Archive for the ‘Earthquakes’ Category

NASA/JPL's VolcanoBot 1, shown here in a lava tube [Credits: NASA/JPL-CalTech]

NASA/JPL’s VolcanoBot 1, shown here in a lava tube
[Credits: NASA/JPL-CalTech]


Want to see inside a volcano? Send for VolcanoBot – that’s one option scientists can now use, as E&T Magazine reports.

Exactly 200 years after the biggest recorded volcanic eruption in history, scientists are using robots and UAVs to unlock the secrets of today’s volcanoes.

Two hundred years ago this year, Mount Tambora erupted on Sumbawa, a remote island in the south of Indonesia. The eruption began on 5 April 1815 and reached its climax five days later. A series of smaller steam-driven eruptions continued for the next three years as magma heated ground and surface water.The island lost all its vegetation, most of its animal life and around 10,000 people. Many tens of thousands more perished in the famine and disease epidemics that hit the surrounding islands in the aftermath. No one knows the exact number of deaths, but it is thought to be between 50,000 and 100,000.

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Sea lions get a lift in Chile [credit: M.Moreno/GFZ]

Sea lions get a lift in Chile
[credit: Daniel Melnick/I.B.Times]


The island Isla Santa María in the south of central Chile is the document of a complete seismic cycle, reports phys.org:

Charles Darwin and his captain Robert Fitzroy witnessed the great earthquake of 1835 in south central Chile. The “Beagle”-Captain’s precise measurements showed an uplift of the island Isla Santa María of 2 to 3 meters after the earthquake. What Darwin and Fitzroy couldn’t know was the fact that 175 years later nearly at the same position such a strong earthquake would recur.

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Major earthquake hits Nepal

Posted: April 25, 2015 by oldbrew in Earthquakes
Tags:

Earthquake zone [credit: BBC]

Earthquake zone [credit: BBC]


BBC reports: Several thousand* people [*last Talkshop update: 28 April] are known to have died in a powerful earthquake that struck Nepal, wrecking many historic buildings, officials have said.

The quake measured 7.9 and struck an area between the capital Kathmandu and the city of Pokhara, the US Geological Survey said.

Tremors were felt across the region, as far afield as Pakistan, Bangladesh and neighbouring India.

A Nepali minister said there had been “massive damage” at the epicentre.

Report (on first day of ‘quake): Nepal earthquake: More than 100 dead, many injured – BBC News.

Dr Michele Casati is familiar to many Talkshop readers as an occassional contributor and for his blog.

A new study is being presented at EGU General Assembly 2015, held 12April – 15April, 2015 in Vienna, Austria

Relationship between major geophysical events and the planetary magnetic Ap index, from 1844 to the present

Michele,Casati; Valentino,Straser

Abstract

In this study, for the first time, we compared the annual magnetic Ap index, taken from original sources, from 1844 to the present day [Svalgaard,2014], with:

i) sixteen large volcanic eruptions of index VEI5 + recorded by, Smithsonian Institute (Global Volcanism Program), ii) three sets of the volcanic aerosols data [Ammann et.al,2003][Gao;Chaochao;Alan Robock;Caspar Ammann, 2008][Traufetter et.al,2004] and iii) eight major earthquakes of a magnitude between 8.7<M<9.5, which occurred from 1900 to the present.

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Location Date Magnitude2
1. Chile May 22, 1960 9.5
2. Prince William Sound, Alaska March 28, 19643 9.2
3. Andreanof Islands, Aleutian Islands March 9, 1957 9.1
4. Japan March 11, 2011 9.0
5. Kamchatka Nov. 4, 1952 9.0
6. Off western coast of Sumatra, Indonesia Dec. 26, 2004 9.0
7. Off the coast of Ecuador Jan. 31, 1906 8.8
8. Offshore Maule, Chile Feb. 27, 2010 8.8
9. Rat Islands, Aleutian Islands Feb. 4, 1965 8.7
10. Northern Sumatra, Indonesia March 28, 2005 8.7

Here’s a rough plot of these biggest quakes against sunspot number

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Nicola Scafetta has co-authored a paper with Adriano Mazzarella on the correlation of the spectral frequencies of M7 and greater earthquakes and oceanic oscillations and length of day (LOD). He ascribes those oscillations and the LOD variation to the astronomical forcings identified in earlier papers which have similar spectral frequency peaks.

