Friday, January 31, 2014

USGS interview on Oklahoma


This is really neat.  It has significance on 2 levels - one, the USGS actually exists :), and two, this Real News Network is pretty good.  What we learned from the interview is that the OK injectors are evil.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

M3.4 earthquake Oklahoma

I'n back to reporting these small earthquakes, simply because there have been so many of them in the past day.  This one is on the shear zone, but we can't get any focal mechanism until they exceed M4.  I attribute all this to the warmer weather coming in.  Now they can get back to fracking, and all the trucks can rumble on the highway.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Oklahoma M3.0 earthquake

Now, I'm pretty sure that fracking waste injection has been reduced by a factor of 10, due to the icies.  Nevertheless, rock has to move.

Update:  An M3.2 and some others hit today.  Rate is still a factor of 10 less than I thought it would be.

Update2:  Azle is coming back!  They must have the same suppliers.

Update3:  That's a lot of earthquakes just for today.  Did the trucks finally come in?

Update4:  We're warming up.  Fracking to resume.  M5 in a month!  (did that come out of my mouth?)

Monday, January 27, 2014

Greece M6.0 aftershocks look like an M7

Strictly speaking an M6.0 should have a 3 km aftershock zone.  I hope the seismometers are dense enough around there to make this real, otherwise the location might be shifting.  There was always the fear that this was a foreshock, but that is fading, unless these locations are real.  :(

Sunday, January 26, 2014

M6.0 earthquake Greece

This was a shallow thrust, a very destructive type, but only an M6.  Nevertheless, the PGV right on top must be high.

Quite nice, hope most of the seismic energy was directed away.

This was on the outer islands, which obviously is in compression, as opposed to the famous inner islands which is all under extension.  I haven't looked at the news yet, so fingers crossed it didn't do much.

Update:  Minor damage, an M7.2 in 1953, up the coast, was devastating.

Update2:  Now it is strike-slip along a little transform.  s-s earthquakes give little PGV for an M6, although this whole thing should produce 8's.  Here is a nice picture of the tectonics.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Linux - Kernel 3.13 goes in smooth

Don't be afraid to install the mainline.  It went up perfect for me.  I also set Chrome to fast open, but I don't see a great difference.

Update:  Spoke too soon.  Screws up your old configuration regarding the nfs server.  You have to check the support nfs server box under file systems.  Also watch out for the default change in exports, you need subtree_check.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

New Madrid raises its ugly head


All these arguments over New Madrid arise because nobody does their physics.  All these seismologists just try to jam the square hole on the round peg.  :)  New Madrid was just a giant natural injection well, and has done its bit.  It has to come out of its stress hole to live again.

That is why I have such great hope for Oklahoma and Texas.  If they really want to they can totally recreate the New Madrid events.  Wouldn't that be great for tourism?  Can't wait until this cold weather allows fracking again.  :)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Vancouver amplification doesn't mean much


Wow, I never saw an earthquake paper get so much press!  Must be a slow month.  This issue really is esoteric in the extreme.  Although all the press is getting it mucked up, we are talking about a rock basin.  Any soft stuff on top is icing on the cake.  :)

The rock basin is hard cheese on a granite slab.  No jello.  Now, there are magnificent sediment deposits around there, but that's another issue.

The rock basin thing doesn't rise above the uncertainty fuzz of where the next earthquake will be when it hits.  We have the Big One way out in ocean, but my favourite is an M7 right under the city, a la Kobe.  This will literally throw the soft sediments.  All the big towers are most likely on a firm foundation, there are no raft foundations here, like in Boston (I hope).

So, if you want a potential damage map of the area, just look at the geotechnical records and guess what is under each building.  An old brick building on soft soil?  - Big Fail.  A 70's concrete building on a soft-soil raft foundation?  - Big Fail.  Bank Tower on rock?  - Laughing.

Injection and fracking stopped due to cold


Poopies!  There will be no interesting business here or over in Bizarre Geophysics.  When I predicted my M5 for Oklahoma, I had no idea that cold weather was important.  Still, I can't cry over spilt predictions.  :(

I'm now beginning to think there is a difference between standard brine from existing oil wells, and fracking water.  Most likely the brine resembles the existing water in the Precambrian fractures, and thus should not cause stress corrosion.  The fracking water is not in chemical equilibrium with silica and eats at the quartz adhesion points.  If the fractures are as open as I think they are, then water pressure would not be important.

So, good people of Texas and OK, relax by the fire, and your giant brick chimney, nothing is going to happen for a while.

Here is the link for the cushy seismologist job.  They have tons of applicants.  One report says they hired someone from California already, but the vacancy is still open.  A Callie Fault Hunter in this territory?  Should be fun.

Monday, January 20, 2014

New Zealand M6.2 earthquake

I was attracted to this earthquake since it is such a classic 'normal' earthquake.

