We discuss and comment on the role agriculture will play in the containment of the CO2 problem and address protocols for terraforming the planet Earth.
A model farm template is imagined as the central methodology. A broad range of timely science news and other topics of interest are commented on.
Saturday, January 19, 2013
Super Earthquake Hot Spots
It is worth remarking that both Sumatra and Northern Japan were
ultimately surprises. This allows us to identify the rick of such a
Other such risks as may still exist are remnant subsidence events
left over from the Ice Age. That includes the Mid Atlantic Ridge and
the Cuban Arc. The time frames there though are surely measured in
thousands of years and have steadily lessened.
Otherwise it is all about the ring of fire and the impact of the
Indian sub plate on the Middle East. That effect also extends into
There is still far too much country in the wrong place that is badly
exposed to huge low probability risk.
"We find that 87%
of the 15 largest (8.6 magnitude or higher) and half of the 50
largest (8.4 magnitude or higher) earthquakes of the past century are
associated with intersection regions between oceanic fracture zones
and subduction zones," says Dietmar Muller, researcher at
the University of Sydney in Australia and lead author of the Solid
Earth paper. The connection is less striking for smaller earthquakes.
related to these intersection regions include the destructive 2011
Tohoku-Oki and 2004 Sumatra events.
association we found were due to a random data distribution, only
about 25% of great subduction earthquakes should coincide with these
special tectonic environments. Therefore, we can rule out that the
link we found is just due to chance," he adds.
considered about 1,500 earthquakes in their study. They used a
database of significant post-1900 events, as well as geophysical data
mapping fracture zones and subduction zones, among others. They
analysed information from these databases by using a specific data
"The method was
originally developed for analysing online user data," says
Thomas Landgrebe, also involved in the study. "The technique we
apply is commonly used to find a few specific items which are
expected to be most appealing to an Internet user. Instead, we use it
to find which tectonic environment is most suitable for generating
generation is a very complex process, the scientists don't yet have a
complete understanding of why great earthquakes prefer the
intersection areas. They suggest that it is due to the physical
properties of fracture zones, which result in "strong,
persistent coupling in the subduction boundaries," Landgrebe
explains. This means that the subduction fault area is locked and
thus capable of accumulating stress over long periods of time.
we have uncovered provides critical information for seismologists to,
in the long run, pinpoint particular tectonic environments that are
statistically more prone to strong seismic coupling and great
earthquake supercycles," Muller says. An area with earthquake
supercycles experiences recurring powerful earthquakes every few
centuries or millennia.
Regions that have long
earthquake supercycles are usually not picked up as risk areas by
seismic hazard maps as these are constructed mainly using data
collected after 1900. An example is the area of the 2011 Tohoku-Oki
earthquake, which had no record of large earthquakes over the past
century and was not predicted to be of significant risk by previous
"The power of
our new method is that it does pick up many of these regions and,
hence, could contribute to much-needed improvements of long-term
seismic hazard maps," Muller explains.
"Even though we
don't fully understand the physics of long earthquake cycles, any
improvements that can be made using statistical data analysis should
be considered as they can help reduce earthquake damage and loss of