Killer earthquakes shake scientific thought

Oct 11, 2009 by Talek Harris
Indonesian soldiers crawl under a collapsed building during a rescue attempt in the Sumatran city of Padang on October 2 after a 7.6-magnitude quake toppled buildings in the area late on September 30. A sudden cluster of massive earthquakes which has shaken Asia-Pacific communities and likely left thousands dead has also jolted some scientists, who are starting to question conventional thought.

A sudden cluster of massive earthquakes which has shaken Asia-Pacific communities and likely left thousands dead has also jolted some scientists, who are starting to question conventional thought.

Experts who dismissed notions that far-away quakes could be linked are beginning to think again after huge tremors rocked Samoa and Indonesia on the same day, followed by another major convulsion in Vanuatu.

Some 184 people died in the terrifying which smashed Samoa, American Samoa and Tonga on September 30, while thousands are feared dead after parts of Indonesia's Padang city were reduced to rubble just hours later.

On Thursday, thousands of panicked people fled the coast as a rapid succession of large quakes off Vanuatu set off a tsunami warning for much of the South Pacific.

The "remarkable" sequence has prompted veteran earthquake-watcher Gary Gibson to tear up his theory it was all down to chance and search for a possible connection.

"I can no longer keep using the response it's all a big coincidence, can I?" Gibson, senior at Environmental Systems and Services consulting group, told AFP.

"But what would the (link) mechanism be? Nobody has come up with a good story."

University of Queensland's Huilin Xing also challenged accepted science by proposing a possible link between the Samoan and Indonesian earthquakes -- 6,000 miles (9,660 kilometres) apart.

Xing said the fast-moving Australian tectonic plate may have set off one quake, and then the other.

"From the observations, there were similar correlations of the quakes in the different places," Xing said.

"For two great earthquakes to occur within hours in such a way, it is abnormal."

Thursday's 7.6, 7.8 and 7.3 Vanuatu earthquakes also came just minutes after another large tremor shook the Philippines.

"It's remarkable. I've been working on this for 30 years and never seen it before," said Gibson.

"Many times it's chance but when you get this many large earthquakes on the Australian plate boundary it's stretching the concept of just coincidence. But nobody I know has published a link that will stand up in all cases.

"There's no mechanism to describe why it's happening that anybody's thought of. I personally think there may well be something else and I'm continuing to look for it."

Kevin McCue, president of the Australian Earthquake Engineering Society, rejected ideas of any connection between the Pacific and Indonesian quakes, but said the tremors in Samoa and Vanuatu had a historical precursor.

McCue said in 1917 a major rocked Samoa, followed three years later by another of similar size off Vanuatu, with both going off close to the recent quakes' epicentres.

But he said the high activity in different areas was simply part of the random nature of earthquakes.

"It's just the nature of the beast -- you have a cluster of events then you wait months without one," he said.

"(But) I don't deny that I don't know something. It is possible there's something more. We don't know what's happening down there, really."

(c) 2009 AFP

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User comments : 14

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Australia_Mining_Pioneer
1.8 / 5 (6) Oct 11, 2009
Gibson's comments is an easy way out of a completely false understanding he, and all of this colleagues, have been supporting on the causes of Quakes.
Pretending none has an explanation is as well asserting that since he, and all his colleagues, have no explanation, none has. In fact 10 years ago I published a paper on the real causes & links between volcanism & Quakes, both being related indeed.
The problem in fact is not finding an explanation, but an explanation not questioning the present Fraudulent Official Geology of which Gibson as well as Huilin Xing are supporters.
The foundation of the True Geology which I defend is based on the UPL or Universal Pressure Law & according to its conclusions what we see now is just a prelude to much worse things to come. The derisive Tectonics theories however stretched, will be hopeless to account for the coming killer Quakes where not expected.
jpturcaud
Exploration Geologist
Founder of the True Geology
ZenaV
1 / 5 (6) Oct 11, 2009
Hmmm....could be a GODLY thing as last year or so quakes have been starting in Oklahoma and getting bigger and bigger. They were quite rare here, but seems that is changing. There are some evil people who could be bringing such disasters to themselves....
jcrow
Oct 11, 2009
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
otto1923
3 / 5 (2) Oct 12, 2009
that since he, and all his colleagues, have no explanation, none has. In fact 10 years ago I published a paper
I would assume they 1. Were not aware of it or 2. Discounted it. They probably were not pretending that it didn't exist however. Ever talk to them?

