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cityboi

Whats going on with all the earthquakes lately?

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Its been really crazy. In 2010 so far we have had earthquakes in Haiti, Japan, Turkey, Taiwan, Indonesia, Chile, Solomon Islands, Ryukyu Islands, small one in Ohio and an earthquake today in Hawaii. There are more just can't name them all. Some scientists say that when there are clusters of smaller to mid size quakes there is a big one that follows. Is "The BIG ONE" really on the horizon for Los Angeles?

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Earthquakes are about as predictable as automobile accidents, but I have to wonder if there isn't something catastrophic on the horizon for the Pacific Rim. I'm not sure if our perception has been changed with large earthquakes in Haiti and Chile or if earthquakes happen more than we think (they may just not get publicity). I'm sure the USGS has data on this, but I'm being lazy this afternoon.

California residents obviously know that the 'big one' will hit their state at some point, but I doubt anything can prepare them for the devastation that would likely follow such an event.

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I agree, earthquake prediction is still a very 'young' science. However, California is 'overdue' for a cataclysmic quake. I guess one large enough could end the dream of California being the 'golden state.' It could send millions of refugees east looking to resettle, if the event is large enough.

Let's also not forget the burden it would place on the US gov't to respond to such a large event, logistically and financially.

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Well scientist say one day California will be an island. The earthquake that hit Chile already moved a city 10 feet! So just imagine a super quake in California over 10.0.

Earthquakes do happen all the time every year so its not unusual but the frequency of earthquakes in such a short period of time is unusual. Something is going on in the Pacific ring and its not a matter of if for Los Angeles but when.

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I agree that CA is due for "the big one." The way we are going this year, I wouldn't be at all surprised if one did strike. I do think, however, that this years already large earthquake activity will only ratchet up collaboration between countries to improve earthquake-predicting technology and create funds for such major disasters. Hopefully our government will not twiddle their thumbs while it's all going down like they did with Katrina. Our government is fast to act around the world on disasters, but seeing how they have handled things in this country at times, they seem a bit incompetent.

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Technology is improving and I do think we'll eventually get closer to predicting earthquake activity. But its a lot like Volcano eruptions. You never know when one is going to blow.

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I can't recall what I searched to find it, but I found a list of earthquakes for the past decade, and it didn't really look like we're experiencing more than we normally do. It might just be the media attention and devastation of them just hitting a couple poor regions.

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Any stragglers from CA are welcome here in Connecticut, we need the influx of tan people....

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well with the latest earthquake in China, 2,000 are dead and another 12,000 are injured. Something clearly is going on with the earth and then there was the recent volcano eruption which affected air traffic over the past week. Folks we are approaching 2012 yikes!!

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The entire west coast is overdue, but hopefully nothing will happen, we don't need that type of drama now. 2012 is right around the corner. Although I do agree with tSlater about the media. Hyping up this stuff major time.

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Have you noticed that the majority of these earth quakes have happened in highly populated areas? Coincidence or are they attacks? I am leaning very heavily on attacks, as it is known that HAARP is capable of generating earth quakes.

~John

Get US out of the U.N.

End the Fed

Restore Our American Republic - ROAR

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After the 2004 Sumatran quake, there was a flare-up in earthquake activity around the Pacific Rim.

The Chilean quake and the Sumatran quake were of the same geologic variety - subduction (or megathrust) quakes.

Previous examples would be the 1960 Valdivia Chile quake (~9.6), and the 1964 Alaskan quake (~9.4).

This specific type of quake seems to occur, on average, around once every decade, mostly around the Pacific Rim. There are subduction zones mostly around the Pacific basin (though notably not California or Mexico - the faults there are slip-strike faults, which tend to produce more frequent, but slightly less intense quakes); also along the Indian Ocean side of Indonesia, at the bottom of the Puerto Rico trench, a few hundred miles W of the entrance to the Mediterranean Sea, and along the S coast of Crete in the Mediterranean. The vast majority of tsunamis are generated by subduction quakes, which due to energy release, tend to displace far more water at once than other undersea quakes.

The faults in California, Mexico, most of the Caribbean (Haiti included), and a long area stretching from Italy eastwards through Eurasia to various parts of China are slip-strike faults, where (instead of subduction) two plates slide past each other, occasionally get stuck, and snap loose. Those quakes are generally less strong in their actual magnitude, but are often also happening at shallow depths (as seen in Haiti), which can thus create massive amounts of damage, especially in places with old or weak construction.

With any of these various 'types' of quakes, you can see possibly related activity elsewhere on the fault system. On the fault running through Haiti, it has been inferred that there's a westward trend in activity: a strong quake in Haiti in the late 1700s was followed about 50 years later by a strong quake in Jamaica. About 50 years later, activity began at the east end of the fault (Puerto Rico), and has trended westward (mid 20th century: Dominican Republic) since.

As for California-as-Island: yes, over a period of a few million years. The separation of Baja California from Mexico (via the gradual elongation of the Gulf of California) is the slow, ongoing, gradual start of the process, which has been underway for a few million years, and is very slowly progressing up the San Andreas. The depression - which will eventually become flooded by seawater - created by this motion extends (at present) to the norther edge of the Salton Sea; the lone reason that the Salton basin hasn't already become the northernmost part of the Gulf is sediment outflow from the Colorado River, which effectively blocks the northern end of the depression.

At about the same rate of speed, the Straits of Gibraltar are also closing, as Africa pushes into the European plate, further elevating the Alps/Pyrenees, and eventually turning the Mediterranean into a very large salt lake.

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Last year we had a series of small quakes that occured over a few weeks... there was another not that long ago, but these are really small. I wonder if there'll be a East Coast quake... it's happened before. And what about along the Mississippi? That's also overdue.

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There was one last week off of Charleston, SC last week coming in at 2.5. While that may be very tiny, it could be the precursor to a much larger one down the road. Charleston had an earthquake back in 1886, which was considered that most damaging quake in US history, leveling over 2,000 buildings. Scientists estimate that it rated as high as 7.3.

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