Though large earthquakes are said to not be increasing, everyone is now predicting them

December 22, 2011OREGONSince the magnitude 9.1 earthquake in Sumatra in 2004, five more giant earthquakes have struck the continents ringing the Pacific Ocean. And some experts speculate that the planet has entered a period of increased seismic activity that could trigger giant earthquakes in vulnerable regions including the Pacific Northwest. A somewhat reassuring new study suggests otherwise. University of California researchers examined the timing of earthquakes worldwide from 1900 and found no evidence of a domino effect in which one great earthquake triggers others on distant continents. It could be random chance. ‘We don’t want people to assume that our conclusion means the ongoing risk is small,” says study co-author Peter Shearer, a professor of geophysics at the University of California San Diego. “There is a significant risk of big earthquakes in all subduction zones.” It’s just that the run of very large earthquakes most likely does nothing to change the risk in distant locations, Shearer says. But the data is less than convincing to some experts, who think it’s possible that short-term risk of a great earthquake has increased in the Northwest.  “There is a possibility that maybe we should be worried about this,” says Oregon State University geologist Chris Goldfinger. “I definitely do not dismiss it.” Thorne Lay, a professor of geophysics at the University of California Santa Cruz, says scientists don’t understand the physical processes well enough to rule out long-distance triggering of great earthquakes based on observations to date. “One would really need to have good data in the location of each great event to see whether earlier remote large events had changed earthquake timing locally,” he says. “Unfortunately, careful work has not been done in all regions of recent big events or the data are very poor due to lack of nearby seismic networks.” The likelihood that a magnitude-9 earthquake will hit the Northwest within 50 years is about 10 to 15 percent, according to the most widely cited estimate. From Northern California to British Columbia, an ocean-spanning slab called the Juan de Fuca Plate is pushing beneath the North American plate in the Cascadia subduction zone. Geologists have found evidence of 19 massive earthquakes on this fault in the past 10,000 years. The most recent struck in 1700. It drove a 30-foot wall of water over low-lying coastal areas. The tsunami crossed the Pacific and flattened houses along Japan’s east coast. Global records since 1900 show a cluster of very large earthquakes between 1950 and 1965 followed by 38-year pause in magnitude 8.5 or greater events until the surge that began in 2004. There was the 9.1 to 9.3 magnitude earthquake in the Indian Ocean in 2004, a 8.8 in Chile in 2010 and a 9.0 magnitude earthquake in Japan in 2011- all of which shifted the planet on its axis. Is this mere coincidence? The number of events in both clusters was too few to stand out as more than random variation, Shearer and co-author Philip Stark conclude in a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. –Oregon Live  – edit added
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18 Responses to Though large earthquakes are said to not be increasing, everyone is now predicting them

  1. Manoj says:

    2011 does seem to have more than a normal share of disasters.


  2. jeff a. says:

    As I read this latest suggestion it occurs to me that although I may be a misfit with todays American society I feel that I am because I am only leading the way. You and I are among others who are paying attention to the oncoming disaster. May the lord bless you for the concern. I live in the Pacific Northwest and I am diligent with my observations. The time has come for us to be ready. Be prepared my friends for not only looking after your own self but to help those who did and do not see. look to into what training you can attain. Myself I have done some community disaster preparedness and I have a stocked pantry with enough water to supply the needs for a few weeks. Being single it will be my duty to shelter those who have none and feed those who are hungry. Do I fear those who would take from me what I have so carefully prepared- not in the least. I fall back on, did Christ fear those who condemned him, I think not. He lived a meager human life and died for those who killed him. That is the god that I am so in love with.
    Some will laugh, party on I say!! Others will bear the responsibility and I will do what I can.
    I am happy and I hold no grudges.

    Praise be to God


  3. Philippino Bob says:

    One can’t even trust USGS any more.
    Have a look at these two charts.
    One is taken on 9th of November 2011, it shows 240, 6+ earthquakes!

    And the other is taken one month later on 2nd of December 2011… it shows 145, 6+ earthquakes!

    Now, have a look at today’s (22nd of Dec 2011) number 6+ earthquakes. Only 130 !

    Whom can we trust?


    • John says:

      Bob, the USGS lists earthquakes by the. Hour, day. Week that’s why you can see large swings in the numbers ,depending on activity over a period of time. CERI (they cover central US ) they list by the hour , week , 6 months ,so you get a better idea of activity in that area.


      • Nikkoale says:


        If you compare the three charts, the plotted graphs are identical. What has been changed, however, is the numerical value on the horizontal bars on the lefthand side. The years, 1973-2011, also remain the same in each.

        Kudos to you, Bob, for catching that the discrepancies. It certainly seems to be a sly deception on the part of the USGS.


  4. chondramam says:

    Geologists have found evidence of 19 massive earthquakes on this fault in the past 10,000 years.

    The above makes me laugh…how long have we been keeping records of such disasters? In America, less than 150 years, and in countries older than America, are the same events recorded in the Bible…6000 years.


  5. randog says:

    Jeff i pray His word always a lamp to your path,and a beacon for those who are lost.always wear His Christ Jesus.


  6. Tim says:


    Do you think planetary alignments contribute to the affect and effect of quakes here on Earth.

    My His Word be a lamp beneath our feet.


    • No, I don’t think so Tim. Earth is a system long broken and it’s moving around the Sun now like a creaking weaking that’s become more strained as it goes from the stress of 3 major earthquakes in 7 years that has shifted its center of gravity. One day, the Bible says, she shall break down and reel to and fro like a drunkard.


      • sandelane says:

        Alvin, what is the Bible reference for this ‘reel to and fro’ thanks


      • “The earth is utterly broken down, the earth is clean dissolved, the earth is moved exceedingly. The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall, and not rise again.” –Isaiah 24:19, 20

        Clearly, in the scientific context, we’re talking about something akin to a pole-shift or a breakdown of the planetary machinery.


  7. sufi` says:

    I live in the NW too and I am concerned – I find it interesting that they say the likelyhood is so slim…they CAN’T tell us the truth and the truth is we really don’t know but there are strong indicators that we should be ready and do what we can. I will continue to prepare, find peace within and to follow the way of Christ and help who I can. Namaste to you all


  8. Texas Listening Post says:

    Phillippino Bob,

    The One you trust in is God, especially Jesus Christ. The world is mostly lies and deceit. We can be diluted into thinking that we can explain anything with the right “model”.

    God will alter events to demonstrate He is in charge.


  9. Irene C says:

    While I was reading this article and the comments, this came in:

    2011 December 23 00:58:36 UTC
    Depth 4.7 km (2.9 miles)



  10. Donna says:

    5.8 here in Canterbury NZ today…..little scary.


  11. Victa says:

    Christchurch new Zealand has just had a swarm of quakes this afternoon….we are still feeling the seismic activity here in Canterbury NZ


  12. Maverick says:

    Here’s interesting stuff from the USGS (check it out carefully) :
    As you will see, USGS publishes statistics that are not exhaustive for worldwide activity below 4.5 Magnitude since 2009. Figures for U.S. Homeland are said to be complete, though.
    The figures show increasing activity over the last years, with 2011 below 2010. But 2011 data has not been fully processed yet, and could have been edited.
    You can also google for information on the El Hierro volcano (Canary Islands), the Katla volcano in Iceland, and the New Madrid Fault stateside. There is also some “Buzz” about oil production through hydraulic fracturing causing small earthquakes, possibly up to 3 in magnitude ?


  13. Sajadbhat says:

    According to islam future predactions can not be made if made it can be made only by ALLAH as he is supreme


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