Strange animal behavior is often a precursor of major earthquake events....Millions of sardines suddenly died on March 8 in King Harbor, California. and yes, we know how to predict earthquakes...ie excess radon gas above background levels, changes in magnetic fields that affect animal magnetite and navigation (whale and fish beachings or strandings), low pressure storms, ionosphere disturbances etc see my blog from last year http://bit.ly/8DPbym -- we just don't have the early warning systems in place everywhere-the satellite or ground sensors to detect it. The USGS says we can't predict earthquakes with any accuracy yet (see podcast and transcript from 2008 here http://www.usgs.gov/corecast/details.asp?ID=76 )
See recent prediction models and simulations here
Earthquakes happen daily around the globe
All Recent quakes
UPDATE: a small +4.4 quake was felt on Vancouver Island on March 20th.
|MAP||4.4||2011/03/20 04:20:40||49.910||-128.216||9.9||VANCOUVER ISLAND, CANADA REGION|
Frequency of Occurrence of Earthquakes
|8 and higher||1 ¹|
|7 - 7.9||15 ¹|
|6 - 6.9||134 ²|
|5 - 5.9||1319 ²|
|4 - 4.9||13,000
|3 - 3.9||130,000
|2 - 2.9||1,300,000
¹ Based on observations since 1900.
These numbers have been recently updated, based on data from the Centennial catalog (from 1900 to 1999) and the PDE (since 2000).
² Based on observations since 1990.
The USGS has updated the magnitude of the March 11, 2011, Tohoku earthquake in northern Honshu, Japan, to 9.0 from the previous estimate of 8.9. Independently, Japanese seismologists have also updated their estimate of the earthquake’s magnitude to 9.0. This magnitude places the earthquake as the fourth largest in the world since 1900 and the largest in Japan since modern instrumental recordings began 130 years ago. The Japanese TV pictures where bad enough but this scatter plot of quakes and aftershocks around Japan hit home. A week after the quake, on Friday March 18, there were a dozens aftershocks between +5 and +6 magnitude.
UPDATE: a +6.2 aftershock was registered in Japan on Saturday March 19, 2011 http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsww/Quakes/usc00023fx.php
see animation of above http://geofon.gfz-potsdam.de/geofon/alerts/gfz2011ewla/animation_h600.gif
Many small earthquakes (magn 3 to 5) have been felt off the coast of Oregon and in California and the Gulf of California in the past two week. http://neic.usgs.gov/neis/bulletin/neic_ifai.html
see recent quakes here http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsww/Quakes/quakes_all.html
See Jim Berkland on Youtube, talking about the next critical seismic window in March 2011 and increased probability of earthquakes:
The least people on the West Coast can do is get extra money from the bank machine, tank up the car and get extra food & water supplies for the weekend.
The following story appered in Before Its News yesterday featuring Jim Berkland
Is The Big One About To Hit California?
Tuesday, March 15, 2011 2:50
California may be the next in line for a devastating earthquake, based on a recent history of massive geological activity and other naturally-occurring indicators.
Quakes in one part of the world help to trigger seismic events thousands of miles away, sometimes even months later. Hours after Japan was struck by a devastating 9.1 magnitude earthquake last Friday, a volcano in eastern Indonesia erupted, for example.
The Japanese quake is only the latest in a string of massive geological activity. Working backward, a line of large earthquakes taking place over the last 18 months can be drawn. On February 21, New Zealand suffered its worst natural disaster for 80 years when a 6.3 earthquake struck Christchurch, killing more than 200 people and causing much devastation. The same area was already weakened by a 7.0 quake that struck a few months before on September 3, 2010
The Ring of Fire
Two-thirds of the world’s volcanoes are hidden under water and they are driving a lot of this activity.
So far, the west coast of the United States has not suffered a similar earthquake. But the erratic behavior of mass groups of animals, usually a good sign that one is about to strike, may show that the region’s luck is about to run out.
A pod of whales stranded themselves hours before a massive earthquake hit New Zealand on February 21.
Thousands [actually millions] of sardines suddenly died on March 8 in King Harbor, California. While scientists cannot give a reason for the incident, some point to the mass stranding of 107 whales that occurred less than 48 hours before New Zealand was hit on February 21 as an indication that something big is about to happen off the coast of California.
