Skip to comments.Quake rattled Earth orbit, changed map of Asia: US geophysicist
Posted on 12/28/2004 6:31:15 AM PST by NYer
An earthquake that unleashed deadly tidal waves on Asia was so powerful it made the Earth wobble on its axis and permanently altered the regional map, US geophysicists said.
The 9.0-magnitude temblor that struck 250 kilometers (155 miles) southeast of Sumatra island Sunday may have moved small islands as much as 20 meters (66 feet), according to one expert.
"That earthquake has changed the map," US Geological Survey expert Ken Hudnut told AFP.
"Based on seismic modeling, some of the smaller islands off the southwest coast of Sumatra may have moved to the southwest by about 20 meters. That is a lot of slip."
The northwestern tip of the Indonesian territory of Sumatra may also have shifted to the southwest by around 36 meters (120 feet), Hudnut said.
In addition, the energy released as the two sides of the undersea fault slipped against each other made the Earth wobble on its axis, Hudnut said.
"We can detect very slight motions of the Earth and I would expect that the Earth wobbled in its orbit when the earthquake occurred due the massive amount of energy exerted and the sudden shift in mass," Hudnut said.
Another USGS research geophysicist agreed that the Earth would have got a "little jog," and that the islands off Sumatra would have been moved by the quake.
However, Stuart Sipkin, of the USGS National Earthquake Information Center in Golden Colorado, said it was more likely that the islands off Sumatra had risen higher out of the sea than they had moved laterally.
"In in this case, the Indian plate dived below the Burma plate, causing uplift, so most of the motion to the islands would have been vertical, not horizontal."
The tsunamis unleashed by the fourth-biggest earthquake in a century have left at least 23,675 people dead in eight countries across Asia and as far as Somalia in East Africa.
The tsunamis wiped out entire coastal villages and pulled beach-goers out to sea.
The International Red Cross estimated that up to one million people have been displaced by the natural calamity.
20 meters isn't going to make so much difference on my 10" globe that I'll have to buy a new one.
A quick glance at a topographical map of the ocean ridges discloses a huge gash running N/S to the west of Sumatra.
The question is: why has the Indian Ocean/Bay of Bengal not been studied by geophysicists in greater detail?
Bush did it.
TOBA .... TOBA .... TOBA .... and no I don't mean Animal House ....
Earlier this season, CSI Miami had an episode where something similar happened. Of course Miami had been evacuated.
This really chaps me. Earthquakes are about geology, not climatology. But the treehuggers will claim such geological events and their consequences are part of "global warming". They lie for their own deceitful purposes and a gullible and fearful public will buy it.
I wonder how they will feel about the "erosion." Dam that mother nature.
Reuters is already implying that global warming exacerbates the effects of tsunamis. It is actually a very artful exercise. Between fairly dry quotes from scientists, the reporter injects his own opinions, and to the unobservant they acquire the cachet and status of "Science".
Since most people are incapable of pointing to evidence in their everyday experience that indicates that the world is round or the earth circles the sun, for most people what purports to be "Science" is simply a matter of faith. The scientific priesthood pronounces and we believe. Only a person of very poor character doubts the certitude of Official Science as revealed in the texts of Big Media.
Of course, as Micheal Crichton so ably points out, science has nothing to do with consensus and everything to do with skepticism and inquiry.
What makes you think that they haven't?
Yeah, but if your piece of property in Sumatra is described in Lat/Long, you now own your neighbor's property and someone else owns yours.
I suspect Sumatra is one of those places where property rights don't really exist anyway.
There you go, introducing reality in order to wreck my point...
my comment was based on having watched "geophysicist experts" being interviewed by news reporters. They didn't seem to know of any trenches other than the Mariana and saw no need for any tsunami warning systems for coast lines other than the West Coast (Pacific).
The East Coast has a 2,000 mile long trench that is subducting, in addition to the Puerto Rican trench.
I finished Crichton's book over the past weekend. It's a great book, and paints the picture clearly. Rush Limbaugh could have written it!
mark for later read
And the Weebles still wobbled, but they didn't fall down.
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