2015fig9

Abstract

We compare the NOAA Significant Earthquake Historical database versus typical climatic indices and the length of the day (LOD). The Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) record is mainly adopted because most of the analyzed earthquakes occurred at the land boundaries of the Pacific Plate. The NOAA catalog contains information on destructive earthquakes. Using advanced spectral and magnitude squared coherence methodologies, we found that the magnitudeM7earthquake annual frequency and the PDO record share common frequencies at about 9-, 20-, and 50- to 60-year periods, which are typically found in climate records and among the solar and lunar harmonics.

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Bardarbunga volcano alert in Iceland

Posted: August 20, 2014 by oldbrew in Earthquakes, Forecasting, volcanos

A previous Icelandic volcano  [image credit: BBC]

A previous Icelandic volcano
[image credit: BBC]

BBC reports:

“Intense seismic activity” began at the volcano on 16 August, and there was a strong earthquake in the region early on Monday, the met office said.

“This is the strongest earthquake measured in the region since 1996.

“Presently there are no signs of eruption, but it cannot be excluded that the current activity will result in an explosive subglacial eruption, leading to an outburst flood and ash emission,” the met office said, adding that the situation was being monitored.

BBC News – Iceland raises Bardarbunga volcano alert to orange.

The risk level to the aviation industry has been raised to orange, the second-highest level, the met office said.

Update 23rd August : Volcano alert level raised to red

*** Update 24th August: Alert level reduced to orange. ***

Update 29 August** Warning A fissure eruption has started north of Dynjujökull.** (Richard Holle)

=============================================================================
LATEST NEWS: http://icelandreview.com/news/bardarbunga

la-quake

From Buzzfeed

LOS ANGELES — A shallow magnitude-5.1 earthquake struck the Los Angeles area Friday night, causing minor damage and injuries, scattered power outages, and gas leaks.

The earthquake occurred at 9:09 p.m. at a depth of 4.6 miles and was centered near Brea in Orange County — about 20 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles. It was immediately followed by dozens of aftershocks, including a 3.4 and 3.6 magnitude.

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From the London Evening Standard:

Energy Minister Michael Fallon: The South East must accept fracking
Joe Murphy, Political Editor

nimbyThe South East must accept shale gas exploration for the sake of Britain’s economic future, Energy Minister Michael Fallon declared today.

He stepped after Surrey-based peer Lord Howell caused outrage by saying “desolate” areas of the North East should be targeted instead.

“It cannot be right to confine it to areas of the industrial North,” he told the Evening Standard.

“Shale exists under towns, villages and countryside. Shale gas is everywhere and could well be in quantity under attractive areas of the country as well as industrial areas.”

The Tory minister was cool about the remarks made by Lord Howell of Guildford, who is George Osborne’s father in law and a former Energy Secretary.

“He has apologised and it’s probably best left there,” he said. Lord Howell has been widely condemned by northern politicians and bishops for suggesting drilling should avoid the South.

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It’s a big one. I hope the people there got clear of buldings in time. UPDATE from Reuters below the break.

Iran-quake

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Talkshop Regular Michele Casati noted this event in comments yesterday, saying:

A sad example…. Yesterday very low solar wind (250 Km/s.) Today geomagnetic disturbance
rog, I’ve had great fear …earthquake near Lucca(Tuscany) Italy
Magnitude 5.0 – NORTHERN ITALY
http://cnt.rm.ingv.it/data_id/7226520880/event.html

Lucca_01It’s also worth noting that as well as the low solar windspeed, last night was a full Moon, four days after Lunar Apogee. The 5.8 Earthquake which hit Northern Italy on May 20 last year occurred one day after Lunar Apogee and one day before the New Moon. These are direct alignments of Sun, Earth and Moon when the Moon is near a distance turning point.

