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Fri, 28 Apr 2017
The World for People who Think


Better Earth

New map shows the world hidden beneath your feet

© Sailor, Craig - Tacoma Department of Natural Resources
Mount Saint Helens can be seen in this screen grab from the Washington State Department of Natural Resources’ Lidar map. The 1980 eruption blew out the northern side, top, of the volcano, while the southern side shows volcanic flows from ancient eruptions.
Puget Sound is grooved like an old record. That's one of the Earth's secrets that can be found on a new interactive map produced by the state.

Using Lidar technology, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources has mapped a good third of the state revealing the smallest of details hidden beneath trees, buildings and other obstructions.

The grooves, carved by ancient glaciers, can be seen from Whidbey Island to south of Olympia. Tacoma is etched with a series of subtle pattern of north-south lines. The grooves become most prominent around Lake Tapps.

Toggling between "Bare Earth" and "Top Surface" is the best way to view the map.

Bizarro Earth

Shallow magnitude 7.1 earthquake strikes off Chile's coast

Magnitude 7.1

Location uncertainty 33.056°S 72.042°W± 4.2 km

Depth uncertainty 10.0 km± 1.9Origin

Time 2017-04-24 21:38:25.080 UTC

USGS data

Comment: A shallow magnitude 5.9 earthquake struck in the same region a few days ago.


Shallow magnitude 5.9 earthquake hits off Chile coast

A magnitude 5.9 earthquake rocked central Chile late Saturday, monitors said, though there were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

The tremor took place at 11.36 pm (0236 GMT), centered off the coast at 42 kilometers (26 miles) west of Valparaiso, according to the US Geological Survey.

It had a depth of 9.8 kilometers.

Chile's National Emergency Office, or ONEMI, estimated its strength at 6.1 on the Richter scale.

The Navy's hydrographic and oceanographic service found that the quake "has the characteristics to generate a tsunami".

However, no warning was issued by the Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.

A series of smaller earthquakes in Valparaiso in the evening hours rattled locals.


Shallow 6.0 magnitude earthquake hits Peru

6.0 magnitude earthquake 254 km from Iquitos, Loreto, Peru

2017-04-18 17:49:55 UTC

UTC time: Tuesday, April 18, 2017 17:49 PM
Your time: 2017-04-18T17:49:55Z
Magnitude Type: mww
USGS page: M 6.0 - 255km WNW of Iquitos, Peru
USGS status: Reviewed by a seismologist
Reports from the public: 40 people

2017-04-18 17:49:55 UTC 6.0 magnitude, 10 km depth
Iquitos, Loreto, Peru


6.0 magnitude earthquake off Fiji

6.0 magnitude earthquake 242 km from Levuka, Eastern, Fiji

2017-04-18 17:11:47 UTC

UTC time: Tuesday, April 18, 2017 17:11 PM
Your time: 2017-04-18T17:11:47Z
Magnitude Type: mww
USGS page: M 6.0 - 289km N of Ndoi Island, Fiji
USGS status: Reviewed by a seismologist
Reports from the public: 0 people

2017-04-18 17:11:47 UTC 6.0 magnitude, 626 km depth
Levuka, Eastern, Fiji


St Kitts rocked by shallow 5.8 earthquake

An earthquake with a magnitude of 5.8 rocked St Kitts and Nevis early Monday, but there are no reports of injuries or damage.

The Trinidad-based Seismic Research Unit says the tremor was recorded at 1:23 am (local time) at a latitude of 17.48 N, longitude of 61.20 W at depth of 10 km.

"It's the strongest I ever felt. I thought it was my dogs under the bed. It was strong," said former Miss St Kitts, Sudeakka Francis, in a post on her Facebook page.

The centre of the quake was located 83 km north-east of St John's, Antigua; 141 km north-north-east of Point-Pitre, Guadeloupe and 171 km east of Basseterre.


Shallow earthquake measuring 5.7 in magnitude hits off Vanuatu

An earthquake with a magnitude of 5.7 has struck northwest of the South Pacific island nation of Vanuatu, the US Geological Survey says.

The quake today was initially reported with a magnitude of 6.0 but was later downgraded by the USGS.

It was recorded at a depth of 20km and was located around 250km northwest of Vanuatu's Santo island, the USGS said.

