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Fri, 29 May 2020
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Earthquakes


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New clues to deep earthquake mystery

Understanding Earthquakes
© U.S. Geological Survey
Subduction zones occur where one tectonic plate dives under another. New computer modeling by Magali Billen, professor of earth and planetary sciences at UC Davis, shows why earthquakes on these sinking plates cluster at certain depths and could give insight into processes deep in the Earth.
A new understanding of our planet's deepest earthquakes could help unravel one of the most mysterious geophysical processes on Earth.

Deep earthquakes — those at least 300 kilometers below the surface — don't typically cause damage, but they are often widely felt. These earthquakes can provide vital clues to understanding plate tectonics and the structure of the Earth's interior. Due to the extremely high temperature and pressures where deep earthquakes occur, they likely stem from different physical and chemical processes than earthquakes near the surface. But it's hard to gather information about deep earthquakes, so scientists don't have a solid explanation for what causes them.

"We can't directly see what's happening where deep earthquakes occur," said Magali Billen, professor of geophysics in the University of California, Davis, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences.

Seismograph

Powerful 6.1 earthquake hits off Vanuatu Coast

quake
The nation in located in a region that is part of the Pacific Ocean basin's "Ring of Fire", notorious for its earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

A powerful 6.1-magnitude earthquake has struck off the coast of Vanuatu some 80 kilometres northwest of the capital Port-Vila, the United State Geological Survey said on Wednesday. The seismic activity was registered at a depth of 10 kilometres at 7:09 a.m. UTC, the USGS added. There are no reports of casualties or damage caused by the tremor. No tsunami alert was issued by the authorities.

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Ice Age Farmer Report: SOLAR LOCKDOWN: Plandemic & Grand Solar Minimum

solar
A "SOLAR LOCKDOWN" has been announced across media outlets, and Forbes even declares we should fear! But why? And what is a Grand Solar Minimum anyway? Christian breaks down how the script is now in play for food shortages and offers a refresher on the impact of solar cycles.


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Seismograph

Magnitude 5.8 earthquake strikes New Zealand near Wellington

Map of the seismic activity near Wellington, New Zealand, on May 24
© USGS
Map of the seismic activity near Wellington, New Zealand, on May 24.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was rattled live on television during a 5.8 magnitude earthquake in Wellington.

The strong Monday morning earthquake was centred 30km north west of Levin, a town around an hour's drive north of the New Zealand capital.

It was felt most sharply around the South Taranaki Bight, and the closest major town, Wellington, some 100 kilometres south.

Tens of thousands of Kiwis reported feeling weak rattling as far north as Auckland and as far south as Dunedin.

In the capital, it brought sustained shaking for around 15 seconds as Kiwis prepared for their day at 7.53am NZST (5.53am AEST).

The earthquake was 37km deep according to seismic monitoring agency GScience.


Seismograph

6.1 earthquake hits off west coast of Mexico

Quake off Mexico
The U.S. Geological Survey says a relatively strong earthquake has been recorded in the Pacific Ocean west of Mexico.

The quake, with a preliminary magnitude of 6.1, hit at 3:46 a.m. local time Friday at a shallow depth of 10 kilometers (6 miles). The epicenter was 173 km (108 miles) east southeast of the resort city of San Jose del Cabo, on the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula.

No tsunami warning was issued.

Seismograph

Very unusual seismic activity concerns scientists in South Korea

Korea earthquakes
© AP
Seismologists in South Korea are concerned about an unusual rash of earthquakes that have shaken the peninsula in recent weeks, with some suggesting that this sudden upsurge in seismic activity might be a precursor to a major — and potentially very destructive — earthquake.

The Korean Peninsula is not traditionally considered to be a part of the so-called Ring of Fire, the seismically active fault lines that run around the rim of the Pacific Ocean. However, seismologists are looking at whether shifting tectonic plates might become a new normal for the Koreas.

Last week, the Korea Meteorological Administration reported a magnitude 2.8 tremor in Wanju County, in the far southwest of South Korea. Although there was no damage reported from the weak quake and nobody was injured, this is the first time since December 2014 that a tremor with a magnitude above 2 has hit the region.

