Friday, Aug 31, 2012
JAPAN – Up to 323,000 people could die if three earthquakes occur simultaneously along the Nankai Trough, killing about 70 per cent of victims in subsequent tsunami, according to new predictions by two Cabinet Office panels.
The panels on Wednesday released predictions of damage that would be caused by a magnitude-9 Nankai Trough triple quake. This is the largest triple quake expected to occur in the trough–which stretches from off Shizuoka Prefecture down to Shikoku and Kyushu–with the so-called Tokai, Tonankai and Nankai earthquakes happening simultaneously.
The size of the predicted focal area is twice that of the magnitude-8.7 triple quake predicted by the government’s Central Disaster Management Council in 2003.
One of the study panels was tasked with estimating the height of tsunami and the area of inundated regions, while the other was a Read more…
The global average temperature in 2011 was 14.52 degrees Celsius (58.14 degrees Fahrenheit). According to NASA scientists, this was the ninth warmest year in 132 years of recordkeeping, despite the cooling influence of the La Niña atmospheric and oceanic circulation pattern and relatively low solar irradiance. Since the 1970s, each subsequent decade has gotten hotter — and 9 of the 10 hottest years on record have occurred in the twenty-first century.
Each year’s average temperature is determined by a number of factors, including solar activity and the status of the El Niño/La Niña phenomenon. But heat-trapping gases that have accumulated in the atmosphere, largely from the burning of fossil fuels, have become a dominant force, pushing the Earth’s climate out of its normal range. The planet is now close to 0.8 degrees Celsius warmer than it was a century ago. Hidden within Read more…
Japan has already suffered one earthquake in 2012. But the New Year’s Day rumble caused little damage because it was centered deep below the surface. A new study warns, however, that the Tokyo region has a 70 percent chance of experiencing a major earthquake within four years.
Seismologists at the University of Tokyo said the study was based on an increase in earthquake activity in the region following the devastating March 11 earthquake and tsunami that killed almost 20,000 and led to a nuclear disaster. Working at the university’s earthquake research institute, the seismologists said the number of earthquakes in the region is rising — to 343 of 3.0 magnitude or higher in the past six months versus 47 the previous six months.
The seismologists believe that the probability of bigger earthquakes increases proportionately with smaller earthquakes. Therefore, the team has calculated a 98 percent chance of a 6.7 to 7.2 magnitude earthquake for the Tokyo region in the 30 years and a 70 percent chance over the next four years.
“When we ask when a probability of such a quake reaches 70%, then we get a 70% chance over the Read more…
NEW YORK — The U.S. Geological Survey is reporting a powerful undersea earthquake off the South Pacific island of Vanuatu.
The U.S.G.S. says a magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck at 5:19 a.m. Sunday local time (1819 GMT) at a depth of 28.5 kilometers (17.7 miles). Its epicenter was 69 kilometers (42 miles) south-southwest of the Vanuatu capital of Port-Vila.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center says no tsunami warning is in effect.
Vanuatu is part of the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” an arc of earthquake and volcanic zones stretching from South America through Alaska and down through the South Pacific. Read more…
The massive March 11 Japan earthquake and its ensuing tsunami were so powerful that they broke off huge icebergs thousands of miles away in Antarctica, according to a new study.
The calving of icebergs (where a huge chunk of ice breaks off from a glacier or ice shelf) from the Sulzberger Ice Shelf in Antarctica was linked to the tsunami, which originated with the magnitude 9.0 earthquake off the coast of the Japanese island of Honshu, by satellite observations of the Antarctic coast immediately after the earthquake.
Icebergs have been reported to calve following earthquakes before, including after the magnitude 6.3 earthquake that struck Christchurch, New Zealand, on Feb 22. But the new finding marks the first direct observation of such a connection between tsunamis and iceberg calving.
The giant 11 March 2011 magnitude 9 Tohoku earthquake not only shook the Earth and caused devastating tsunamis but also rattled the ionosphere, according to a new study.
The ionosphere is a part of the upper atmosphere, comprising portions of the mesosphere, thermosphere and exosphere, distinguished because it is ionized by solar radiation. It plays an important part in atmospheric electricity and forms the inner edge of the magnetosphere. It has practical importance because, among other functions, it influences radio propagation to distant places on the Earth. Read more…
Researchers using a camera on Maui have photographed the glow from atmospheric pressure disturbances generated by the March 11 tsunami, raising hopes that the technique could be used to predict the arrival of future waves.
The first observation of its kind was made from the Air Force Maui Optical and Supercomputing Station atop Haleakala by scientists in France, Brazil and the United States.
The March 11 earthquake in Japan generated a seismic sea wave that devastated parts of northern Honshu and caused millions of dollars of damage in Hawaii.
On the open ocean, such waves move at 500 mph but are only an inch high. Nevertheless, they put pressure on the atmosphere, scientists say.
“The atmosphere gets less and less dense as you get higher, and that allows the Read more…