Note the beautiful 'beachball' showing extension.  Using my infinite wealth, I flew in this morning for a quick look.

Nope, not much there, so I went back home.

Up into space for a picture.  Amazing how they write giant place names on the ground.  :)  You can see the subduction zone that formed New Zealand, and the earthquake is in a zone where the upper plate is being pulled apart.  It all depends on how things stick if you have compression or extension.  You generally want extension because it allows for 'nice' volcanoes.

An extension earthquake puts out weak PGV for the magnitude (no bang for the buck!).  Still, a hobbit eagle fell at the airport.  Once again it shows that interior fixtures are the weak point for seismic capacity.  Get under something!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Polar vortex and California drought

A very weird year in the weather.  My cold summer and very cold winter was 'caused' by the polar vortex, and whatever causes that (not soda pop!).  The equatorial warm and wet zone has been compressed to a very narrow zone, and it strives mightily to send out plumes of warm air.  Perhaps because of kinks in the vortex, it has only been sending out plumes at specific places (could also be an oceanic influence).

Thus, hurricanes have all been sent away to Britain, and the mid-Pacific has sent up plumes that hit the West with snow.  The Gulf of Mexico is also powerful enough to send us ice storms.

Between these plume generators it is totally dead and dry.  California is parched, along with most of the US SW.  This pattern should break eventually, which might give me a warm summer, and California some rain.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Happy 20th Birthday Northridge Earthquake


An M6.7 blind thrust earthquake right under an urban centre.  This is almost a 'saturation' earthquake in terms of PGV, the worst being the M7 Kobe earthquake.  An M7 thrust ruptures the whole crust, although there is a very small 'hammer zone' at the top, it is the worst shaking you can expect on moderately firm ground, or a layer of soft soil.  The larger earthquakes activate large soil basins, and make them the worst PGV, especially those standing waves.

I am proud to say that nothing was learned in this earthquake, except something about really bad steel joints.  It was on an unknown fault, so they went on a frenzy finding more faults.  The next big earthquake will still be on an unknown fault!

Almost any place in the world could be hit by this sort of earthquake.  That is why we live with a true 'minimum hazard'.  The only thing you can do is to be sure you can take a hit.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Holy Crap, they want to put high-level nuclear waste in limestone!


I wasn't aware of this until now.  High-level waste has heat.  Enough said.

ps.  Dear People, I am sorry for the outburst.  It is just that with all the years I have worked on this, and all the experiments, nobody ever thought to place high-level in limestone.  I am glad that they have very creative people in their organization.  Who would have thought up such a thing?  They want to go with the Cobourg limestone which is the wonderful stuff in the old Wesleyville caverns.  I would think that if they wanted to do the very first scientific work on limestone, they could drain the tunnels and test there.  But I think that real work would spoil the party, so I know that won't happen.

This limestone wears two hats.  You either have it very tight and highly stressed, or loose and fractured on top of a megathrust.  It is full of those nasty invisible joints that got them at Niagara, and the thermal conductivity drops like a stone (ha!) when heated.  As well as a very high thermal expansion.  Such fun!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Join the Ontario Health Study


I'm putting in this plug because the place was totally empty today.  I filled in a questionnaire a while ago, and then they kept bugging me for more things.  Finally, I said:  "What do they want from me, blood?"  And yes they do.  I went downtown today, which was a pleasant re-visit from when I worked down there.

I only went because they were offering gifts.  No free coffee, because then the prissy auditor general would be after them.  These sorts of surveys have done great work in Iceland and Britain, and I suppose when I die, they'll have foreseen it.  :)

Windows closing on two Fish predictions

Yes, it's that time again, my two open predictions are coming crashing to the ground.  It's as bad as if the world were getting colder!  

First prediction was that Oklahoma would see an M5 thrust earthquake by now.  Every possible signal was blaring:  Earthquake Now!  But, no.

My second was that the M6.4 over Puerto Rico was a foreshock for something much bigger.  That window is now closed, since if anything happened in the future, this would no longer be a foreshock.  That one really talked to me!

A rational person would now abandon the practice of representing uncertainty by a single thin pencil line.  As with all natural phenomena, these things should be represented by a big fat smudge, but where would be the fun in that?  Politicians and movie-goers don't understand smudges!  Billions of dollars would not pour down the drain if we stuck to scientific truth.

As such, I refuse to learn anything from this.  At least my predictions have good physics in them, it's just the timing where I am being silly optimistic.  Really, for an earthquake prediction to satisfy an Italian, you must get it down to one day with zero false alarms.  How many times can these people sleep outdoors, to avoid their seismic death traps?

