Tag Archives | Earthquakes

How Fracking Caused An Ohio Earthquake

Youngstown, OH. Photo: Blue80 (CC)

Youngstown, OH. Photo: Blue80 (CC)

As many as 11 Ohio earthquakes, to be exact. Pete Spotts reports for the Christian Science Monitor:

The link between “fracking” and earthquakes was thrown into stark relief over the weekend when a magnitude 4.0 quake struck Youngstown, Ohio – typically not a hot bed of noticeable seismic activity. The quake triggered shaking reportedly felt as as far away as Buffalo, N.Y., and Toronto.

The temblor struck Dec. 31 and was the latest and strongest of 11 minor-to-light quakes that have hit the region since March. The epicenters are clustered around a wastewater injection well for a hydraulic fracturing operation.

Understanding the potential effect hydraulic fracturing or related activities could have on local earthquake risks is one question some researchers hope to answer as they try to develop tools for communities.

Fracking allows energy companies to extract natural gas trapped in shale deposits deep underground.

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Symbolic? Washington Monument Cracks in Quake

Washington MonumentJennifer Epstein writes in the Politico:

The earthquake didn’t cause widespread damages or injuries, but it did put a crack in the Washington Monument. After unconfirmed reports suggested the monument was tilting, park officials said Tuesday night that the 550-foot obelisk suffered a crack in the 5.8-magnitude rumble centered in Mineral, Va., near Charlottesville.

Inspections conducted by helicopter found a crack “at the very, very top” of the monument, park service spokesman Bill Line told The Washington Post, and the monument and plaza surrounding the structure will be closed indefinitely as it is examined.

Though it suffered damage, the monument isn’t leaning, the Park Service said. The Park Service has also temporarily closed the Lincoln Memorial and the Jefferson Memorial pending further inspection, while other landmarks — including the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial set to be officially unveiled this weekend — remain open.

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New York Man Spends Life Savings Ahead of May 21 Doomsday

[disinfo ed.'s note: just as a reminder, the world may end on Saturday. Have a great week!]

A video report from CNN, and below a write up from Fox News:

A New York man spent his entire $140,000 life savings advertising his prediction that the world will end May 21, the New York Post reported Friday.

Robert Fitzpatrick, a 60-year-old Staten Island resident, said he spent at least that sum on 1,000 subway-car placards and ads on bus kiosks and subway cars…

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Scientists Find First Evidence Climate Affects Tectonic Plate Movement

Plate TectonicsVia Discover:

Geologists have known for years that tectonic plates affect climate patterns. Now they say that the opposite is also true, finding that intensifying climate events can move tectonic plates. Using models based on known monsoonal and plate movement patterns, geologists say that the Indian Plate has accelerated by about 20% over the past 10 million years. “The significance of this finding lies in recognising for the first time that long-term climate changes have the potential to act as a force and influence the motion of tectonic plates,” Australian National University researcher Giampiero Iaffaldano told COSMOS.

The researchers plugged information from research on monsoonal patterns and the Indian Plate’s movement into a model, which indicated that the monsoonal erosion that has battered the eastern Himalaya Mountains for the past 10 million years erodes enough material to account for the plate’s counter-clockwise rotation. By gradually shaving off rocks from the eastern flank and decreasing crustal thickness, the monsoonal rains essentially lighten the load on the eastern part of the Indian Plate, causing the plate to actually turn (at geological speed).

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Suburban Sprawl: A Government Tactic Against Nuclear Annihilation And Natural Disaster

tokyoIn the aftermath of last month’s devastation, Japanese leaders have called on urban planners to make Japan decentralized and lower density so as to be less vulnerable. It wouldn’t be the first time that sprawl has been employed as a strategy against societal annihilation; during the Cold War, American planners pushed for suburbanization as a defense against nuclear disaster. BLDGBLOG enlightens:

At the height of the Cold War, the sprawling, decentralized suburban landscape of the United States was seen by many military planners as a form of spatial self-defense. As historian David Krugler explains in This Is Only a Test: How Washington D.C. Prepared for Nuclear War, “urban dispersal” was viewed as a defensive military tactic, one that would greatly increase the nation’s chance of survival in the event of nuclear attack.

Specially formatted residential landscapes such as “cluster cities” were thus proposed, “each with a maximum population of 50,000.” These smaller satellite cities would not only reshape the civilian landscape of the United States, they would make its citizens, its industrial base, and its infrastructure much harder to target.

