This is a hypothesis, one not seen corroborated by other geologists, to my knowledge, but in agreement with plate tectonics, the Wilson Cycle, isostasy, and physical mechanics.
The town of McAdams, New Brunswick Canada, located just north of Maine, was in the news recently as a result of earthquake swarms there.NORTH AMERICAN CRATON
The north American craton is the portion of the continental plate that is stable, and has been undisturbed by previous tactonic events. The eastern edge of the north American Craton is marked by the Appalachian mountains which were formed from a plate collision with the Eurasian plate, and the western boundary represents from disruption and accretion resulting form plate subduction, volcanism, and notably the Snake River plume moving in an east-northeastern directon relative to the North American plate.
The indentation in the craton, caused by the Snake River Plume, which feeds Yellowstone, is readily apparent in the below maps. How Do The McAdam Quakes Relate To Yellowstone?
McAdam, New Brunswick is located outside the eastern edge of the north American craton and the plate is roughly 80 to 100 km thinner there.
The below map is a "Gnomonic projection"
, which means that any straight line indicates a it is following a "great circle", or a path following a circle going through the center of the earth, which means it is the least distance between two points on the map. Seismology commonly uses Gnomonic maps because seismic waves follow the crust along lines of a great circle for first arrival time of the seismic events..
The inset map of ANSS quakes on the west coast in the last 7 days, shows the quake dispersal is roughly disseminating from Yellowstone and radiating toward the west coast of the United States. This is supported by the fact that the Yellowstone Snake River Plume has doubled back toward the west-southwest
], likely from resistance to the north American craton, making both the west coast quakes, and the quakes in McAdam, seem to be resultant effects of forces applied by the Snake River plume upon the north
The snake river plume is doing the pushing (toward the northeast), and the craton is just resisting that force.
Picture a houseboat, with a big engine attached on the back. And that houseboat gets caught on a "snag", something like a shoal, or submerged tree. The houseboat is no longer moving forward, and instead the force put on it by the "engine", is now all directed backwards (westward), and no longer pushing the houseboat forward. But the houseboat rocks forward and spins somewhat, since the submerged tree isn't centered with the "engine" and that houseboat itself.
The craton is the houseboat and it is the thickest portion of the plate, being the original part of that plate that was not ever really disturbed, and this acts like the "snag". However in this case, the "engine", the Snake River Plume, isnt really attached to the houseboat at all, but just pushing on it, and yet also "chewing up" that "houseboat". That portion of the craton that is being chewed up is seen in the image as the purple area to the southwest labeled "deformed craton".