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Wed, 27 May 2020
The World for People who Think



An acoustic anomaly in Oklahoma baffles geologists

Acoustic anomaly in Oklahoma
Here the anomaly can be seen at station SC14, boxed in red. It repeated once in this instance, as it usually does (June 26, 2019). (Each horizontal line represents an hour.)
"What is that?" asked Dr. Walter, pointing to the seismograms displayed on a flat screen TV hanging on the wall of the OGS seismic lab. There were a series of red marks that indicate automatic picks by the computer as potential earthquakes.

However, these marks were spaced very regularly, so regularly that at first glance they looked like some sort of mechanical noise.

The problem with that assumption was that they were showing up on stations all across the state, all at the same time. Anything that widespread is usually associated with a correspondingly large scale event, like an earthquake.

This pattern we were seeing looked nothing like an earthquake, or even a series of earthquakes. Other potential causes we guessed at were military aircraft, meteor shower, or something related to gas pipelines. We dubbed this acoustic pattern 'The Anomaly.'

Curious about what we were seeing, and what our sensors were hearing, we attempted to locate a potential source for individual pulses from the pattern.

This produced nothing but garbage location potentials with errors so high it was useless. We also attempted locating a source using the first arrival time of the pattern at various stations where it was clearly discernible.

This yielded a more interesting result. It still failed to yield a location, however, by plotting out the first arrival times on a map, the anomaly arrived in a 'ping pong' like pattern back and forth across the state, mainly in a swath from Tulsa, across OKC and toward Lawton.


Earthquake of magnitude 6.3 strikes near south coast of Japan's Honshu

Epicentre of the 6.3 magnitude
Epicentre of the 6.3 magnitude earthquake that struck near the south coast of Japan's island of Honshu early Jul 28, 2019.
An earthquake of magnitude 6.3 struck near the south coast of Japan's island of Honshu early on Sunday (Jul 28), the European earthquake monitoring service EMSC reported.

The estimated population of the area where the earthquake was felt is 30 million inhabitants, EMSC said.

There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

Source: Reuters


Ancient apocalypses that changed the course of civilization

Volcano Hekla
© Abraham Ortelius/Wikimedia Commons
The eruption of the Icelandic volcano Hekla may have led to the collapse of multiple thriving Bronze Age societies.
Life, as they say, goes on. Until one day it doesn't. For ancient societies, without the means to predict natural disasters, destruction could often come suddenly and completely by surprise. Below are four of the most devastating natural events in recorded human history, and the societies that they wiped off the map.

The Storegga Slides

Until about 8,000 years ago, the British Isles were a peninsula, joined to mainland Europe by a strip of chalk downs, swamps, lakes and wooded hills. Today, we call this submerged world Doggerland.

Today, fishermen routinely bring up carved bone and antler tools from the Mesolithic hunter-gatherers who lived here. But by the end of the 7th millennium BC, a warming world caused sea levels to rise. The people of Doggerland must have watched with dread as their villages were swallowed up one by one. But one event would turn the slow advance of the sea into an apocalyptic terror.

The edge of the Norwegian continental shelf is an underwater cliff that runs for six hundred miles along the Atlantic Basin. And one autumn day around 6225-6170 BCE, this cliff collapsed. An estimated 770 cubic miles, or over 50 Mount Everests, of rock broke off and slid into the deep ocean. The rubble flow reached a speed of 90 mph underwater.


Eight killed and dozens injured after powerful earthquakes hit northern Philippines

Batanes quake damage
© Instagram / Manolo Manuel
At least 8 people have been killed and dozens injured after a series of powerful earthquakes struck the northern Philippines archipelago province of Batanes.

Substantial damage is being reported in Itbayat municipality after two consecutive earthquakes measuring 5.4 and 5.9 struck the region around 4:16am and 7:30am local time, followed by an aftershock. Amid ongoing large scale rescue operations a third quake measuring 5.7 struck the same area at 09:24am.

Eight people were killed and 60 others injured, according to preliminary information from Batanes Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office.