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Japan’s Safety Regulators: Fukushima No. 3 Nuclear Reactor May Have Been Breached

Atomic EnergyDavid Jolly & Hiroko Tabuchi report in the NY Times:

TOKYO — Japan’s effort to contain the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant suffered a setback, an official said on Friday, citing evidence that the reactor vessel of the No. 3 unit may have been damaged.

The development, described at a news conference by Hidehiko Nishiyama, deputy director-general of the Japan Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, raises the possibility that radiation from the mox fuel in the reactor — a combination of uranium and plutonium — could be released.

One sign that a breach may have occurred in the reactor vessel, Mr. Nishiyama said, took place on Thursday when three workers who were trying to connect an electrical cable to a pump in a turbine building next to the reactor were injured when they stepped into water that was found to be significantly more radioactive than normal in a reactor.

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Genpatsu-Shinsai: The Language of Disaster That Stalked Japan

Japan Earthquake 03/11/2011Interesting article from Leo Lewis in the Times from 2007, about how Japan nearly avoided a “nuclear power-quake disaster” back then. It always seems when these great disasters happen there was the one lone expert who no one took seriously. Leo Lewis writes”

Japan’s turbulent history of war and natural catastrophe has already given the world a terrifying vocabulary of death: tsunami, kamikaze, Hiroshima.

But the country now stands on the brink of unleashing its most chilling phrase yet: genpatsu-shinsai — the combination of an earthquake and nuclear meltdown capable of destroying millions of lives and bringing a nation to its knees.

The phrase, derived from the Japanese words for “nuclear power” and “quake disaster”, is the creation of Katsuhiko Ishibashi, Japan’s leading seismologist and one of the Government’s top advisers on nuclear-quake safety. He said that the world may never know how close it came to its first genpatsu-shinsai this week. Luck, as much an anything else, helped to avert it.

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Russians Claim U.S. West Coast Fault Near ‘Total Failure’

viewerYou have to appreciate the work that went into this “Apocalypse Soon” report in the European Union Times. Not only do they build on the “Ring Of Fire – America Is Next Great Quake” scare propagated by Fox News, they also manage to work in mass animal deaths, the Supermoon, a comet on its way to smash into Earth and more!

A grim top-secret report prepared by Moscow’s Institute of Physics of the Earth for Prime Minister Putin on the catastrophic 9.0 magnitude Sendai Megaquake and Tsunami that hit Japan on March 11th is now warning that the “balance of our planet” has been altered after the titanic forces underlying this disaster has moved the Japanese Islands at least 13-feet closer to the North American West Coast Region and shortened the day by a couple of millionths of a second and tilted the Earth’s axis slightly.

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Is U.S. West Coast About To Experience The Next Great Quake?

disinfo reader Aleph Omega sent along this video from Fox News’s Cavuto show, saying:

The geologist [Jim Berkland] who predicted 1989 SF earthquake within 4 days is predicting an earthquake on the west coast within the next month, but more likely between 3.19.11 through 3.26.11. His telltale signs are: rare closeness of the moon to earth (full moon is tomorrow), equinoctial tides on the 20th, earth and groundwater tides — all of which loosen pressure in the earth. Also, massive fish kills in Redondo Beach and whale beaching.

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Glenn Beck Says Japan Quake Was ‘A Message From God’

Glenn BeckLet’s hope this idiotic pronouncement from Herr Beck finally makes his declining but still large radio and television audience realize that he truly is a pompous, self-absorbed moron. AFP via Raw Story:

US celebrities and media Tuesday blasted right-wing radio host and television presenter Glenn Beck for calling the monster quake that rocked Japan last week a message from God.

Actress, author and talk show host Whoopi Goldberg said Beck should “check the mirror” if he thought Friday’s 9.0-magnitude quake and tsunami were signs of God’s anger with mankind.

“If this is because we’re misbehaving and God is pissed (angry), I would check the mirror, Glenn,” Goldberg said on The View talkshow, which she co-hosts with three other women.

The disaster has claimed nearly 3,400 lives and left more than 10,000 people missing in northeastern Japan.

In a rambling presentation on his radio show on Monday, Beck said God may have caused the catastrophe in Japan because he was angry with mankind, and warned people to change their ways…

[continues at AFP via Raw Story]… Read the rest

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