I can't do any prediction yet for poor Azle.  I was wrong again with my general inclination that the seismic activity was moving on.  As well, I don't understand the physics where you could pour billions of gallons of water into the Precambrian and not get an earthquake.  Could you have neutral water?  Is the zone totally stress relieved by previous unknown events?  I am baffled.  :)

Monday, January 13, 2014

Bermuda Triangle on the Move

Of course, the Bermuda Triangle has as much physics as climate science, but we live in a non-physics world.

Various attempts have been made to glue on some science, such as giant gas bubbles, but let's just say it's magic.

So, a while ago we had a very weird earthquake in the BT.  I thought it was evidence of ridge-push, but now we see it has the very same thrust mechanism as this new M6.4  I call this more than happenstance, Watson.

Plotting the last 30 days, shows us our weird earthquake.

Ignore the fact that there is this monstrous cluster, it is just an artifact of the USGS being forced to put a seismic array there, and nowhere else.  Now a EW thrust is not what we expect here, since this should be totally strike-slip, since the Caribbean 'thumb' is prodding and pushing down the Atlantic.

I conclude that the only way that we could get twin thrusts here is that the fault is starting to move in a strike-slip manner, and this is the 'crunching' that you expect at the ends.  I would not fall off my chair if we had an M8 or larger along this zone in the near future.  This 'prediction' can join my long list of failures.  :)  Since I have a poor memory, I am never afraid to issue new ones!

Puerto Rico M6.4 earthquake

Unusual earthquake.  Right in the upper shear zone, which generally moves with the lower zone (which caused Haiti).

This shows a complex motion of oblique thrust.  From the position and the size, it should be sufficient to damage very weak housing on soft soil.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Rare M5.1 earthquake hits Florida

This is extremely interesting.  You can see that the earthquake is 'normal'.  That means it is caused by extension, or pulling apart.  This type of earthquake gives out very little PGV for magnitude.  All our North American earthquakes (east) are thrust or strike-slip, due to high horizontal stresses.

By a cursory look at the map, Cuba takes on the look of a classical island arc.  Yet, now, all the action passes it by, along that monstrous fault to the south.  Somehow that entire arc is being pulled along.  We don't expect major activity here, and Florida is fairly safe, just watch out for sinkholes!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Great job for a seismologist


Hiring now.  Absolutely no comment.

Extreme cold caused by global warming

I just had to put that in, since there are actually headlines like that.  I would prefer the term 'extreme variability' which another analysis used.  They said we were in this variability, reminiscent of the 60's.  Here is the gif showing the strong polar vortex.

Variability is apparent by the narrow band of very warm moist air, and by the velocity of the vortex which shears off any plume trying to warm us up.  Britain is getting lashed with the remnants of the plumes and it's very wet there.  Today my dog door was rimmed in ice!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

All Canadian Gov't Scientific Records 'Digitized'


Books Ready for the Digitizer

Of course we know what the Harperites think digitizing is:   All shredded up into tiny bits and bites (sic).

They fired all the librarians way before they digitized, and there was no scientific input since they're all gone as well.  I think I can see all the seismic records from Lake Ontario in there.  Ah well, it is better all 'round if they are caught like chickens in the headlights when something big like an ice storm or an earthquake hits.  :)

Friday, January 3, 2014

The seismic aspect of frost quakes

We may never get a good location for frost quakes, because of simple physics.  Nearly all the seismometers are in remote fields far from trees and electrical facilities.  The standard arrangement is to use a solar panel, and a satellite dish.  That means we can put them in anywhere.

The downside happens during a miserable ice storm and when temperatures plunge down to the minus-minus zone.  Many of the seismometers are out, the panels are covered with ice and the batteries have run down.  These are the best and quietest sites, there are some seismometers with a power connection, but they are less sensitive.  My contact (yeah!) is going to look, but be prepared to be sad.  :(

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Oklahoma M3.2 earthquake

I'm back from a cottage in Haliburton.  Wow it was -27 oC this morning!  I haven't been in these temperatures since the 70's when I used to go winter camping.  Of course, then it was -40, but who can tell the difference?  Now, since I put no weight on the 'momentum' of our last warming trend, I am convinced we are entering a new 70's-style cold time.  It will be fun to track the warmists when this 'blip' becomes a 'minor sag', to a 'cold decade', and not paying one whit to rising CO2 levels.

Anyway, where was I?  Oh yeah, earthquakes.

This M3.2 is on the outer edge of an injection zone and is totally insignificant.


We interrupt this blog to give notice of a failed Fish prediction.  We are the 'Earthquake Prediction Agency' and we are the people who prosecute Italian seismologists (just for fun).  The Fish had predicted an M7.5 up in the Alaska armpit by the end of 2013.  He used a simple two-point linear extrapolation which we think is entirely rigourous and used by climate scientists everywhere.  Nevertheless, he has failed.

OMG!  What was that?  I'm going to keep quiet from now on.  :)