Shallow 6.0-magnitude quake hits Balleny Islands region in the Antarctic Ocean

An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.0 jolted Balleny Islands region at 10:33:24 GMT on Tuesday, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The epicenter, with a depth of 10.0 km, was initially determined to be at 61.2936 degrees south latitude and 154.063 degrees east longitude.


Athens residents flee as strong M5.3 earthquake shakes Greek capital

Damage is seen on the Church of the Pantanassa following an earthquake in Athens, Greece
© Reuters / Alkis Konstantinidis
Damage is seen on the Church of the Pantanassa following an earthquake in Athens, Greece. July 19, 2019.
No immediate news on injuries or damage after 5.3-magnitude quake rattles southern Greece

A strong earthquake has struck near Athens, causing residents of the Greek capital to run into the streets.

The city's Institute of Geodynamics gave the earthquake a preliminary magnitude of 5.1 but the US Geological Survey gave it a preliminary magnitude of 5.3. The institute said the quake struck at 2.13pm local time, about 14 miles north of Athens.

The quake caused limited power cuts and communication problems around the capital; the fire brigade received calls about people trapped in lifts.

Comment: More reports from the BBC
The strongest aftershock had a magnitude of 4.3, almost an hour after the initial quake hit at 14:13 (11:13 GMT). Seismologists warn there could be more.

The earthquake was felt particularly strongly in the centre of Athens, where people stood in the streets after evacuating from tall buildings.
earthquake greece july 2019 map
And RT:
The nation's main emergency agency, the General Secretariat for Civil Protection, has been called to convene for an urgent meeting to assess the damage.

car damaged earthquake athens greece
© Reuters / Alkis Konstantinidis


Bali rocked by magnitude 6.1 earthquake

map quake
An undersea earthquake with a magnitude of 6.1 has struck south of Indonesia's Bali, the European earthquake monitoring agency EMSC says, causing some residents and visitors on the tourist island to briefly rush out of buildings.

There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties from the quake on Tuesday and no tsunami warning was issued by the Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.

The epicentre was 102km southwest of the island's capital, Denpasar, and was 100km deep, the EMSC said.

The US Geological Survey recorded the quake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.7.

A Twitter user with the handle Indounik in the city of Ubud on Bali said the quake was "strong enough to make me adopt the drop, cover & hold approach recommended to survive a quake".


Shallow earthquake of magnitude 6.4 strikes off Papua New Guinea

A magnitude 6.4 earthquake struck off Papua New Guinea on Monday, the U.S. Geological Survey said, in an area frequently struck by quakes.

The quake struck 26 km (14 miles) north of Kandrian, in New Britain, at a depth of 33 km.

There were no immediate reports of damage.

Nearby Indonesia's Moluccas islands were hit by scores of aftershocks on Monday after an earthquake killed at least two people, prompting hundreds of people to flee their homes.

Source: Reuters


4.0 earthquake hits near Manhattan, Montana

Earthquake map
A 4.0-magnitude earthquake centered about two miles northwest of Manhattan shook the Gallatin Valley Saturday evening.

The United State Geological Services reported the quake happened at about 7:50 p.m., and that tremors could be felt within a 180-mile radius from the center.

"It rattled the dishes pretty good," said Marie Westphal, co-owner of Sir Scott's Oasis Steakhouse in Manhattan. "Nobody hurt, no damage or anything like that, but it was like, 'Holy cow, that was a pretty good jolt.'"

Westphal guessed that the quake lasted five to 10 seconds.


Shallow earthquake with 7.3 magnitude strikes in eastern Indonesia

map indonesia
A major 7.3-magnitude earthquake hit off the remote Maluku islands in eastern Indonesia on Sunday (July 14), sending panicked residents running into the streets, but no tsunami warning was issued.

The quake struck about 165kms south-south-west of the town of Ternate in North Maluku province at 6.28pm local time, at a depth of 10km, according to the US Geological Survey, Agence France-Presse reported.

"The earthquake was quite strong, sending residents to flee outside, they are panicking and many are now waiting on the roadside," local disaster mitigation official Mansur, who like many Indonesians goes by one name, told AFP.