How about magma waves as an explanation? The sun and planetary atmospheres as well as oceans exhibit traveling variations in pressure and tidal forces. Could swelling in earths liquid interior account for near simultaneous quakes as well as pulses or swarms of activity?
otto1923
3.8 / 5 (5) Oct 12, 2009
There are some evil people who could be bringing such disasters to themselves...
Or to you madam. Evil is in the eye of the receiver. Evil exists in a world full of enemies. And who is to say what is good for one side and bad for the other?
Shaffer
1.6 / 5 (5) Oct 12, 2009

Chances are the usually active expansion areas are not as active, and are settling in since the sun isn't pumping as much energy at us right now...Less energy coming in, the ball cools off and settles...simple enough, right?
RayCherry
not rated yet Oct 12, 2009
Ever waited for a bus?

When three turn up at the same time, what is the connection? They are after all running on the same streets. Did you ever run around the back of the first bus to check it was not towing those that followed it?

Probability ... defines what is probable, but not all that is possible. Gibson is stating that he has seen no evidence for any 'tow ropes', but that he cannot rule out that the first 'bus' is somehow connected from those that follow it.
drel
4.8 / 5 (4) Oct 12, 2009
Hmmm....could be a GODLY thing as last year or so quakes have been starting in Oklahoma and getting bigger and bigger. They were quite rare here, but seems that is changing. There are some evil people who could be bringing such disasters to themselves....


...or the giant fire troll that lives in the center of the earth could be bowling and got a strike! Everyone quickly hop on one leg and sacrifice your water pixies so he will stop!
Going
2.6 / 5 (5) Oct 12, 2009
I we picture tectonic plates as rigid slabs with joins at the margins, it doesn't take much imagination to see that horizontal pressure will be transmitted across the plate to all margins on the other side. A yield in one place will be transmitted through the rigid structure to a distant edge. Laser interferometry should be able to measure stress and strain across the whole plate on a real time basis.
otto1923
not rated yet Oct 12, 2009
What was that sci fi book where evil (from our perspective) aliens sent a ball of degenerate matter and one of antimatter into orbit around earths core? As their orbits decayed mayhem erupted on the surface. The earth didn't explode it just melted, becoming a wad of plasma eventually. Aliens were trying to preempt competition. I suppose they considered it prudent.
nkalanaga
not rated yet Oct 12, 2009
Sure, do unto others before they do unto you. Isn't that why we kill predators before they starting chewing on us?
drel
5 / 5 (1) Oct 13, 2009
What was that sci fi book where evil (from our perspective) aliens sent a ball of degenerate matter and one of antimatter into orbit around earths core? As their orbits decayed mayhem erupted on the surface. The earth didn't explode it just melted, becoming a wad of plasma eventually. Aliens were trying to preempt competition. I suppose they considered it prudent.


I believe you are thinking of "The Forge of God"
by Greg Bear
otto1923
not rated yet Oct 13, 2009
Yeah. I expect to see some of his imagery in the 2012 Armageddon movie coming out.
Sure, do unto others
'Attack is the best defense.' That is what sets us apart from the animals and produced this world as we see it today. Is that what you're talking about?
otto1923
not rated yet Oct 14, 2009
As far as I know we are the only species who hunts it's predators- I'm sure there are exceptions. Anyway, I offer as stimulating conjecture the (remote) possibility that a black hole is orbiting the core- or the Yakuza are getting serious with their orbital scalar weaponry, either of which are more plausible than a vengeful god seeking to purge Nebraska. Or wherever.
ealex
not rated yet Oct 18, 2009
"It's remarkable. I've been working on this for 30 years and never seen it before," said Gibson.

Perhaps that's because it's not there. Afaik one of the basics of a rule in nature is reproducibility.

Also I find it hard to believe that noone so far has looked seriously at the possibility that tremors on interconnected (I'd assume the directly interconnected ones would be most predisposed) plates could be interconnected and that this is indeed NEWS. I have too little knowledge on the subject to ascertain if it is indeed possible, but I'd at least think that some of the scientists in the field have already studied it.

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