These incidents are not without precedent. The UK Mirror points out another 170 whales stranded themselves in Australia and New Zealand prior to the devastating Christmas 2004 quake that struck in the Indian Ocean, resulting in a tsunami that killed more than 250,000 people across the region. At the time, Indian professor Dr. Arunachalam Kumar suspected a relationship between the two events:
Three weeks before the tsunami, he was alerted to the whales’ deaths, and wrote: “It is my observation, confirmed over the years, that mass suicides of whales and dolphins that occur sporadically all over the world, are in some way related to change and disturbances in the electromagnetic field co-ordinates and possible realignments of geotectonic plates thereof.
“I would not be surprised if within a few days a massive quake hits some part of the globe.”
Scientists are currently speculating that the cause of death of New Zealand’s pilot whales is due to sound reverberations in shallow water.
Some suspect an earthquake could hit the west coast of the United States within 3 weeks. Jim Berkland, who predicted the Loma Prieta quake, which occurred in the Bay Area in 1989, has done work with the gravitational force of the moon and how that can trigger quakes.
Berkland notes that the Moon will make its closest approach to the earth in the last 18 years from between 16-26, climaxing at its closest point on March 19th. Many respected periodicals such as Space.com are quoting astromomers in their reporting of this “Supermoon” event. However, Berkland holds several degrees in the credible science of geology and has taught the subject in universities, as well as having working the field for decades, which makes his warning one to heed.
Under normal circumstances, the moon is close enough to Earth to make its weighty presence felt. It causes the ebb and flow of the ocean tides, for example. The moon’s gravity can even cause small but measurable ebbs and flows in the continents, called “land tides” or “solid Earth tides,” too. (see my blog post from AAAS http://bit.ly/aS7jnB) The tides are greatest during full and new moons, when the sun and moon are aligned either on the same or opposite sides of the Earth. University of Washington in Seattle seismologist John Vidale agrees that particularly dramatic land and ocean tides do trigger earthquakes.
“Both the moon and sun do stress the Earth a tiny bit, and when we look hard we can see a very small increase in tectonic activity when they’re aligned,”
US Mega-Quake Coming Warn Russian Scientists
Saturday, March 12, 2011 11:14
EARTHQUAKE WARNING FROM RUSSIAN INSTITUTE of PHYSICS of the EARTH
A new report released today in the Kremlin prepared for Prime Minister Putin by the Institute of Physics of the Earth, in Moscow, is warning that the America’s are in danger of suffering a mega-quake of catastrophic proportions during the next fortnight (14 days) with a specific emphasis being placed on the United States, Mexico, Central America and South American west coast regions along with the New Madrid Fault Zone region.
This report further warns that catastrophic earthquakes in Asia and the sub-continent are, also, “more than likely to occur” with the 7.3 magnitude quake in Japan today being “one of at least 4 of this intensity” to occur during this same time period.
Raising the concerns of a mega-quake occurring, this report says, are the increasing subtle electromagnetic signals that are being detected in the Earth’s upper atmosphere over many regions of the World, with the most intense being over the US Western coastal and Midwest regions.
Important to note are that Russian, [Ukrainian] and British scientists are at the forefront of predicting earthquakes based on these subtle electromagnetic signals and have joined in an effort to put satellites in space to detect more of them. (see my blog post from 2010 http://bit.ly/8DPbym )
More ominously in this report are Russian scientists confirming the independent analysis of New Zealand mathematician and long-range weather forecaster, Ken Ring, who predicted the deadly Christchurch quake and this week issued another warning of a quake to hit on or about March 20th.
Ring explains his methodology for predicting earthquakes as follows:
“The planets very much affect the earth, indirectly, by having an effect on the Sun. Some planets are very large. If the Sun was a basketball the gas giants Jupiter and Saturn would be the size of grapefruits, and the Earth would be, on that scale, the size of a peppercorn.
Jupiter and Saturn cause extra tides on the Sun when they get on either side of the Sun (as with Moon – Earth-Sun when the moon is full) and when these gas giants get on the same side as the Sun, (as with Earth -Moon – Sun when the moon is new). These greater solar tides become sunspot activity and solar flares and can be understood as akin to the increase in tides caused by the Moon when it too gets alongside Earth or opposite Earth.
