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Earthquake Facts: Are the Numbers of Big Earthquakes on the Rise?

Updated on September 26, 2016
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Science, nature and the environment, with regard to human impact, are subjects to which Chris applies his passions for research and writing.

Nepal Earthquake 2015; Moment Magnitude 7.8

Source

Are the Numbers of Big Earthquakes on the Rise

This article has been designed to answer one question. Are the numbers of big earthquakes on the rise, holding steady or declining? Facts from the U.S. Geological Survey along with graphs and charts will conclusively answer this question.

Significant Earthquakes During Early 2015

6.7-Kodari, Nepal

6.6-Lamjung, Nepal

7.8-Lamjung, Nepal

6.2-Bella Bella, Canada

6.3-Lata, Solomon Islands

6.4-Su'ao, Taiwan

6.5-Sigave, Wallis and Futuna

3.3-View Park-Windsor Hills, California

6.3-Hihifo, Tonga

3.6-San Ramon, California

NEPAL on April 29, 2015. 5,200+ Dead, 10,000+ Injured, 70,000+ Homes Destroyed

The Need to know about Earthquakes and other Natural Disasters

While this article is about earthquakes, natural disasters of various kinds are all around us in this world. Every region seems to have its own version of catastrophe. Tornadoes and hurricanes, Volcanoes and earthquakes, tsunamis and tidal waves, landslides and sinkholes, wildfires and droughts, floods and snow storms. On occasion, usually following a natural disaster involving one of these phenomena, I hear someone ask a question that usually goes something like this. “Why do people live there if it’s so dangerous?” In response, I always want to say, but rarely do, where can we live that is free from the danger of a natural disaster?

People have different reasons for wanting to know about earthquakes. If a person lives in a location which is known for having significant numbers of earthquakes, especially large or great earthquakes, protecting oneself and family would be the cause for interest. Engineers who design buildings and those who build them must have an understanding of the interaction between manmade structures and this powerful force of nature.

So whether you are checking out a new place to live or are simply curious, we all have some desire or need to know something about earthquakes.

San Francisco, California Earthquake, 1906

Source

Data Collection of Earthquakes: Number and Magnitude

It is likely that all of us have been through an earthquake. It’s just that some of us didn’t realize it, while others were all too aware of what was going on. The United States Geological Survey estimates that every year there are millions of earthquakes worldwide. But facts are facts and estimates are estimates. The fact is, the USGS, in an average year, counts 20,000 earthquakes worldwide, which is 50 per day or 2 per hour.

Many people are under the impression that the number of earthquakes is on the rise. This may be just a feeling they have, but it would be helpful to either prove or disprove those feelings. So the remainder of this article will be devoted to that topic. Are the numbers of earthquakes worldwide on the rise?

Man has only recently become able to measure the strength or magnitude of earthquakes. We’ve all heard of the Richter scale, developed by Charles Richter in 1934, but that measurement has been proven to not be applicable to all places and all magnitudes of EQs. Today, the moment magnitude scale (abbreviated MW) is better suited for the task, specifically because it is globally applicable to all magnitudes of EQs.

The moment magnitude scale is based on the seismic moment of the earthquake. Seismic moment is calculated by multiplying three geophysical properties: (1)the rigidity of the Earth (2) the average amount of slip on the fault and (3) the size of the area that slipped (From the Wikipedia article on moment magnitude scale).

Fukuoka, Japan; Moment Magnitude 7 Earthquake March 20, 2005

The landslide upon the surrounding road of Shikanoshima, Fukuoka following the earthquakes on March 20 and April 20, 2005.
The landslide upon the surrounding road of Shikanoshima, Fukuoka following the earthquakes on March 20 and April 20, 2005. | Source

Number of 6.5+ Earthquakes From 1977 to 2012. Notice the Upward Change Beginning in 1992

Year
Number of 6.5+ EQs
1977
42
1978
58
1979
59
1980
66
1981
45
1982
56
1983
71
1984
49
1985
67
1986
60
1987
71
1988
60
1989
58
1990
71
1991
61
1992
73
1993
82
1994
82
1995
96
1996
86
1997
94
1998
81
1999
83
2000
89
2001
72
2002
83
2003
89
2004
94
2005
86
2006
69
2007
82
2008
95
2009
78
2010
90
2011
60
2012
57
From 1977 through 1991, the USGS counted 20,000 EQs of all magnitudes per year. Beginning in 1992, that figure began to rise.

