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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Earthquake Alert!

I've thought a few times about the potential for earthquakes as major ice sheets begin to melt away. It seemed pretty straight forward that 200 meters of ice must have some impact and when it melts the resulting rebound of the crust should create generate fresh seismic activity

Well it appears as reported in the New Scientist that Andrea Hampel at Ruhr University in Bochum, Germany decided to model the question and has found that ice throught it's additional weight suppresses normal plate movement allowing extra stress to build up in the system. As the ice sheets melt freer movement of the crust will result in more and stronger seismic activity taking place as several millennia of pent up pressure is released

Oh Joy! something else to mess with us, sigh!!!

If the land rebounds the plate including parts of the ocean floor must move up as well, has this displacement of water been calucated in ocean level projections?

Also in earthquake news scientists have identified the fault that caused a mediteranian tsunami in 365 AD. The fault near Crete has been anaylised and it appears it shifted up 10 metres in one quake. The resulting wave which would have been the equivalent of the 2004 tsunami caused great damage in Alexandria and the Nile Delta.

The chance of the same section of plate going off again is rated as only 1 in 5000 years, however other sections could go as often as 1 in 800 years. Let's see, 2008-365=1643, does this mean they are wrong or we are 843 years over due for a big one?Recommend this Post

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