Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Shake, rock and roll

Seismologists in California were busy this week fighting rumors apparently floating on Twitter that a major earthquake was likely in the next few days.

Officials at Caltech say that rumor is not true -- and that no such prediction can be made.

But researchers say there has been an uptick in earthquakes this year.

The number of earthquakes greater than magnitude 4.0 in Southern California and Baja California has increased significantly in 2010. There have been 70 such quakes so far this year, the most of any year in the last decade. And it's only April. There were 30 in 2009 and 29 in 2008.

Seismologists said they are studying the uptick but cannot fully explain it. Major earthquakes tend to occur in cycles, and experts have said the region in recent years has been in a quiet cycle when it comes to sizable temblors.
I've been watching the USGS map for southern California for some time and have watched swarms of little earthquakes come and go. Fascinating, but I understand how trying to 'predict' an earthquake is nigh impossible. Just look at the 7.2 in Mexico and all the fore and aftershocks. We still don't know much except that the continent is being shoved west over the subduction zone being shoved east, the area is fractured and refractured with faults running across each other. The only thing geologists can predict is that we will get earthquakes constantly. Big and small.

So be prepared.


mahakal said...

Something to do with the sunspot cycle? :

ellroon said...

No proof yet, no consistent data, no substantiated study....

And my geologist hubby says no. :D