News-in-Transition

10 December 2016

ring of fire activity - Why is our planet shaking so violently all of a sudden? There have literally been dozens of significant earthquakes right along the Ring of Fire within the past 30 days, and two giant ones made headlines all over the globe on Thursday. First, a magnitude 6.5 earthquake struck off the coast of Humboldt County, California, and that was followed later in the day by a magnitude 7.8 earthquake in the Solomon Islands.

But of course these latest earthquakes are just the latest examples of increased shaking along the outer perimeter of the Pacific Ocean. Experts are not quite sure what to make of all of this shaking, but they are warning that “the Big One” could strike the west coast at literally any time.

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21 May 2015

- Following the second major earthquake that hit Nepal on 12 May, some scientists believe we could be seeing a seismically active period that began in 2004 and could end around 2019.

However, predicting the quakes more accurately in time and space still remains a task for the future.

The magnitude 9.1 Sumatra-Andaman earthquake of 26 December 2004, was one of the largest earthquakes ever recorded, triggering a tsunami that killed over 200,000 people.

Experts like Sun Shihong, research fellow at the China Earthquake Networks Centre have in the past spoken of a 100-year cycle for earthquakes.

In the first 60 years of the 20th century there were seven earthquakes above 8.5 on the Richter scale. In the following 40 years there were no major quakes. Sun believes a new cycle began at the end of 2004 with a massive 9.1 magnitude quake in Indonesia.

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28 April 2015

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1 June 2013

 - To the west of Wellington, the equivalent of a magnitude 7 earthquake is happening right now, 40 km below ground. This would be Wellington’s largest earthquake in 150 years, yet nothing is felt at the surface. Even our sensitive earthquake recording instruments hardly notice a thing.

This is because, unlike a normal earthquake, these plate movements happen very slowly in a process known as “slow-slip events”. This Kapiti slow-slip event is affecting an area spanning over 100 km from Levin to the Marlborough Sounds.

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15 May 2013

 - A flurry of earthquakes continues across the planet over the past 72 hours, showing few signs of abatement.

Seismic tension continues to build across the Pacific Plate, the Cocos plate (Central America), and the Nazca plate, near South America. Tectonic plate agitation appears to be increasing, along with volcanic pressures under many of the world’s major volcanoes. 

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24 April 2013

 - Could China's massive dams, most of them situated along fault lines, be causing earthquakes, including the magnitude-7.0 temblor in Sichuan Province on Saturday and the magnitude-8 event in 2008?

“Large reservoirs built on fault lines can induce earthquakes, as the huge amount of water adds huge pressure to the fracture,” Fan Xiao of the Sichuan Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources said.

This issue is causing concern because there are more dams in China than in the rest of the world put together, and they could be increasing seismic activity, known as Reservoir-Induced Seismicity.

A 2011 Chinese study revealed that the Three Gorges Dam triggered about 3,000 earthquakes, as well as numerous landslides, representing a 30-fold increase in seismicity.

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5 November 2012

 - Much of that increase in earthquake activity is being blamed on human activity such as mining, drilling and fracking. So could human activity aggravate the fault zone so much that it could set off a truly history-making earthquake at some point?  Well, the potential is certainly there. That is why so many people are so concerned about the monster sinkholes that have appeared in the region in recent months. 

For example, a massive sinkhole down in Louisiana is now over 8 acres in size and it has forced hundreds of people to flee from their homes. 

Over in Ohio, a giant sinkhole has suddenly formed that is more than 30 feet deep and that is the size of four football fields.  That sinkhole caused part of State Route 516 to collapse and authorities say that it will likely be closed for many months. 

Are these monster sinkholes an indication that major earth changes are coming along the New Madrid fault? 

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