The following info is reposted from Alex Roe’s excellent English language blog,  the ‘Italy Chronicles’

Earthquake near Lucca in Tuscany

JANUARY 25, 2013 BY  

The 4.8 magnitude tremor was felt in Florence and Milan

A few minutes ago via twitter I was told by one of my followers in Pistoia that Florence andPisa had been rattled by an earthquake. A quick search revealed that a magnitude 4.8 or so tremor hit at 15:48 Italian time.

The epicentre was some 13 miles (30 kilometres) north of seaside town Viareggio and not far from Lucca. A list of the places within the earthquake zone can be found on Il Post here: Terremoto tra Toscana ed Emilia

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Here’s an entertaining and informative piece from the Register’s Andrew Orlowski on the new dash for shale gas:

Frack me! UK shale gas bonanza ‘bigger than North Sea oil’
Andrew Orlowski – Dec 14 2012

Blackpools-Shale-Gas-Dril-007The government has given the go-ahead for further exploration of the UK’s shale gas reserves. Independent surveys suggest these reserves may yield more energy for the nation than North Sea oil.

The shale gas will be collected using induced hydraulic fracturing, known as “fracking”, which splits rocks thousands of feet below ground using high-pressure liquid.

This is a defeat for environmentalist activists and the powerful renewables lobby – but they have a valuable consolation prize few have noticed. Under the proposed regulatory regime, during the fracking process any tremors that measure 0.5 or higher on the Richter scale may trigger an automatic halt to operations under a “traffic light” scheme outlined by the Lib Dem energy minister Ed Davey.

What does this mean? Well, tremors below magnitude 3.0 are considered to be barely noticeable, and bear in mind that the Richter scale is logarithmic: the energy released by a tremor of magnitude 0.5 is equivalent to the energy released by a large hand grenade.

But since the “epicentre” is thousands of feet below the surface, a 0.5 event escapes the detection of all but the most sensitive seismic monitoring equipment.

Yet one 0.5 event alone will be enough to halt fracking and it can only be restarted by the minister. Which, in practice, means it’s in the hand of the fanatically pro-wind Whitehall bureaucrats at the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

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From the Guardian:

fracking-toonThe chancellor, George Osborne, announced last week that the coalition would offer tax breaks to fracking firms, and intended to set up a new regulator for “unconventional gas”.

The energy secretary, Ed Davey, is shortly expected to lift restrictions on fracking at a site in Lancashire.

But Leinan, a member of the German SPD, spoke of the European parliament‘s growing concern over large-scale fracking, adding that it would pass new regulations to “manage, to discipline” the sector. He said: “There are basically only two countries where the government is behind using it. It is Poland and it is Great Britain, and Poland has not gone very fast. Then in Great Britain they give green light for industrial exploitation but they have to know what they are doing.

I don’t know if they can be so sure and clear about what they are doing.

He said.

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My thanks to Hans Jelbring, who has sent me a copy of a paper by Nils Axel Morner. The paper introduces the concept of ‘Neotectonics’ and defines the epoch as beginning around 3M years ago, when we entered the current run of glacial interglacial cycles. Nils proposes the hypothesis that movements of the tectonic plates, especially in the uplift of mountainous plateaux and the closing of the strait between South america and Antarctica, amplified the effects of Milankovitch orbital cycles and resulted in a fall in Earth’s average surface temperature. I’ve provided a few excerpts here, but be sure to download and read the whole paper, it reads easily and isn’t too long.

Neotectonics, the new global tectonic regime during the last 3 ma and the initiation of ice ages
NILS -AXEL MÖRNER

Paleogeophysics & Geodynamics, S-10691 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract
It recently became evident that the globe experienced a significantly changed tectonic
regiment from about 3.0 Ma onwards. This puts the term “neotectonics” in quite a new
perspective. We are now able to identify the last 3 Ma as characterized by generally
intensified tectonic activity. This period may hence be looked upon as a special
“neotectonic period”. Large areas were rapidly uplifted between 3.0 and 2.5 Ma. This led
to a seemingly more general lowering of the ocean floor due to an adjustment of the
geoid-oceanoid level. The tectonic reorganization 3.0-2.5 Ma ago led to the initiation of
global ice ages, the first one of which occurred at about 2.3 Ma.