At the moment we have Jupiter and Saturn on either side of the Sun and creating a tug of war with Earth in the middle. That started last September and will continue until about May. In September the Earth was right in line with Jupiter, Saturn and the Sun too.
That’s why there were several 7+ earthquakes around, it wasn’t just us. For instance there was one in Pakistan on the same day as Christchurch. This Jupiter/Saturn alignment continues until about May, and the Earth comes back into line as well in March. It is why there may be an extreme event, perhaps a large earthquake, around 20 March, which is when the Moon may be again in a trigger position.”
According to this report, however, where Ring is correct in assessing blame for our Earth’s earthquakes on the Sun and Planets, his substituting of Perigean Spring Tides (also known as King Tides) for the low pressure systems associated with them may be incorrect.
The mention in this report of massive low pressure systems being associated with catastrophic earthquakes is especially dire to the United States Midwestern region, which even today is continuing to be pounded by horrific rainfall amounts, and most especially impacting the New Madrid Fault Zone State of Arkansas which has suffered over 800 earthquakes in the past 6 months alone.
Equally in danger, this report continues, is the South American Nation of Bolivia which has, likewise, suffered catastrophic low pressure system storms that in the past week have killed over 52 people.
Most ominous in this report, though, is its warning that the fault-riddled State of California may be about to suffer its most catastrophic earthquake in decades as new reports for this region show the mass death of millions of fish is now occurring, and just like the mass stranding of whales on New Zealand beaches days prior to the February 22nd destruction of Christchurch.
Making the situation for our Planet even grimmer are the reports that our Sun is continuing to spew forth massive solar flares, the latest warned to hit our Earth today or tomorrow thus prompting the Hermanus Space Weather Warning Centre (SWWC) to issue a Solar Flare warning for the Southern Hemisphere.
Interesting to note in all of these events is the United States Army announcing this week that it is holding a rare training event involving the US Military, the CIA, Canadian officers, US Treasury and State departments, the US Agency for International Development, the Defense Threat Readiness Agency and the International Red Cross between March 21-25 at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and which should the worst happen they will certainly be prepared for it.
As this report concludes, that as of yet, “no firmly reliable” method for predicting earthquakes has been scientifically recognized, it is well worth noting the too many to be ignored anomalous coincidences leading up to catastrophic mega-quakes are breaking out all over the World and should only be ignored at ones peril.
UPDATE: From Space.com
In fact scientists have studied related scenarios for decades. Even under normal conditions, the moon is close enough to Earth to make its weighty presence felt: It causes the ebb and flow of the ocean tides.
The moon's gravity can even cause small but measureable ebbs and flows in the continents, called "land tides" or "solid Earth tides," too. The tides are greatest during full and new moons, when the sun and moon are aligned either on the same or opposite sides of the Earth.
According to John Vidale, a seismologist at the University of Washington in Seattle and director of the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network, particularly dramatic land and ocean tides do trigger earthquakes. "Both the moon and sun do stress the Earth a tiny bit, and when we look hard we can see a very small increase in tectonic activity when they're aligned," Vidale told Life's Little Mysteries, a sister site to SPACE.com.
At times of full and new moons, "you see a less-than-1-percent increase in earthquake activity, and a slightly higher response in volcanoes."
The effect of tides on seismic activity is greatest in subduction zones such as the Pacific Northwest, where one tectonic plate is sliding under another. William Wilcock, another seismologist at the University of Washington, explained: "When you have a low tide, there's less water, so the pressure on the seafloor is smaller. That pressure is clamping the fault together, so when it's not there, it makes it easier for the fault to slip."
According to Wilcock, earthquake activity in subduction zones at low tides is 10 percent higher than at other times of the day, but he hasn't observed any correlations between earthquake activity and especially low tides at new and full moons. Vidale has observed only a very small correlation.
What about during a lunar perigee? Can we expect more earthquakes and volcanic eruptions on March 19, when the full moon will be so close?
The moon's gravitational pull at lunar perigee, the scientists say, is not different enough from its pull at other times to significantly change the height of the tides and thus the likelihood of natural disasters.
"A lot of studies have been done on this kind of thing by USGS scientists and others," John Bellini, a geophysicist at the U.S. Geological Survey, told Life's Little Mysteries. "They haven't found anything significant at all."
