Upsurge in earthquakes predicted in 2018.

We are the Borg.
User avatar
Posts: 19350
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2008 5:45 am
Location: Yokohama/Tokyo, Japan
Has thanked: 1140 times
Been thanked: 891 times

Upsurge in earthquakes predicted in 2018.

Postby Anaxagoras » Mon Nov 20, 2017 1:34 pm

When I first read this headline I was pretty skeptical. The Daily Mail said:

"Deadly earthquakes could hit a BILLION people next year because of Earth's slowing rotation"

Smelled like scaremongering. Sure, it could happen. But a lot of things could happen. Is it really significantly more likely to happen next year than it was this year or last year?

Then I saw a similar headline in the The Guardian:

Upsurge in big earthquakes predicted for 2018 as Earth rotation slows

Scientists say number of severe quakes is likely to rise strongly next year because of a periodic slowing of the Earth’s rotation

Scientists have warned there could be a big increase in numbers of devastating earthquakes around the world next year. They believe variations in the speed of Earth’s rotation could trigger intense seismic activity, particularly in heavily populated tropical regions.

Although such fluctuations in rotation are small – changing the length of the day by a millisecond – they could still be implicated in the release of vast amounts of underground energy, it is argued.

The link between Earth’s rotation and seismic activity was highlighted last month in a paper by Roger Bilham of the University of Colorado in Boulder and Rebecca Bendick of the University of Montana in Missoula presented at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America.

“The correlation between Earth’s rotation and earthquake activity is strong and suggests there is going to be an increase in numbers of intense earthquakes next year,” Bilham told the Observer last week.

In their study, Bilham and Bendick looked at earthquakes of magnitude 7 and greater that had occurred since 1900. “Major earthquakes have been well recorded for more than a century and that gives us a good record to study,” said Bilham.

They found five periods when there had been significantly higher numbers of large earthquakes compared with other times. “In these periods, there were between 25 to 30 intense earthquakes a year,” said Bilham. “The rest of the time the average figure was around 15 major earthquakes a year.”

The researchers searched to find correlations between these periods of intense seismic activity and other factors and discovered that when Earth’s rotation decreased slightly it was followed by periods of increased numbers of intense earthquakes. “The rotation of the Earth does change slightly – by a millisecond a day sometimes – and that can be measured very accurately by atomic clocks,” said Bilham.

Bilham and Bendick found that there had been periods of around five years when Earth’s rotation slowed by such an amount several times over the past century and a half. Crucially, these periods were followed by periods when the numbers of intense earthquakes increased.

“It is straightforward,” said Bilham. “The Earth is offering us a five-year heads-up on future earthquakes.”

Interesting finding if true. Still doesn't show exactly where and when any particular major earthquake will occur. Does this pass the sniff test?
A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.
William Shakespeare

User avatar
Rob Lister
Posts: 19035
Joined: Sun Jul 18, 2004 7:15 pm
Title: Incipient toppler
Location: Hiding under ed's bed
Has thanked: 488 times
Been thanked: 489 times

Re: Upsurge in earthquakes predicted in 2018.

Postby Rob Lister » Mon Nov 20, 2017 1:58 pm

A better source from a month ago ... arthquakes
which is not to suggest that your post wasn't timely but rather that the tabloid press isn't.

At the equator, Earth spins 460 meters per second. Given this high velocity, it’s not absurd to think that a slight mismatch in speed between the solid crust and mantle and the liquid core could translate into a force somehow nudging quakes into synchrony, Molnar says. Of course, he adds, “It might be nonsense.” But the evidence for some kind of link is compelling, says geophysicist Michael Manga of the University of California, Berkeley. “I’ve worked on earthquakes triggered by seasonal variation, melting snow. His correlation is much better than what I’m used to seeing.”

So in a word, yea I think it passes the sniff test.

The observed relationship is unable to indicate precisely when and where these future earthquakes will occur, although we note that most of the additional Mw>7 earthquakes have historically occurred near the equator in the West and East Indies. A striking example is that since 1900 more than 80% of all M≥7 earthquakes on the eastern Caribbean plate boundary have occurred 5 years following a maximum deceleration (including the 2010 Haiti earthquake). Calculations show the asthenosphere to have an appropriate viscosity to account for the delay between deceleration and subduction zone seismicity, however, a geodetic test of the anticipated westward overshoot would be of utility. ... 00667.html

They have correlation and causation. Experimentation is going to be a statistical exercise, I suppose.

User avatar
Abdul Alhazred
Posts: 66322
Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2004 1:33 pm
Title: Yes, that one.
Location: Chicago
Has thanked: 2027 times
Been thanked: 866 times

Re: Upsurge in earthquakes predicted in 2018.

Postby Abdul Alhazred » Mon Nov 20, 2017 2:07 pm

Plus the Bible says so, too.

So that settles it! :)
Image "If I turn in a sicko, will I get a reward?"

"Yes! A BIG REWARD!" ====> Click here to turn in a sicko
Any man writes a mission statement spends a night in the box.
-- our mission statement plappendale

Return to “Science, Mathematics & Technology”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: CCBot [Bot] and 0 guests