Does the Japan Quake Make a US Quake More Likely?

“By Kiera Butler

“Seismically speaking, it’s been a rough few months on the Pacific rim. On February 27, 2010, an 8.8-magnitude earthquake struck Chile. In September, two major quakes rocked New Zealand’s South Island, and a 6.3 followed in February in Christchurch. Just a few weeks after that, the devastating 9.0 quake struck Japan, causing a tsunami and a nuclear crisis. These quakes occurred on three of the four “corners” of the notoriously jumpy Ring of Fire. The other corner? The West Coast of the United States. So does this series of earthquakes up the US’s chances of the dreaded “Big One”?

“This Newsweek story from last week suggests that the answer is yes, since the earth is “like a great brass bell, which when struck by an enormous hammer blow on one side sets to vibrating and ringing from all over.” Rogue seismologist Jim Berkland, who claims to be able to predict earthquakes based in part on tides and the moon, has also warned that a major US quake is imminent.”

Read the full Mother Jones article here.

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One Response to “Does the Japan Quake Make a US Quake More Likely?”
  1. depelton says:

    A friend who has an academic background in geology sent me this comment in response to this article:

    ” Don: I am glad you are interested. Let me add. Kiera Butler mentions Newsweek saying earth is like a brass bell and that Berkland is a rogue who claims to be able to predict earthquakes based in part on tides and the moon.

    I believe if it were as simple as a brass bell we would have more confidence in the hammer strike> resonant response view. The earth is an oblate spheroid centered on a core with an approx.2160 mi radius surrounded by a mantle with a radius of approx. 1800 mi. On top of the mantle is a relatively slippery layer , the Mohorovicic Seismic Discontinuity-MOHO-and on top of this, with a sea floor thickness ranging from 3 to 8 miles and continental thickness averaging 25 miles lies the crust. From seismic wave behavior we know the core is probably molten and the mantle flows in convection cells so that it rises producing mid-oceanic spreading centers and descends producing subduction zones. The crust, .26% of radius. is the only rigid material.

    If we compare the relative densities of these three parts we see earth is even less like a brass bell. The crust avg. density is 2.8 X water, the mantle 4.8 X water and the core 10.71 X water. This means not only is the earth a 6.5 billion trillion ton composite spinning with a velocity at its equator of 1000 mph, approximately 650 mph here in California, and 0 mph at the poles the relative density of our so called “terra firma” bears the relationship to the other 99+% of the mass as scum on a pond.

    Now add to this that the Sun actually varies in distance between 91.5 and 94.5 million miles with a significantly greater orbital velocity during perihelion in January than aphelion in July and that the moon with equally variable speeds and a 13% variance in distance have periodically aligned perihelions.

    If we plug all the numbers we can nail down into the gravity equation, Force = Gravitational Constant x mass1x mass2/ distance squared, we find tidal forces on the scum are related to the seasons maybe more than any other parameter but the responses of specific scum, its not homogeneous, are unpredictable to say the least.

    Theoretically Berkland could predict if he could get accurate numbers for every single parameter involved. That’s the same sort of thing Newton proposed to do with his clockwork universe. The problem is the data. GIGO! That’s why I mentioned Chaos Theory.”

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