09 December 2015

Seaquake Cause 23 Dolphins to Strand on Baja California Beach

(Monday, 07 December 2015) Mexican environmental authorities say they were able to lead seven beached dolphins back to sea but 16 others died. Twenty-one were pelagic rough-toothed dolphins and two were common dolphins (link).

The mass beaching occurred at San Lazaro Beach on the Pacific coast along 1.2 kilometers (0.75 miles) of beach.  We do not know the exactly location of this beach because there is no such beach listed on the Internet or on Goggle maps. What we really need is the exact time of the beaching, local winds and tides, and the location of the beach. This is rarely provided by the media making our job difficult. If you know where this beach is, please send us the lat/long numbers so we can better plot the flow of the surface current.

As the story goes, local fishermen and coastal watch activists "helped save 7 of the dolphins" despite strong wind and waves. Obviously the strong wind and waves were washing ashore, not washing back out to sea. An even more obvious, how can they say for sure that they SAVED 7 dolphins if they have no idea why they beached in the first placed. More likely than not, the act of pushing 7 dolphins back in the water was nothing more than feeding the local sharks.

There was no evidence of external injuries making barotrauma in the cranial air spaces a strong possibility. Three dead dolphins were taken to a local university for tests to see why the mass beaching occurred. Scientists will just scratch their heads and so they don't know for sure why the animals swim blindly into the beach. (see deafwhale.com for a better answer)


There were two dolphin-dangerous earthquakes upstream from the stranding site. The most recent occurred at midnight on November 15th in the GALAPAGOS TRIPLE JUNCTION REGION near 1.43 N ; 101.18 W (link). This event was defaulted to 10 km below the ocean's surface. It was recorded by many stations and reported as being between 4.5 magnitude and 6 magnitude (link). The epicenter was 1245 miles due south of Mexico City and 650 miles west of the Galapagos Islands. This location is 1648 miles from the southern tip of Baja California and well within the range and time difference to account for the stranding,

The second choice was a 5.6 magnitude quake along the CENTRAL EAST PACIFIC RISE that occurred on 2015-11-11  (local time: 00:26:33.1) near 9.17 S ; 108.73 W (link). The event was defaulted at 10 km below the ocean's surface. The epicenter was 2071 miles South of Mexico City and 2248 miles southwest of the southern tip of Baja California, again within the range and time frame to account for this stranding. Here is an ocean chart of the epicenter. You can see that if the injured dolphins followed the EAST PACIFIC RISE northeast, they would end up inside the Gulf of California and very near the stranding area.

The quake above was located near where the Bark "Prospector" was hit by seaquake on  the 1st of September 1868 (link).

One these quakes generated potent pressure waves that induced sinus barotrauma in the dolphins and knocked out their acoustic sense of direction. Form the point of injury, they swam downstream until the wind and waves eventually washed them ashore at San Lazaro Beach on the Pacific coast.
The stranding site was located in a general downstream location from these two earthquakes. But the path is not direct. They were likely guided in closer to Guatemala and then swung north along the coast to the Baja Peninsula. The currents change sometimes hourly so it's hard to make a strong case for any exact swim path. Everything depends of local storms, small current eddies, and etcetera.

I like the second event but can make a case for either quake.

To learn more about how the dolphins swim from the epicenter to the beach, please read:
Navigation Failure in Seaquake Injured Whales and Dolphins

Capt. David Williams
Deafwhale Society (the oldest whale conservation group in the world)


Site Map for http://deafwhale.com  

Dec 09: Whale Dangerous Earthquake South of Perth 
Dec 09: Seaquake causes dolphins to strand Baja California   
Nov 23: Seaquakes kill 322 baleen whales in Chile    (shocking)  
Aug 24: NOAA whale scientists dumbfounded   
Aug 14: stranded dolphin is determined to be deaf   
Aug 08: seaquake causes pilot whales to strand Nova Scotia   
Jul   27: is our stranding solution flawed as scientists claim   
Jun  01: pilots stranded Isles of Skye from Reykjanes Ridge   
May 22: dead whales washing ashore on the California Coast   
May 10: earthquake kills 20 Sei Whales near Chile Coast   
Apr  10: seaquake strands 150 melon-headed whales in Japan   

Dec 25: navigation failure in mass stranded whales  (most popular)   
Dec 08: seaquake causes 7 sperm whales to beach Australia   
Nov 24: seaquake beaches 3 sperm whales at Golden Bay   
Nov 04: seaquake beaches 60 pilot whales in Bay of Plenty   
Oct 29: nine pilot whales strand on Prince Edward Island   
Apr  11: 60 pilot whales beach in Bay of Plenty   
Mar 20: Cape Ray Newfoundland 37 dolphins beach   
Mar 14: undersea quakes louder than nuclear explosions   
Mar 13: seaquakes cause whale strandings 32 million years   
Mar 02: blue whale killed by seaquake in Kuwait   
Feb 27: seaquake kills young killer whale   
Feb 23: predicting mass beachings based on seaquakes   
Feb 21: lessons in understanding why whales beach   
Feb 18: seaquake Greenland Sea kills 3 sperm whales   
Feb 12: nine orcas killed by seaquake   
Jan 30: Cape Cod mass stranding predicted   
Jan 20: seaquake causes 39 pilot whales to strand Florida   
Jan 16: seaquakes beach 65 pilot whales in Golden Bay   
Jan 05: seaquake beaches 30 pilot whales in Golden Bay   

Dec 06: why did pilot whales beached in the everglades?   
Apr 30: seaquake beaches 6 killer whales in Iceland   
Apr 25: beached whales stop war games   

Dec 08: seaquake beach pilot whales South Carolina   
Nov 15: pilot whales beach at Golden Bay, New Zealand   
Nov 04: seaquake causes two pods to beach at King Island   
Oct 28:  pilot whales strand on North Andaman Island   
Oct 17: earthquakes cause New Zealand whale stranding   
Sep 09: earthquake kills pregnant sperm whale   
Sep 03: seaquake strands pilot whales in Scotland   
Aug 24: two quakes cause near beaching in Cape Verde   
Jul  28:  200 Pilot Whales Northwest of Iceland   
Mar 19: Four Sperm Whales Wash Ashore in China   

Dec  31: world's rarest whales killed by earthquake   
Mar 06: 52 melon-headed dolphins strand in Japan   

Nov 20: 52 Pilot Whales Stranded in Tasmania


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