller fault line that branches out from the San Andreas Fault zone.

This latest earthquake was just one of several that occur daily along the Ring of Fire.  The Ring of Fire is where 90% of the world’s earthquakes occur.

By the pictures that have been coming in from social media, you can tell this is going to be a costly earthquake for the Bay Area.

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