Southern Vancouver Island moves to the west due to tiny tremors

The south of Vancouver Island is on the move due to the small earthquake tremors over the past few weeks.

Natural Resources Canada seismologist John Cassidy said the tiny tremors under the island have caused the island to shift.

“Over the past couple of weeks, Southern Vancouver Island has shifted about 4-5 millimetres to the west,” Cassidy said. “It’s quite a remarkable process actually for a large chunk of land to move the width of four or five dimes. No one can feel this, it’s very slow, it’s very gradual but we can easily measure this.”

Cassidy said this happened because the ocean tectonic plate that the south island is on is moving towards the North American plate.

He said this "tremor and slip" process can help them determine which portions of the fault lines could cause bigger earthquakes.

“It tells us where the locked fault is, that fault that will at some point in the future generate a very large earthquake,” Cassidy said. “This helps us to map out the locked portion of that fault, and then we can actually do calculations and compute ground shaking from that earthquake.”

He said the south island will continue to shift for the next week or so, and then at some point the north island will begin to shift.

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