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Fri, 27 Nov 2020
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Evil Rays

Paired earthquakes separated in time and space

Earthquakes occurring at the edges of tectonic plates can trigger events at a distance and much later in time, according to a team of researchers reporting in today's (Jan. 31) issue of Nature. These doublet earthquakes may hold an underestimated hazard, but may also shed light on earthquake dynamics.

"The last great outer rise earthquakes that occurred were in the 1930s and 1970s," said Charles J. Ammon, associate professor of geoscience, Penn State. "We did not then have the equipment to record the details of those events." The outer rise is the region seaward of the deep-sea trench that marks the top of the plate boundary

In late 2006 and early 2007, two large earthquakes occurred near Japan separated by about 60 days. These earthquakes took place in the area of the Kuril Islands that are located from the westernmost point of the Japanese Island of Hokkaido to the southern tip of the Kamchatka Peninsula. The first event took place on Nov. 15, 2006 when the edge of the Pacific plate thrust under the arc of the Kuril Islands, initiating a magnitude 8.3 event and causing some damage in Japan and a small tsunami that caused minor damage in Crescent City, California. About 60 days later, on Jan. 13, 2007, a magnitude 8.1 earthquake occurred in "the upper portion of the Pacific plate, producing one of the largest recorded shallow extensional earthquakes."

Cloud Lightning

Tropical cyclone Gene kills seven in Fiji

Tropical Cyclone Gene, which battered the South Pacific island nation of Fiji killing at least seven, has moved west towards the southern Vanuatu island, local media said Wednesday.

Winds gusting up to 150 k/ph (93 m/ph) hit Fiji's main islands of Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, causing floods, blackouts and damage to homes and buildings.

Two people were electrocuted by collapsed power lines and another man died in a house fire, while others were killed by the storm.

Fish

Female fish decide who floats or flounders on social scale

Aggression, testosterone and nepotism don't necessarily help one climb the social ladder, but the support of a good female can, according to new research on the social habits of an unusual African species of fish.

The study, published today in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society, highlights the complex relationship between social status, reproductive physiology and group dynamics.

"We found that changes in social status were regulated by the most dominant female in a social group," says John Fitzpatrick, lead researcher and a graduate student in the Department of Biology at McMaster University. "In fact, dominant females seemed to act as gatekeepers, allowing only males larger than themselves to move up in status and become dominant."

Snowman

Jerusalem blanketed with heavy snow

A heavy snowfall blanketed Jerusalem and the surrounding areas Tuesday night and was continuing to fall Wednesday. As expected, the Jerusalem Municipality decided to cancel school in the capital for the day due to the slippery streets. University classes were also canceled, as well as kindergartens and preschools. There were also no classes in Gush Etzion, Ofra, Kochav Ya'acov, Tel Zion, Ma'ale Levona, Eli, Shilo and Beit El.

©Ariel Jerozolimski
The Old City of Jerusalem covered in snow.

Hourglass

New Study Challenges One of the Central Beliefs About Global Warming

New information is leading to a controversial shift in thinking on the impact of global warming on ocean circulation, partly due to the work of a UA researcher.

Target

Quake shakes Greek capital, no injuries reported

Athens - An 5.0 magnitude quake shook Greece on Tuesday without causing injuries or damages.

"The epicentre of the earthquake was 50 km south of Athens, in waters off the coast of the island of Aegina," an Athens Geodynamic Institute official said. It was also felt in the capital Athens.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or damages, the fire department said.

Snowman

Snow, cold, possible twisters pound US

DENVER - A powerful storm system raced across the nation Tuesday, spawning everything from heavy snow and numbing cold to thunderstorms and possible tornadoes, and forecasters warned more bad weather was on the way.

High winds associated with thunderstorms may have killed two people in Indiana, authorities said. Snow forced the closure of schools and highways in many areas, and avalanche warnings were issued for some Western regions.

©(AP Photo/Nathan Bilow)
Chelsea Yerdon from Crested Butte, Colo. shovels the front of the working establishments sidewalk wondering where to put the snow when the banks of the sidewalks are already eight feet high in Crested Butte, Colo. on Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2008.

Extinguisher

Ecuador volcano continues weeks-long eruption

QUITO -- Volcano Tungurahua in central Ecuador has remained highly active in more than three weeks after it first began showering the nearby region with ash, the National Polytechnic's Geophysics Institute said in a statement Monday.

The 5,029-km mountain emitted a new burst of gas and columns of smoke earlier Monday, extending its increased activity starting on Jan. 5.

In 2006, the volcano killed six people and destroyed thousands of hectares of crops during eruptions of hot ash that lasted through July and August.

Cloud Lightning

El Nino at play as source of more intense regional U.S. wintertime storms

The next time you have to raise your umbrella against torrents of cold winter rain, you may have a remote weather phenomenon to thank that many may know by name as El Niño, but may not well understand.

Researchers now believe that some of the most intense winter storm activity over parts of the United States may be set in motion from changes in the surface waters of far-flung parts of the Pacific Ocean.

Siegfried Schubert of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., and his colleagues studied the impact that El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events have on the most intense U.S. winter storms.

Cloud Lightning

Fiji lashed by powerful cyclone

At least six people have died and thousands are without power or water after Cyclone Gene lashed Fiji.

Winds gusted at 140km/h (88mph), tearing off roofs, causing flooding and bringing down trees and power lines, disaster officials said.

Hundreds of people took refuge in schools and government shelters after fleeing damaged houses.

Forecasters warned of further serious flooding, as the tail-end of the storm dumped large amounts of rain on Fiji.