Recent earthquake activity in the Continental United States has been occurring in regions not usually known for this phenomenon.
August 23rd, 2011
Departing slightly from the normal material on MONOLITHIK, the blog will today delve into a little science to cover the recent terrestrial abnormalities outside of our nation’s capital with this article:
The Southeastern-Colorado Rocky Mountain region experienced a significant Earthquake just before midnight last night (epicenter time). In addition to this abnormal quake, rare earthquakes occurring in Missouri, Tennessee, Ohio and Maine over the last week were oddly capped off with an early morning Maryland Earthquake and a record-breaking 5.9 tremor in Virginia – just outside of Washington D.C.
MAGNITUDE 5.9 VIRGINIA EARTHQUAKE
USGS shake maps show the major earthquake (for east-coast standards) was felt in over 777 zip codes (updated:
now 3200 now 8269 +), 12 20 states and over 1000km away – even into Canada. Previously, the largest Earthquakes to have occurred in the Virginia Seismic Region were a Magnitude 5.8 quake in May 31st, 1897 and April 29th, 1852’s 4.9 quake – making today’s Earthquake the largest in Virginia Seismic Region history and the most significant Earthquake in the Greater Region (east of Rockies) in over 110 years. In fact, it was the largest quake on the east coast since 1944.
MAGNITUDE 4.6 / 5.3 COLORADO EARTHQUAKE
In a another region described by the United States Geological Survey as “infrequently” affected by Earthquakes, Southeastern Colorado experienced a similarly large Magnitude 4.6 followed by a Magnitude 5.3 earthquake late last night (11:30 and 11:46PM epicenter time; respectively). USGS explains that this vast region of the US that lies East of the Rocky Mountains is far from any major fault line and can “go years without experiencing an Earthquake large enough to be felt”. In Colorado’s case, this is the largest quake since 1967’s 5.3 Magnitude tremor.
LIST – RECENT EARTHQUAKES EAST OF ROCKY MOUNTAINS
MAGNITUDE 1.5 – EASTERN TENNESSEE – AUGUST 17, 2011; 12:42:26PM EASTERN
– SOUTHEAST MISSOURI – AUGUST 17, 2011; 4:49:28PM EASTERN MAGNITUDE 3.0
– CHICKASAW, OKLAHOMA – AUGUST 18, 2011; 12:50:51PM EASTERN
– WESTERN TENNESSEE – AUGUST 19, 2011; 3:55:42 EASTERN
MAGNITUDE 1.2 – NORTHEAST MAINE – AUGUST 20, 2011; 10:11:07AM EASTERN
MAGNITUDE 2.2 – YOUNGSTOWN, OHIO – AUGUST 22, 2011; 4:00:32AM EASTERN
– OKLAHOMA CITY, OK. – AUGUST 22, 2011; 6:38:37PM EASTERN
MAGNITUDE 4.6 – SOUTH COLORADO – AUGUST 22/23, 2011; 1:30:00AM EASTERN (05:30 UTC)
MAGNITUDE 5.3 – SOUTH COLORADO – AUGUST 22/23, 2011; 1:46:19AM EASTERN (05:46 UTC)
– WESTERN TENNESSEE – AUGUST 22/23, 2011; 1:49:44AM EASTERN
MAGNITUDE 2.2 – ALTAMONT, NEW YORK – AUGUST 23, 2011; 6:35:17AM EASTERN
MAGNITUDE 5.9 – CENTRAL VIRGINIA – AUGUST 23, 2011; 1:51:03PM EASTERN (17:51 UTC)
The above cities in the list that are crossed out are discounted because they occur on the New Madrid Fault Line, which is the most seismically active region East of the Rocky Mountains. In dark blue are the Earthquakes discussed above.
The recently affected regions sit on and around an ancient Craton, or sub-techtonic “plate” called the North American Craton. These plates are relatively stable due to their depth, size and age and make up the geological core of the North American Continent. It’s borders make a “U” shape – first North to South along the Eastern Rockies, then curving to the East through Oklahoma into the New Madrid Fault region and subtly back up towards New York state. As can be seen in the basic maps below, both locations with semi-major earthquakes in the last 24 hours exist on the outer edge of this Craton. Could an external or internal force be affecting this Craton? If you look at the first image in the post, you can see that the two semi-major earthquakes are connected by smaller quakes in the New Madrid Fault region – almost by a straight line…Could there be more Earthquakes coming to this region?