There was no immediate tsunami warning or any reports of damage or casualties.

Source: AAP

Comment: Earthquake Track took note of a strong follow on tremor less than an hour later (even shallower):
2017-04-17 02:21:32 UTC 5.7 magnitude, 20 km depth
Sola, Torba, Vanuatu


2017-04-17 03:10:03 UTC 5.1 magnitude, 10 km depth
Sola, Torba, Vanuatu


Indigenous peoples around the world tell myths which contain warning signs for natural disasters - Scientists are now listening

© Photo by Taylor Weidman/LightRocket/Getty
Native knowledge - A Moken woman stares out to sea.
Shortly before 8am on 26 December 2004, the cicadas fell silent and the ground shook in dismay. The Moken, an isolated tribe on the Andaman Islands in the Indian Ocean, knew that the Laboon, the 'wave that eats people', had stirred from his ocean lair. The Moken also knew what was next: a towering wall of water washing over their island, cleansing it of all that was evil and impure. To heed the Laboon's warning signs, elders told their children, run to high ground.

The tiny Andaman and Nicobar Islands were directly in the path of the tsunami generated by the magnitude 9.1 earthquake off the coast of Sumatra. Final totals put the islands' death toll at 1,879, with another 5,600 people missing. When relief workers finally came ashore, however, they realised that the death toll was skewed. The islanders who had heard the stories about the Laboon or similar mythological figures survived the tsunami essentially unscathed. Most of the casualties occurred in the southern Nicobar Islands. Part of the reason was the area's geography, which generated a higher wave. But also at the root was the lack of a legacy; many residents in the city of Port Blair were outsiders, leaving them with no indigenous tsunami warning system to guide them to higher ground.

Humanity has always courted disaster. We have lived, died and even thrived alongside vengeful volcanoes and merciless waves. Some disasters arrive without warning, leaving survival to luck. Often, however, there is a small window of time giving people a chance to escape. Learning how to crack open this window can be difficult when a given catastrophe strikes once every few generations. So humans passed down stories through the ages that helped cultures to cope when disaster inevitably struck. These stories were fodder for anthropologists and social scientists, but in the past decade, geologists have begun to pay more attention to how indigenous peoples understood, and prepared for, disaster. These stories, which couched myth in metaphor, could ultimately help scientists prepare for cataclysms to come.

Anyone who has spent time around small children gets used to the question 'why?' Why is the sky blue? Why do birds fly? Why does thunder make such a loud noise? A friend's mother told us that thunder was God going bowling in the sky. Nature need not be scary and unpredictable, even if it was controlled by forces we could neither see nor understand.

The human penchant for stories and meaning is nothing new. Myths and legends provide entertainment, but they also transmit knowledge of how to behave and how the world works. Breaking the code of these stories, however, takes skill. Tales of gods gone bowling during summer downpours seems nonsensical on the surface, but know a little about the sudden thunderclaps and the clatter of bowling pins as they're struck by a ball, and the story makes sense.


Earthquake - 6.2 - 67km ESE of San Pedro de Atacama, Chile

A magnitude 6.2 - 67km ESE of San Pedro de Atacama, Chile is only the third major quake of April. The quake was measured at 135km deep.

Todays quake is the 22nd major quake of 2017 which is incredibly low.

Where have all the major quakes gone?

We are into the second half of April yet this year's total so far is extraordinarily low, 2017 has recorded only 22 quakes of magnitude 6 or higher, this total is the lowest this century by a country mile at this stage of the year.

These statistics are wonderful news for USGS who have claimed major quakes are not on the increase, however this year's total so far is astonishingly low, at the moment 2017 is yielding 6 major quakes per month which would give us a grand total of 72 for the year, we have to go back 50 years to the 1960's when so few major quakes were recorded but it's early days.


Chile on alert after being struck by 6.2 magnitude earthquake

Earthquake measuring 6.2 magnitude has struck Chile, close to the border with Argentina, the United States Geological Survey has said.

The quake struck at 5.15am local time (8.15am GMT) about 90 miles southeatst of the city of Calama.

USGS said the tremor had a preliminary magnitude of 6.2 and a depth of 188km, Reuters reported.

There have been no reports of inuries so far.