What Caused the ‘Shamrock Shake’?


I thought a Shamrock Shake was a chemical concoction invented by McDonalds to quench our thirst to quaff something green. Who knew? Here’s some info on the St. Patrick’s Day earthquake. The epicenter is indicated on the map with a star. As it happens, I’ve been to that exact spot many times. I believe there was a taco stand there. Good carne asada burritos. I have to believe that the location of this quake was no accident. It has to mean something!

Originally posted on Nat Geo Education Blog:


This week, a small crack unzipped under the Santa Monica Mountains north of Los Angeles, waking millions of people with a magnitude 4.4 earthquake. (LiveScience)

Feel the Earth move under your feet? Watch “Earthquakes 101″ to understand why.

Discussion Ideas

  • Read through the short, great LiveScience article, then take a quick look at the overview of earthquakes in our “Forces of Nature” interactive. (Earthquakes are the final “force of nature”, with the seismograph icon in the upper left.) Click on slide four. It lists the four major types of faults: normal, reverse, strike-slip, and dip-slip. What type of fault was responsible for Southern California’s “Shamrock Shake”?
    • Trick question! The answer isn’t on there. Coastal California is a mess of all kinds of geologic faults. (My favorite? The Mendocino Triple Junction!) The most prominent faults, such as the San Andreas and the Hayward, are strike-slip faults. However, the Shamrock…

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Bringeth forth thy pith and vinegar

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