Scientists have long speculated that Solar Wind Storms can influence Tectonic activity on earth. Solar winds streams escape from coronal holes on the sun and are hurtled out into space at extremely fast speeds. Sometimes, Earth is affected by these, other times, they escape into space and never intersect with any objects in our solar system. Below is a few graphics showing Solar Wind/Energy moving out into the solar system from the sun. In the middle graphic, which shows a longitudinal view of Earth and the Sun, we can see Earth being in the middle of a few bands of Solar Wind at the time these irregular quakes occurred (more on that below).
Does this conclusively cause earthquakes? That has not been proven, but the solar wind has been shown to affect the Earth’s magnetosphere and hence geomagnetic activity. It has also been shown to affect the ionosphere – another layer of the Earth’s outer atmospheric layers which has been shown to have an influence on tectonics.
Solar Wind storms have not been conclusively proven without doubt to have direct links to earthquake activity, but in many research and scientific circles, evidence is mounting. One scientist explains it like this:
Solar activity has a direct relationship on seismic activity. Think of a solar wind as a stream of plasma or energy hitting the Earth’s magnetic field for a period of 2-3 days. Granted, there has been solar phenomenon throughout the existence of our solar system, and seismic activity as well. The point is the two go hand in hand and solar activity has a direct effect on the planet’s tectonic plate movement. It is basically the driving force for the tectonic plates. As a result Earth’s core temperature gradually increases. This increase in the Earth’s core temperature causes the core to expand, thus causing Earth’s crust to be pushed outward and tectonic plates to move all at once, moving easier due to the hotter surface underneath it.
Other researchers show connections between Solar Wind storms on January 12, 2o1o and the earthquake in Haiti. Links have also been shown to the Chilean quake that preceded the Haitian earthquake. Above (middle), you can see a medium-sized band of solar wind passing the Earth at approximately 17:00 UTC on August 23rd, 2011 – the same time as the Virginia quake. The below graph confirms the solar activity reaching Earth, reflected by an increase :
The up and down cyclical movement is due to the measurement satellite being in ‘geosynchronous’ orbit – it is therefore stationary on one side of the planet and it subject to night and day and therefore greater and lesser effects from solar energy. Being inside a Solar Wind stream for two days, both high-sides are above average and low sides (which measure the geomagnetic tail on the earth) and readings can be seen returning to normal in the beginning hours of August 24th.
But can this alone cause Earthquakes? Probably not. So what else could contribute to an earthquake (outside of normal tectonic movement, of course)? Perhaps multiple factors combine to make perfect conditions for tectonic shifts. Below, the chart shows that we are re-entering a period of increased solar activity. This combined with plasma-streams exiting Coronal holes could definitely add to tectonic movement. Sun-spot numbers are at a high for the month and climbing, and solar activity as a whole, called solar flux, is increasing.
In addition to solar activity and it’s effects on terrestrial tectonics, planetary position must be taken into consideration. Gravitational pull from the Sun in conjunction with major planets (like Jupiter and Saturn), minor planets (Mars, Venus, etc.) and most importantly the moon and its phase could all play a part. The current Lunar phase is a “waning crescent”, meaning the phase is in the last quarter before a new moon (approx 29% full/81% new). The highest gravitational influence from the moon is at new and full moons with the last quarters still exerting great gravitational/tidal influence; the lowest being at 50% full/new or “quarter moon” – the pull from the moon is in conflict with the pull from the sun creating what is called “neap tides” (aka weakest tides). After the gravitational influence of the moon and the sun, Jupiter would be the next greatest influence on Earth. Jupiter is so large, it even causes the Sun to wobble on it’s axis (which is more of a orbit around the center of the solar system due to Jupiter).
All these factors (and to be sure, many more) play a part in the Earths constant changes. Certainly – whatever caused the irregular Craton-shifting earthquakes of the past 24 hours had a strong influence. After all, remember that “The term craton is used to distinguish the stable portion of the continental crust from regions that are more geologically active and unstable.”
PROVEN ALTERNATE CAUSES?
