In today's article named Alarming magnetic field changes signal major quake for West Coast author presents Jim Berkland, former USGS scientist well-known by his accurate earthquake predictions so far. They say his accuracy is about 80%. his greatest claim to fame was his accurate prediction of the powerful 1989 temblor that rocked San Francisco four days before it occurred. Well enough to pay attention to his conclusions. In interview given to FoxNews geologist Berkland admits he's worried about possibility of strong earthquake hitting the US West Coast sometime during March favorizing March 19th.
"We are having on the 19th of this month not only the full moon, but within an hour the closest approach of the moon to the earth until the year 2016. The next day is the equinoctial tides. So you’re bringing together three of the maximum tide raising forces. We know about the ocean tides. But there is also an Earth tide. And there is a tide in the ground water. All of these help to release sudden, built up strain, and cause earthquakes.”
We were writing already about lunar tides related to full moon. Equinoctial tides are occurring near an equinox. Twice each lunar month the Sun and Moon become aligned and both pull in the same direction, reinforcing each other creating a spring tide. More rarely this reinforcement coincides with the Moon’s closest approach, the perigee of the elliptical orbit producing a higher spring tide called a perigean spring tide. The highest tides occur when the spring tide coincides with one of the solar equinoxes to produce a equinoctial tide. By earth tides, we understand all phenomena related to the variation of the Earth's gravity field and to the deformation of the Earth's body induced by the tide generating forces – the forces acting on the Earth due to differential gravitation of the celestial bodies as the Moon, the Sun and the nearby planets.
Berkland uses tidal flooding tables based upon lunar perigees and the bi-monthly alignment of the sun and moon and calculates percentage risk of probable events in given regions. Measurement of change in the magnetic field that are indications of changes in the earth's core and mantle are also observed. Tip offs of such changes can be seen in strange animal behavior such as lost pets and the mass beaching of whales and other sea creatures. Birds also provide clues. Recent research on the geomagnetic field and its relation to tectonic plates, earthquakes, and volcanic action tends to support his hypotheses.
Plate tectonics tells us that the Earth's rigid outer shell (lithosphere) is broken into a mosaic of oceanic and continental plates which can slide over the plastic aesthenosphere, which is the uppermost layer of the mantle. The plates are in constant motion. Where they interact, along their margins, important geological processes take place, such as the formation of mountain belts, earthquakes, and volcanoes. One of the keys to plate tectonics was the discovery that the Earth's magnetic field has reversed its polarity 170 times in the last 80 million years. For more information you can read our previous post About plate tectonics.
We have seen that earthquakes occur at ocean ridges where the plates are pulled apart, margins where the plates scrape past one another and margins where one plate is thrust under the other. That helps scientists to predict the general regions on the Earth's surface where could be expected large earthquakes in the future. Only by monitoring the stress and strain in small areas, for instance, the San Andreas fault, in great detail geologists can hope to predict when renewed activity in that part of the place tectonics arena is likely to take place. Excellent The Great Continental Drift Mystery article by Lois Van Wagner gives us some clues about geological activities and seismic events through history.
Berkland connecting some obvious dots – recent events like massive fish death at Redondo beach, unusual swarms of fish form off coast of Acapulco and pod of whales close to San Diego. Don't forget the hundread beached whales in New Zealand just two days before Christchurch earthquake on February 22nd. He says that the approaching seismic window is one of the largest in many years. He sees it developing between the 19th to the 26th of March 2011 and he's convinced that subtle changes in the magnetic field are the precursors to large earthquakes. Changes in the magnetic field often precede larger earthquakes. Most animals have the mineral magnetite in their bodies, including people. Magnetite, a form of ferrous oxide, is very sensitive to magnetic fields.
“Just before the World Series quake,” he explained, “there was very unusual beaching of rare whales in the Ocean Beach, in San Francisco. Just after that, an equally rare pygmy sperm whale washed up at Santa Cruz, within about five miles of the epicenter of the World Series quake. That kind of beaching had never occurred before nor since. So we’re looking for strange fish coming into from deep water to the shallow water, wild animals coming into cities."
The big earthquake in the Indian Ocean followed massive beaching of whales in Taiwan, New Zealand, Australia and Tasmania. And then within couple of days, they had a 8.3 in south of New Zealand, and then came the 9.1 in the Indian Ocean, with the big tsunami, on the very day of the full moon – Berkland says.
The last really big quake that occurred on the northeastern rim of the ring of fire occurred in Alaska. The previous big quake and tsunami was in Alaska, which was a 9.2 magnitude event, on the day off the full moon, on the 27th of March. That mega-thrust earthquake, known today as The Great Alaskan Earthquake, hit at 5:36 P.M. Alaska Standard Time on Good Friday, March 27, 1964. The ground split open, highways buckled, entire buildings collapsed and several tsunamis were generated. About 131 people died.
Now, let's go back to the animals and there specific sense for disaster. There were reports about large number of earthworm crawling out of Earth last few days through California. Similar occurrence was noted by famed philosopher Immanuel Kant, in 1755, when he witnessed a multitude of earthworms emerging from the ground in south-east Spain. Eight days later, a devastating earthquake struck in Portugal.
- Read more about Earthquakes and Plate Tectonics (USGS)
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