Four Points That Reveal the Progressive Increase of Large Earthquakes

  1. 1977-2012-The chart above shows a great deal of fluctuation in the numbers of EQs above magnitude 6.5. Up to 1992 the USGS had been reporting an average of 20,000 earthquakes (all magnitudes) per year. Beginning in 1992, the numbers began to rise. You can see the increase in the chart by following the numbers of EQs from 1992, which was 73, to 2012. Don't expect a constant upward movement. It goes up and down, but the end result is an overall increase in the numbers of big EQs over the period from 1979 to 1992.
  2. 1992-2010-The USGS has reported, since 1979, an average of ten earthquakes per year above magnitude seven. Beginning in 1992 that figure rose to 12.5 until 2010 when it again increased to 16.7 (Reflected in chart above). This was a 65% increase over the thirty years since 1979.
  3. 2002-2012-According to G. E. Daub, E. Ben-Naim and P. A. Johnson, in their article on Temporal Clustering of Great Earthquakes in December, 2012, "The last decade (2002-2012) has seen a surge in the number of great earthquakes (magnitude M ≥ 8), including three of the six largest events on record in the past century." (Presented at the American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting 2012).
  4. 2012-2014-But since 2012, (The last year on the chart above) something dramatic has taken place. According to Tom Parsons, a research geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the number of large EQs nearly doubled in the first quarter of 2014. Parsons stated that "we have recently experienced a period that has had one of the highest rates of great earthquakes ever recorded.”

Source for the above information is at Discovery News

Historical Perspective

Now lets put the alarming fact that the number of large EQs is on the rise, into historical perspective. There have been numerous spikes of big EQs in history. The chart below, and the important quote following it, illustrate "Clusters" of big EQs during the 20th century.

Twentieth Century Clusters of Big Earthquakes

| Source

"If we only consider data since 1950, when instrumentation worldwide improved and event magnitudes become better constrained, the likelihood that the earthquake catalogue is random becomes remarkably small (~1/1000). We attribute the nonrandom behaviour to clustering in time of large earthquakes, as there are two clusters of events (1950s-1960s, and 2004-present) separated by a long period with no large events."

— Daub, E. G. ; Ben-Naim, E. ; Johnson, P. A. American Geophysical Union, 2012

Will the Upward Trend Continue, or Fall Back to the Previous level of 20,000 EQs per Year?

The number of large earthquakes is clearly on the rise, but it is only an increase over the period of time from 1979 to 1992. There was another "spike" in big EQs in the 1950s and 60s, but that returned to the previous norm. Will this current phenomenon continue unabated or will it end, just as the same kind of rise ended in the 1950s and 1960s? It is difficult at this point in history to make firm predictions based on the data. Scientists have only been collecting seismic data effectively with modern equipment since the early 20th century. A century of reliable data is not enough on which to base firm predictions of seismic behavior or patterns.

Relief for Nepal

An injured boy is taken to a ward inside a hospital after an earthquake in Siliguri.
An injured boy is taken to a ward inside a hospital after an earthquake in Siliguri. | Source

The Common Person's Place in the Big Picture of Big Earthquakes

What is the common person's response to what has happened just days ago in Nepal? These Earthquakes are happening more often, as is shown by the information in this article. Some choose to pray, others give to relief organizations. A few go to these places to help with relief efforts and in delivering medical assistance.

