Is the stability of the Earth’s axis threatened by new mega-quakes now taking place around the world?
Major World Quakes and Volcanic Eruptions in 2010 So Far?
On December 26, 2004, a 600-mile long section of the Indian Tectonic Plate, by sliding beneath the Eurasian/ Burmese Tectonic Plate Subduction Zone, shifted trillions of tons of rock resulting in a massive 9.3 magnitude earthquake which the U.S. Geological Survey estimated was equivalent to the energy release of 23,000 Hiroshima nuclear explosions.
This tremendous singular seismic event caused the entire planet to ring like a bell, as the shock wave moved through the Earth’s crust several times.
Within minutes, the mega-tremor—the epicenter of which was situated off the northwest coast of the Indonesian island of Sumatra—displaced several billions of tons of seawater, generating a series of major tsunami waves that raced across the Indian Ocean at nearly the speed of sound. They slammed into the coasts of 11 nations, in some cases up to 3,000 miles away, causing surges and swells nearest the epicenter between 50 and 80 feet high.
These resulted in the instant death of 150,000 people, as well as the permanent displacement of millions more amid the wide-spread unimaginable devastation. The eventual total, from both the immediate destruction and the after-effects of drowning, injury, disease, exposure and starvation, has been estimated as high has 300,000—making the Sumatra tragedy one of the deadliest quake-tsunami events in recorded history.
Just five years later, on January 12, 2010, a 7.0 magnitude quake struck the Caribbean nation of Haiti, with its epicenter only 10 miles southeast of the capital city of Port-au-Prince. This was the most powerful earth movement in this region for the past 200 years, killing outright an estimated 220,000 people and leaving well over a million more homeless.
The resulting aftershocks and continuing after-effects from injury, disease and starvation is still adding to the death toll two months later, despite the huge international rescue and relief efforts.
Just 46 days aterwards, on February 27, 2010, an 8.8 magnitude quake hit 56 miles northeast of the nation of Chile’s second largest city, Concepcion, and also generated a destructive tsunami along its Pacific coast. The U.S. Geological Survey estimated the Chilean event was 500 times stronger than what occurred in Haiti. This is considered to have been the most powerful tremor for South America in recorded history, and ranks among the Top Ten in the world over the past two millennia.
At this writing, the estimated official death count is at a thousand, but the rescue efforts are only now just beginning. The media images of large-scale devastation not only n Concepcion but also in the capital city of Santiago 200 miles away indicate that the toll is going to steadily climb far higher before a final assessment of this tragedy’s full extent can be made.
One preliminary survey puts the eventual total number of casualties between 100,000 and 500,000.
A very noteworthy discovery made by geophysicists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California is that their computer models indicate the Chilean shock caused the Earth to be moved off its axis by 2.7 milliarcseconds or 2.1 inches, while the planet’s axis spin was shortened by 1.26 millionths of a second.
Because of the Chilean quake’s more concentrated energy output and its geographical position relative to the Equator, it had a greater effect on the planet than did the Sumatran 9.3 quake in 2004—that jolt shifted the axis by only 2.3 milliarcseconds, but did shorten the day by an increased 6.8 millionths of a second.
In the overall movements that daily take place throughout the globe due to the constant shifting of oceanic and atmospheric masses as the planet turns, such miniscule seismic effects are almost negligible. But they are potentially important nonetheless. Over time and persistent repetitions as is beginning to happen in larger and more frequent numbers, these could eventually set up a series of expanding ripple phenomena—like throwng stones into a pond and watching the various wave formations build upon each other.
Once an initial pattern is established, then even relatively smaller tremors can act as reinforcements. In between the Sumatran, Haitian and Chilean shocks were three major quakes in China in 2008, and a large one in Italy in 2009. Were there prolonged consequences from all these seismic events combined we as yet know nothing about?
And just what kind of subtle impacts do such almost invisible self-generating wave-shifts have on the subterranean redistribution of magma both within the crust and in the semi-liquid mantle below it? We have no way to anticipate these, let alone try to calculate their physical manifestations in advance.
What all this implies is that we have now entered a new era of Earth changes, one in which what was before considered mega-quakes of 7 to 9 magnitude that occurred only rarely, will now become the norm and begin to tale place more often. Expect to bear witness to the planet starting to shudder on its axis even more than it has already.
Judging on what has happened so far, we can expect future shocks to have significantly increasingly energy releases plus be focused into smaller areas—delivering a concentrated punch that will prove to be particularly deadly for heavily populated areas. All of the quakes of this type were triggered in regions already known to be prone to such occurrences, but never before subjected to such powerful outbursts.
This means that the next coming super-seismic events will be in similar paces of recognized past activities—in North America alone that cover the Pacific Northwest, California, the Midwest New Madrid Fault Zones, the St. Lawrence Seaway, New England and the Carolinas—which unfortunately is also inclusive of most major urban centers of the United States.Likewise, in Europe and Asia practically every population center either straddles an earthquake zone or is in close proximity to a seacoast or river estuary up which a potential tsunami could rush inland with devastating results.
Just as the twentieth century became known as the Age of World Wars, the succeeding century—the one we now live in—may be remembered as the Age of Global-Shaking Earthquakes.