Vidale concurred. "Practically speaking, you'll never see any effect of lunar perigee," he said. "It's somewhere between 'It has no effect' and 'It's so small you don't see any effect.'"
UPDATE: March 23, 2011-Christchurch begins to believe 'Moon Man' who predicted quakes By Tim Hume in Auckland
Christchurch begins to believe 'Moon Man' who predicted quakes By Tim Hume in Auckland
Wednesday, 23 March 2011
A maverick "lunar forecaster" who claims to have predicted both New Zealand's major recent earthquakes provoked fear and outrage when he warned that another devastating jolt would strike Christchurch last Sunday. Scientists made a public bet that it wouldn't – and were then left exasperated as the city was shaken by the biggest aftershock since the February catastrophe.
Ken Ring, a grey-bearded, hitherto obscure fishing commentator, has become the subject of heated public debate in recent months over his earthquake predictions, based on the pseudoscientific belief that quakes are caused by the gravitational pull of the Moon on tectonic plates.
Although rubbished by seismologists, the theory gained traction as word spread that the "Moon Man" appeared to have predicted both the initial September quake, and the February disaster which killed about 182 people.
Gaining support from Christchurch residents frustrated that science had been unable to usefully predict the killer aftershock, Mr Ring used his new platform to warn of another impending giant quake – one that "could be another for the history books" – on the morning of 20 March, as the Moon passed close to the Earth. "The killer is still loose on the streets, the one that strikes on full moons," he wrote.
His warnings to stay away last weekend prompted some traumatised residents to flee their homes, and played on the nerves of many who remained. "Even people who would normally discard it or say it's only superstition are becoming extremely fearful," said Lynette Hutson, co-ordinator of the Salvation Army's counselling service.
In response, scientists, politicians and sections of the media moved to calm the hysteria. Current affairs broadcaster John Campbell savaged Mr Ring in a primetime interview which was roundly criticised as unfairly hostile, and seemed only to create sympathy for the "Moon man".
On Sunday, a group of geologists, engineers, and a cabinet minister with a PhD in geotechnical engineering gathered at a publicity-courting "non-event", holding a lunch in one of Christchurch's oldest, tallest buildings, at the time the "7 plus" doomsday quake was supposed to strike.
The lunch passed without incident. The sceptics were satisfied. But that night, at 9.47pm, the city was shaken by a 5.1-magnitude aftershock. It was about a thousand times less powerful than the killer that Mr Ring had prophesied, and it came 10 hours late. But it was the biggest aftershock since the February disaster and, for many of Mr Ring's supporters, it came as the most public of vindications.
"I must admit I spent Sunday hoping there wasn't going to be an earthquake like that," says Dr Marc Wilson, a psychology lecturer who was one of the scientists to speak out against Mr Ring. He can understand why some have read Sunday's events as bolstering Mr Ring's credibility, saying the large, unfortunately timed aftershock had only complicated the picture for the public. But that response was entirely in keeping with what the scientists predicted.
"Whatever the biggest earthquake was on Sunday would have been pointed to as the event," he says. Sunday's quake conformed to the expected pattern of aftershocks, and was just one of more than 20 of a similar size since the September quake. "We've been having a magnitude 4 earthquake about once a day," said Dr Wilson.
Dr Mark Quigley, a lecturer in active tectonics and geomorphology, said controversial research had argued there might be a small correlation – perhaps an increased earthquake likelihood of up to 1 per cent – between smaller continental quakes and "solid Earth tides", the changes in the planet's shape due to the gravitational pull of the Moon.
But there was no evidence which supported Mr Ring's hypothesis. Typical earthquake-induced stress changes were 100 to 1,000 times greater than those induced by the tides, he said. "Vague quotes about dates of 'increased' activity plus or minus several days, without magnitudes, locations, and exact times do not constitute prediction," he said.
Mr Ring has gone to ground over critical media coverage, including revelations he previously worked as a party clown and magician, and once wrote a book about palmistry for cats. He did not reply to questions.
Dr Wilson said he could understand the appeal of pseudoscience, as traumatised groups have a tendency to look for things that make sense of their experience. "The things he's saying are reasonably easy to digest," he said. "And science, when you get down to it, is hard to break down into soundbite-sized chunks that everyone can understand.