Earth’s gravity altered by 2011 Japanese Tōhoku earthquake

December 4, 2013 TOKYO Japan’s devastating earthquake in 2011 left its mark on more than the town of Fukushima. The European Space Agency (ESA) says that it had an impact on Earth’s gravity as well. Scientists used data from ESA’s GOCE satellite to show the effects of the 9.0 earthquake that struck east of Japan’s Honshu Island on March 11, 2011. The strength of gravity varies from place to place on Earth, and earthquakes can deform our planet’s crust and cause tiny changes in local gravity. GOCE spent four years mapping out Earth’s gravity with unrivaled precision. One reason values of gravity differ on Earth is because the materials within Earth are inhomogenous and are unevenly distributed. Since earthquakes shift around rock and other material tens of miles below the surface, they cause small changes in the local gravity. Earthquakes under oceans can also change the shape of the sea bed, displacing water and changing the sea level. GOCE data is helping scientists understand how oceans transport huge quantities of heat around the planet and develop a global height reference system. Earlier this year, the satellite’s accelerometer and ion thrusters revealed GOCE had “felt” sound waves in space from the Japanese quake. Scientists from the German Geodetic Research Institute (DGFI) and from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands analyzed the high-resolution vertical gravity gradients measured over Japan by GOCE. The team found the quake had clearly ruptured the gravity field in the area. The latest research marks the first example that GOCE was able to find changes over time. The gravity change measured by GOCE differs in size and location, compared to those predicted by standard models.
The results, published in the Journal of Geophysical Research, are consistent with coarser observations using NASA’s Grace satellite, which measures changes over time. This suggests GOCE data will be important in improving models and it will help contribute to understanding earthquakes. “Thus, we see that GOCE gravity gradients complement other types of data such as seismic, GPS and GRACE satellite gravimetry,” Martin Fuchs, from DGFI and lead author of the study, said in a statement. “We are now working in an interdisciplinary team to combine GOCE data with other information to obtain a better picture of the actual rupture in the gravity field than is currently available.” GOCE ran out of fuel earlier this year and reentered Earth’s atmosphere, largely disintegrating in the process. The satellite more than doubled its planned life in orbit, and its data will continue to be used by scientists for years to come to help understand our planet a little better. –Red Orbit
This entry was posted in Civilizations unraveling, Earth Changes, Earth Watch, Earthquake Omens?, Environmental Threat, High-risk potential hazard zone, Infrastructure collapse, Nuclear plant crisis, Potential Earthchange hotspot, Record Cold temperatures, Seismic tremors, Signs of Magnetic Field weakening, Tectonic plate movement, Time - Event Acceleration. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Earth’s gravity altered by 2011 Japanese Tōhoku earthquake

  1. bobby90247 says:

    “…Earlier this year, the satellite’s accelerometer and ion thrusters revealed GOCE had “felt” sound waves in space…” What’s wrong with this picture?

    ANSWER: Whomever wrote this up for these people “knows” NOTHING about space!!! AND, therefore, this entire article is just more “deception!”


    “IF” this article IS “TRUE!” Then we have been mislead for the past century in which we’ve been told space is a “vacuum!!!” For “sound waves” DO NOT TRAVEL IN A VACUUM…duh!!!


  2. Faye Brown says:

    Really interesting to read


  3. niebo says:

    You know, this, like, reminds me of the story about how the SAME earthquake (serious!) caused the planet to tilt off-axis. So, technologistically speaking, by altering the tilt (that is, the angle of spin-wobble), not only did this earthquake shake every island from its place, it shook every land mass in the ENTIRE world from its place. NOT to mention that it caused a giganormous tsunamical waterform that mashed up stuff all over the place (and, per the picture, gave somebody a houseboat-house) AND gave us Fukushima in the process (a disaster of indescriptual proportions that is only marginally minimated by TEPCO’s catchy new name for the “cooling tank” section of the hobbled plant: “Cesium Springs”). AND (according to “gravimetry” — come on! Stop making up words!) it “ruptured” the field of gravity. So, if you go to Japan, you could float away! Serious! (!) OH and it ALSO “hit” the GOCE satellite with an exo-planetacious soundwave (an invisual wall of noise) that, if my reading comprehensiveness is trustworthiable, KILLED it, too. (I won’t even mention the planktons or the tunafishes!) I swear, guys, it’s like, you know, this earthquake was PANDORA’S BOX!

    And one more odd factoid: I read somewhere that “GOCE” is pronounced as if it were a word in Italian, like “Gotch-a”. . . .


  4. Deirdre says:

    Pictures like this are so insane in that one can barely comprehend the kind of ‘clean up’ it is going to take. And lets not forget many other regions of the planet that are still being cleaned up after other natural disasters!
    (Thanks again for your work!)


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