neotectonics

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My thanks to Doug Cotton, who has flagged up this paper offering a good overview of the Earth’s solar system environment, and how it is affected by it. Brent Walker is an actuary who is interested in assessing risk posed by nature. He has pulled together much f the material which interests us here at the talkshop into a single, very readable paper, which I recommend. Here’s one of the key figures from the text, to whet the appetite:

The first graph above shows the global mean thermosphere density at 400 km altitude, obtained from satellite orbital parameters over four solar cycles. Blue: 81-day centered running mean. Black: annual average. Green dotted lines: envelope of expected decrease due to increasing CO2 levels, in the range of 2% to 5% per decade, starting with the 1976 annual average. This effectively rules out changing levels of carbon dioxide as the cause of the decrease in temperature recently witnessed.

The second graph shows the Global mean thermosphere density annual average plotted as a function of the 26-34 nm solar EUV irradiance annual average measured by the SEM for the ascending (red) and descending (blue) phases of solar cycle 23. Both of these graphs were obtained from the paper: Solomon et al “Anomalously low solar extreme-ultraviolet irradiance and thermosphere density during solar minimum”. GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 37, 2010

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With news just in of the 7.7 quake off Canada, I thought I’d draw attention to this article from earthsky.org

An extraordinary number of earthquakes of M4.5 and greater were triggered worldwide in the six days after the M8.6 East Indian Ocean earthquake in April 2012. These large and potentially damaging quakes, occurring as far away as Mexico and Japan, were triggered within days of the passage of seismic waves from the main shock that generated stresses in Earth’s crust.

The East Indian Ocean event was the largest — by a factor of 10 — strike-slip earthquake ever recorded (the San Andreas is perhaps the most famous strike-slip fault). “Most great earthquakes occur along subduction zones and involve large vertical motions. No other recorded earthquake triggered as many large earthquakes elsewhere around the world as this one,” said Pollitz, “probably because strike-slip faults around the globe were more responsive to the seismic waves produced by a giant strike-slip temblor.”

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fukushima-1

h/t to commenter Mark at WUWT who gave a link to a fascimile of the official report into the Fukishima nuclear accident.

[update] Users are having trouble accessing the report. On digging I discover the Japanese government complex at go.jp has a site wholly dedicated to the investigation. As of today only the executive summary and appendix are available.

English language site  naiic.go.jp/en/

[/update]

Link to report at slideshare (opens in new window)

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Image from earthquakereport

This morning 29th May 2012 a second strong earthquake struck Northern Italy, M5.8 and with many strong aftershocks. Higher death toll and more damage.

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Magnitude 5.9 Northern Italy, serious damage

Posted: May 20, 2012 by tchannon in Earthquakes

Image credit Reuters, story at ITV, click image for story.

EarthquakeReport: Very strong shallow earthquake kills at least 4 people in the Ferrara area, Italy + video

Image

Israeli news have a report, also mentions yesterday’s quake there.

Initial report magnitude 5.9, epicentre near Modena.

A few dead, no reports of a major toll.

The region is world famous for historic buildings and many have been damaged, with collapses reported. Given the dire state of Italian finances this bodes ill.

Italian blogger and Talkshop contributor Michele posted this earlier this morning

https://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/03/20/michele-casati-acapulco-earthquake-successfully-predicted/#comment-25373

He wrote on his own blog “4 hours, I was asleep and the bed moved with the same force of the earthquake in Aquila years ago …”

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As I started writing this book review, this item popped up on Benny Pieser’s ‘Newsbytes’ at the GWPF:

The only British company in the running to build a new generation of atomic power plants has threatened to pull out due to uncertainty over the government’s energy policy – a move that could imperil the country’s nuclear renaissance. Executives at Centrica, which is planning to build a new nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset in a joint venture with EDF Energy, have warned Whitehall officials that the plan hangs by a thread and could be scrapped if the company does not receive assurances about the future price of nuclear-generated electricity. –Guy Chazan and Jim Pickard, Financial Times, 22 April 2012

Which got me thinking about climate sceptics who are quick to condemn subsidy paid to the wind and solar industries, but prefer to talk about (future) improvements to nuclear reactor design rather than sordid financial details. This bedazzlement with technology and unconcern with cost one of the themes in this new book by Martin Cohen and Andrew McKillop.

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