Sunday, June 26, 2005

MORE EARTH SIGNS

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Scientists and government officials and the media don't want to spook anyone but something really nasty is going on here and I am refering the the biggest, most dangerous entity on our planet: Mother Nature. She is a lovely lady who keeps us alive despite our poisoning the air and water (cough*gasp). But she is also red in tooth and claw and she can eliminate vast swaths of us very easily as she showed clearly a mere six months ago.

Once again, more earthquake news. Earth suddenly opens big rift in Texas!
A massive crack in the earth opened up last week in Claude, Texas and it's creating a stir among geologists.

Geologists said Tuesday the crack was a joint in the earth's crust. They believe the opening is the result of a weak point in the joint where one spot slips away from the other.

Some parts measure more than 30-feet deep and it drained what used to be a pond. Experts say earth cracks are common but the size of the crack in Claude is not.
There was no earthquake. Silently, the earth simply opened up and split in two. If this happens at a major highway or city, it could be very bad indeed.

This isn't a common occurance and this part of the country is fairly stable. This isn't California! The warping and bending of our continents as the Australian plate shoves the Pacific plate towards the USA while the Atlantic plate is splitting in two meaning the USA is trying to move westwards even as the Pacific plate is shoved eastwards: no wonder some of the greatest mountain building is happening right where the west coasts of the Americas slide over the Pacific plate!

From Livescience.com

A colossal earthquake that caused damage from South Carolina to Washington D.C. and temporarily reversed the course of the Mississippi River nearly two centuries ago could be repeated within the next 50 years, scientists said today.

Strain is building on a fault near Memphis, Tennessee that was the site of a magnitude 8.1 earthquake in 1812, according to new observations that settle a debate on the risk of another huge quake.

The odds of another 8.0 event within 50 years are between 7 and 10 percent, geologists said today. The assessment, based on new data from a recently installed array of sensors, puts to rest a 1990s claim that strain was not increasing.

Such a strong earthquake would rock the entire eastern half of the country and prove devastating to the local region. A lesser but still damaging quake of magnitude 6 or greater has a 90 percent chance of striking in the next five decades.

The new study, detailed in the June 23 issue of the journal Nature, reveals a vexing characteristic of the fault that traverses the region. The ground moves more near the fault, creeping a few millimeters every year, than it does farther from it.
I am sorry Dr. Damon who used to be in the Geology Dept of the University of Arizona is no longer giving interviews. He is one of the earliest scientists to endorse the once radical idea of plate tectonics. He told me back in the very early sixties that the New Madrid fault lies in a mantle "depression" which is why it often ends up underwater for millions of years as things shift and that this "pins down" the continent which swings around this point. A theory, anyway.

This probably explains why the earth moves more actively close to the inner depression point? Wish I could ask him.
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A great quake's footprint in the midwest vs in California.

Then there is California. From the LA Times:

Were last week's quakes in California connected? Maybe.

Did they relieve pressure on major fault lines? Perhaps, but not much. Did they make a bigger quake more likely? Possibly. These are not exactly the answers quake-rattled Californians are looking for.

But the recent temblors involve some of the issues that seismologists most often debate. And the more research they do, the more they sometimes disagree. Even husband and wife seismologists don't see eye to eye. The quakes — including two felt across Southern California and a 7.2 temblor June 14 off the coast of Eureka that prompted a tsunami warning along the entire West Coast, followed by a 6.7 two days later — didn't cause much damage or injury.

They captured much attention because they came so close together and hit after a period of less-than-normal seismic activity.
Why do they do this? Lie, that is? Pretending these series of quakes are seperate or "together"? This is called "asking the wrong questions." These scientists, if they are too shy to stick their heads out and explain how the irrepressible forces at work since the Boxing Day Quake are definitely going to be transmitted to California and will be pretty strongly felt when they manifest themselves in the form of nasty earthquakes.

There is no evasion of this future. It won't go far away into some mythical distant future when we are all dead from over indulging ourselves. It is here and pretty much now. The crack in Texas is a warning sign that our entire continent is being pinched very hard indeed. Talk about bustsing a gut! The only question is, will there be a series of 8.0+ earthquakes or many 7.5 ones or just two or three 9.5+ ones! That would be truly hideous. We can pray for a large number of 6-7 ones. This will still cause tremendous damage and kill people but won't wipe out a quarter million in minutes.

All my life, scientists have warned the whole country about the New Madrid fault. Yet today, again, they are debating changing building codes to reflect the reality of this possible quake. And nothing is done.

This is sad. And annoying. Learn the hard way, no?
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This is a California garage made with cement pylons that passed very stringent building codes. The center collapsed and then the outer tiers bent inwards. Their interior turning to dust. But then.

We all saw how swiftly the two WTC buildings fell.

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