With the industrial, scientific and technological advances of the 20th century, new things were attempted to better understand the planet and how it’s resources could be harnessed and used for benefit. Many scientific discoveries happen by accident – others have unintended side effects. Through the solution of one question comes the asking of another. In these cases, the unintended side effect is referred to as induced seismicity. While hard to believe at first, the world does know how to create an earthquake. I have confirmed this with a long-time USGS scientist and there is plenty of information available online. The methods which are discussed online are the obvious ones when you think about it, but aren’t often discussed. They are listed in brief below:
1) Water Reservoirs – “The mass of water in a reservoir alters the pressure in the rock below, which can trigger earthquakes.” The way it was explained to me is that the ground below the reservoir acts like a scale on a spring – add water and the spring coils tight as the ground depresses and pressure increases. Quickly drain that reservoir and the “spring” and pressure release. Seismic shocks can be created during the “pressurization” (filling) and “depressurization” (draining) of the rock below the reservoir. Examples include:
- Magnitude 6.3 1967 Koynanagar Earthquake in India.
- Shocks felt during the 1963 filling of the Vajont Dam/Reservoir in Italy.
- Magnitude 6.1 earthquake in Oroville, California in 1975 during the filling of a massive earth-fill dam and reservoir.
- Arkansas – 2009 to Present. “Swarms” of small earthquakes began to occur daily when fracking operations began. See story.
- HDR and EGS systems are currently being tested at the Geysers just North of San Francisco, California. The Geysers are a complex of 22 geothermal power plants located at coordinates 38.790556, -122.755833. If this location is referenced on USGS’s earthquake hazards map, the below map is shown. Various earthquakes have been induced ranging from Magnitude 1.0 to 3.9 and greater. Also see link.
- Clearly, those in charge at The Geysers have known about and have been tracking the induced seismicity since the late 1960s. The chart below shows the increasing levels of earthquakes in the region with Magnitude 4.0+ quakes becoming more common from 1980 to present. The report containing the below chart even expresses concern about the nearby town residents being able to detect seismic events multiple times a day. Apparently, unanswered questions concerning the unknown effects on nearby active fault lines (see above), what distance those effects extend and long term effects of weakening rocks did little deter continued operation of this facility – even after a 7.1 quake devastated the San Francisco region in 1989.
- The patent application states: HAARP consists of a method and apparatus for altering a region of the earth’s atmosphere, ionosphere and magnetosphere.
- Their website states: HAARP is a scientific endeavor aimed at studying the properties and behavior of the ionosphere, with particular emphasis on being able to understand and use it to enhance communications and surveillance systems for both civilian and defense purposes.
“During 2007, 2008, 2009 the Jet Stream has been at an abnormally low latitude across the UK, lying closer to the English Channel, around 50°N rather than its more usual north of Scotland latitude of around 60°N. However, between 1979 and 2001, it has been found that the position of the jet stream has been moving northward at a rate of 2.01 kilometres (1.25 mi) per year across the Northern Hemisphere. Across North America, this type of change could lead to drier conditions across the southern tier of the United States and more frequent and more intense tropical cyclones in the tropics.”
For the last month, the jet-stream has been blocking the South-Eastern US from tropical storms and now a hurricane. The side effect is a month-long heatwave in Texas that has temperatures between 5 and 10 degrees ABOVE the seasonal average. In the above image, you can see the northern jet-stream causing hot desert air to continually recirculate through Texas. Again, no weather expert has confirmed this, but normally, it would seem that cooler air from the western US would move this stagnant air out. As a result, Texas has seen almost a month of temps well over 100 degrees. Trains have derailed due to warped tracks, people have died, energy grids have strained…and everyone agrees this is not normal weather. Meanwhile, in Chicago, a cold front is moving in and high winds are expected. As can be seen in the above jet-stream map, Chicago will be the beneficiary of cooler northern air brought in by the jet-stream.
The three traces represent mutually orthogonal components of the earth’s magnetic field as follows:
- The “H” component (black trace) is positive magnetic northward
- The “D” component (red trace) is positive eastward
- The “Z” component (blue trace) is positive downward
Geomagnetic storminess is usually indicated in oscillatory variations in the earth’s magnetic field. Additional detail concerning the nature and severity of the ionospheric disturbance can be found through analysis of the three components of the field.
In this case, these events could be natural or man-made. We may not know as much as we think about the long-term cycles of the earth and the changes it undergoes on the scale of thousands of years. On the other hand, it would be absurd to rule out the possibility of these events being orchestrated by a hidden hand we know nothing about. A magicians charade is only successful when the nature of the magic is not known. People do not appreciate being lied to and secrets are kept and compartmentalized for this reason. All we can do is continue to watch try to ascertain the truth. Will there be another earthquake when the next Solar Wind band passes on the 27-28th? Will the Hurricane make landfall? Will both happen around the same time around the Washington DC area? Time will tell – be prepared.
Update: See Part Two Here