05-13-2005, 12:26 AM
California is due for a massive earthquake...SOMETIME within the next 30 years.
Boy, I'd love to be a geologist. Make psychotically vague predicitons, be dead by the time you know whether you were right or not and still collect a fat paycheck.
Write a little report about the threat of what might or might not happen over the next 30 years and get national attention on the front page of msnbc.com and scare millions of people.
Thanks for wasting my time.
05-13-2005, 08:59 AM
Sure, it's vague, but it's pretty interesting stuff.
As the article said, earthquake prediction is notoriously difficult. When geologists have even the slightest of potentially reliable indications of an upcoming event, they act on it. They've learned their lesson before, in terms of ignoring warning signs and denying the need for preparation.
However, there's an even bigger earthquake on the agenda...
The "Cascadia Earthquake" isn't referred to as a 'megathrust' earthquake for nothing. The Juan de Fuca Plate, a tectonic plate the size of Nevada just off the coast of the Northwestern US, has been in a 'locked' position and building up tension and pressure under the North American Plate (on which the country lies) for the past 300 years. This ruptures every 300-900 years, with an average of 590. 'Normal' earthquakes are active about every 100-200 years, so this extended time of inactivity in Cascadia suggests that we're all in store for quite a show.
When this lets loose, and based on historical/geological records this will be soon (in terms of geologic time, and probably in terms of human time as well), Tsunamis from the US West coast will hit Japan and every major North American city along a 600-mile stretch of land from British Columbia to California.
Not to mention a magnitude 9.0+ earthquake with a duration of about five minutes.
Other earthquakes are obviously less intense, more frequent, and much shorter--only a few seconds.
The last time this happend was in 1700, magnitude 9.0. This is the same scenario as the Indonesian quake this past December, just not in a developing third world country.
Oh, and there's also the Yellowston Supervolcano. Its powered by a massive magma chamber bigger than Manhattan and (I think) two miles thick. The crater it formed, which is actually a depression in the ground and called a caldera, is about 400 sqare miles in area. It's estimated that the eruption will be 2,500 times bigger than that of Mt. St. Helens.
It erupts about every 600,000 years. The last eruption was more than 600,000 years ago. Anybody up for a volcanic winter?
The numbers for both these events are astronomical. It's not exactly a believer/nonbeliever kind of thing--these HAVE happened and WILL happen again. Just because humans exist doesn't mean the planet is going to put its natural processes on hold.
Yeah, I'm a nerd,
05-13-2005, 09:42 PM
I have a prediction... Long Island will be hit with a Cat five hurricane sometime in the next 30 years. Payment for this life saving warning can be sent to my home address, I take cash or checks.
Anyone with half an education knows California will be hit with a large earthquake and there's really nothing the people living there can do about it. Until they come up with a full proof method of predicting when an Earthquake will happen its foolish to warn the public and have nothing happen, most people will just ignore the warnings after a while.
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