Seismograph

6.2 magnitude earthquake strikes central Mediterranean Sea

earthquake graph
© Phil McCarten / Reuters
Scientists say a strong earthquake struck in the central Mediterranean Sea region early on Thursday.

The Athens Institute of Geodynamics gave a preliminary magnitude of 5.9, while the European Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) said it measured 6.2.

The tremor was recorded at 2.43 a.m. on Thursday about 238 kilometers southwest of the coast of Pylos, in region of Messinia, at a depth of just 10 kilometers.

No damage or injuries have been reported so far.

Seismograph

'Anomalous seismic activity' and a tornado hit eastern Cuba

Cuba earthquakes
© Facebook/Enrique Diego Arango Arias
More than 20 earthquakes, some of them perceptible, and a tornado that caused material damage, were reported this Sunday in eastern Cuba.

According to the National Center for Seismological Research (CENAIS), until 7:30 pm (local time), 21 telluric movements had been registered in the eastern part of the island, "some of them perceptible by the population," in what is classified as "anomalous seismic activity."

The earthquakes were felt in the municipalities of Guamá, Palma Soriano, Tercer Frente, Contramaestre and Santiago de Cuba, in the province of Santiago de Cuba, in the municipalities of Media Luna, Bayamo and Bartolomé Masó, in the province of Granma, and in the city of Guantánamo in the province of the same name, reported CENAIS, which explains that so far no victims or material damage have been reported as a result of the quakes.

The largest of the tremors had a magnitude of 4.6 degrees and was recorded at 4:47 pm. It was located 20 kilometers south-southwest of the Santiago town of Chivirico, and just two hours later, a 4.2-magnitude aftershock was recorded. Both earthquakes are considered the seventh and eighth perceptible this year.

This seismicity, points out CENAIS, "corresponds to an activation of a segment of the Oriente fault to the south of the Guamá municipality, in the province of Santiago de Cuba."

Comment: Weird. We wonder how seismic activity may be linked to this tornado...


Seismograph

Sweden suffers one of its strongest earthquakes at Arctic iron ore mine

An aerial view of the Kiruna iron ore mine, where the earthquake hit
© LKAB.com
An aerial view of the Kiruna iron ore mine, where the earthquake hit.
Sweden has recorded its biggest ever earthquake caused by mining in the Arctic.

The quake measured magnitude 4.1 and forced the Kiruna mine, which is more than 100 years old, to be closed until further notice.

It is not the most powerful earthquake in Sweden overall, with the record held by an earthquake in Sjöbo in southern Sweden that measured 4.3.

Thirteen workers were in the mine when the tremor struck just after 3am on Monday, but no one was injured and all workers were able to drive out, local media said. The mine was quickly evacuated and all work stopped.

The epicentre was 1.9 miles (3 km) from the town, which is located in northern Sweden inside the Arctic Circle.

Several people in Kiruna reported noticing a severe tremor.

Fredrik Björkenwall, spokesperson for mine owners LKAB, said the quake could be felt around 12 miles (20 km) away.

Seismograph

Death toll in southwest China earthquake rises to four

SW China quake
© Chen Xinbo/Xinhua
A medical worker sprays disinfectants to collapsed houses in earthquake-struck Yakou Village in Xiaohe Township of Qiaojia County, Zhaotong, southwest China's Yunnan Province, May 19, 2020.
The death toll in a 5-magnitude earthquake that struck Qiaojia County in southwest China's Yunnan Province late Monday has risen to four, with 24 others injured, local authorities said Tuesday.

Rescue forces from the local public security, fire fighting, emergency response sectors have rushed to the quake zone.

The Yunnan provincial disaster reduction committee office and the provincial emergency response department have launched a level-four response for the disaster relief and sent a working group to the disaster area to assist and guide the earthquake relief work.

A mining rescue team from Zhaotong City is on the way to the disaster area. Meanwhile, the Zhaotong fire department has dispatched 91 fire fighters aided with 19 fire engines and four sniffer dogs to join the rescue.