Report Update—Major World Quakes and Volcanic Eruptions in 2010 So Far
1-3-10 — Solomon Islands: 7.2
1-10-10 — Offshore Northern California: 6.5
1-12-10 — Haiti: 7.0
2-27-10 — Chile: 8.8
3-5-10 — Southwest Sumatra: 6.5
3-5-10 — Chile: 6.8
3-5-10 — So. Sumatra: 6.8
3-8-10 — Eastern Turkey: 6.1
3-14-10 — East of Honshu, Japan: 6.5
3-16-10 — Chile: 6.7
4-4-10 — Baja, California: 7.2
4-6-10 — Northern Sumatra: 7.7
4-11-10 — Solomon Islands: 6.8
4-11-10 — Spain: 6.3
4-14-10 — Western China, Tibet: 7.1
Mid-April — Iceland: Continuous major volcano eruption with ash cloud disrupting jet travel and air quality throughout northern Europe
4-18-10 — Papua, New Guinea: 6.2
4-26-10 — Southeast of Taiwan: 6.5
4-30-10 — Bering Sea: 6.4
5-3-10 — Izu Is., Japan: 6.1
5-3-10 — Offshore Bio-Bio, Chile: 6.3
5-5-10 — So. Sumatra: 6.5
5-6-10 — Tarapaca, Chile: 6.2
5-9-10 — No. Sumatra — 7.2
5-11-10 — Icelandic volcano ash still distrupting European air travel
5-27-10 —Vanuatu: 7.1
6-12-10 — Nicobar Is., India: 7.5
6-16-10 — North coast of Papua: 7.0
6-26-10 — Solomon Is.: 6.7
6-30-10 —Oaxaca, Mexico: 6.2
7-2-10 — Stromboli eruption, Italy, 127 days
7-4-10 — Chile: 6.5
7-8-10 —Fox Is., Aleutians, Alaska: 6.6
7-18-10 — New Britain, Papua, New Guinea: 6.9
7-18-10 — New Britain, Papua, New Guinea: 6.9
7-18-10 — New Britain, Papua, New Guinea: 7.3
7-23-10 — Mindanao, Philippines: 7.3
7-23-10 — Mindanao, Philippines: 7.6
7-23-10 — Mindanao, Philippines: 7.4
7-24-10 — Mindanao, Philippines: 6.5
8-4-10 — New Britain, Papua, New Guinea: 7.0
8-10-10 — Vanuatu: 7.3
8-12-10 — Ecuador: 7.1
8-13-10 — Mariana Is.: 6.9
8-14-10 — Mariana Is.: 6.6
9-3-10 — South Is., New Zealand: 7.0
9-29-10 — South coast of Papua: 7.2
10-8-10 — Halmahesa, Indonesia: 6.2
10-8-10 — Andreanof Is., Aleutians, Alaska: 6.0
10-21-10 —Gulf of California: 6.7
10-25-10 — Kepulau, Indonesia: 6.5
10-26-10 — Sumatra, Indonesia (eruption of Mt. Merapi, 12 days): 7.7
10-28-10 —Kliuchevskoi eruption, Kamchatka (9 days)
10-28-10 —Fuego eruption, Guatemala (9 days)
10-29-10 — Shiveluch eruption, Kamchatka (8 days)
10-29-10 — Anak Krakatau eruption, Indonesia (8 days)
11-2-10 — Talong eruption, Sumatra, Indonesia
11-3-10 — South coast of Papua: 6.5
11-3-10 — Tonga: 6.0
11-3-10 — Grimsveten, Iceland (new eruption imminent)
11-3-10 — Merapi, 3 days eruption, ongoing
11-6-10 — Tantuban Parahu eruption warning, West Java, Indonesia
Ongoing Eruptians during 2010 — Etna, Italy – Nyamuragira, Dem. Republic of Congo – Manam, Papua, New Guinea – Ulanan, Papua, New Guinea – Sinabung, Indonesia – Rinjani, Indonesia – Kirishima, Japan – Ioto, Japan – Fukutoku, Japan – Pagan, Mariana Is. – Sarigan, Mariana Is. – Ekarma, Kuril Is, Russia – Ekoto, Kuril Is., Russia – Gorely, Kamchatka – Cleveland, Aleutian Is., Alaska – San Cristobal, Nicaragua – Concepcion, Nicaragua – Poas, Costa Rica – Turialba, Costa Rica – Tungorahua, Ecuador – Ubinas, Peru – Planchon-Peterua, Chile
Earthquakes of magnitude 5 – 5.9 have increased by 39 percent compared with same range of earthquakes over the last 10 years.
Earthquakes of magnitude 5 – 5.9 have increased by 63 percent compared with same range of earthquakes since the year 1900.
Earthquakes of magnitude 6 – 6.9 have increased by 30 percent compared with same range of earthquakes over the last 10 years.
Earthquakes of magnitude 6 – 6.9 have increased by 40 percent compared with same range of earthquakes since the year 1900.
The number of magnitude 5.0 to 6.9 worldwide earthquakes are showing a significant increase so far this year during 2010, and are up 51 percent compared with the same range and time span of earthquakes since the year 1900.
The number of magnitude 7.0 to 8.9 worldwide earthquakes appear to be slightly increased from historical averages.
In addition, there are now 400 volcanoes world-wide under close geological scrutiny to see what they are going to do next.
The number of eruptions in general are only slightly above average, but in certain troubled areas the numbers have increased dramatically, such as what is now happening in Indonesia and the western Pacific Ring of Fire.
Scientists are concerned that a near-future Krakatoa-like super-explosion (and subsequent mega-tsunami) could not only kill millions of potential victims outright, but could also catapult huge amounts of ash into the upper atmosphere and disrupt global temperatures and food production for decades to come.