The power of the Nepal earthquake was overwhelming. The need following the disaster is numbing to the point that we may do nothing in response as individuals. The link in the grey box in the upper right may help. It is an article published by Public Radio International and contains the information on vetted relief agencies who are actively assisting people affected by the Nepal earthquake.

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    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 24 months ago from Stillwater, OK

      Gave you an awesome, interesting and up for your material on this one, all in a nutshell. Since you are the master of very short stories, the concise natural, along with the viable facts, gave this powerful read much credibility plus allowed one to read this in its entirety. With people as bust as they are now, you got your point across, and then some. Congrats!

    • cam8510 profile image
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      Chris Mills 2 years ago from St. Louis, MO until the end of June, 2017

      Marie, thank you for that comment. It is full of hope and also a challenge to us all. The earthquakes in some of our western states are definitely due to some parts of the oil extraction process. Namely the deep well injection of waste water from fracking. Fracking may not be a problem if it wasn't for the DWI. Thanks again for the comment.

    • Marie Flint profile image

      Marie Flint 2 years ago from Jacksonville, Florida USA

      While only perusing your hub, I would say that quakes do seem to be on the rise from the posts I've been seeing on Facebook.

      My spiritual studies have mentioned a connection between oil extraction and the less-than-fluid movement of the tectonic plates. Supposedly, we were supposed to have developed crystal energy long ago so the need for oil would be unnecessary, but greed, according to the messengers, has delayed this evolution.

      Unrest and cruelty among humans in many places of the earth has also contributed to the difficulty the elementals have in keeping a balance on our dear planet. So, wake up, folks! There's no need to have cataclysm. Let's become the enlightened citizens we were intended to be!

      Blessings!

    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 2 years ago from St. Louis, MO until the end of June, 2017

      Akriti Mattu, I'm sorry I didn't respond to your comment right away, but I want to thank you for stopping by and reading my article. I just read your article on chocolate and was very impressed with your thorough handling of the topic.

    • cam8510 profile image
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      Chris Mills 2 years ago from St. Louis, MO until the end of June, 2017

      Ann, sorry about not responding to your comment sooner. I sometimes leave comments for a short period so that they can be viewed in the feed rather than my response. Of course, when I do that, I sometimes forget to go back and answer the comment. I appreciate you stopping by to read.

    • cam8510 profile image
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      Chris Mills 2 years ago from St. Louis, MO until the end of June, 2017

      retrojoe, thanks for reading my article and for the interesting comment. Yes, I'm sure you are right that in places where EQs are more common, patterns can be identified. I read one comment in my research that caused me to include that statement in my article. I do believe that as statistics are gathered into the future, scientists will learn a great deal more about earthquakes.

      By the way, in a couple of weeks, I'll be headed your general direction to work in a hospital in Medford, Oregon for about six months.

    • retrojoe profile image

      Joseph Ritrovato 2 years ago from Vancouver, WA (nextdoor to Portland, OR)

      Very well done article on a topic that needs more attention. Just want to share my feelings in relationship to a comment you made in the article that we haven't had enough reliable information (only the past 100 years or so) to have a good idea of the long cycles that relate to destructive earthquake cycles. In my opinion, limited studies of such places as Italy or Japan, who have extensive records of deadly earthquakes, could yield some useful patterns in that regard. Thanks again, I enjoyed your article very much and I was impressed..

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

      I've never experienced an earthquake, apart from the odd extremely minor tremors now and then that happen all over the place.

      My partner's sister is in Christchurch, New Zealand and that's still undergoing massive rebuilds; I went there before the quake and now I'm apprehensive about going again (such a wooz). I don't know how I'd react but it's worrying that they are on the up.

      Superb hub; you've obviously done a load of research, providing us with balanced facts and figures and an educated viewpoint.

      I missed this earlier but managed to get back to it and I'm glad I did.

      Ann

    • Akriti Mattu profile image

      Akriti Mattu 2 years ago from Shimla, India

      Extremely informative and thoughtful piece.

    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 2 years ago from St. Louis, MO until the end of June, 2017

      Rich, I hope that came across okay. It's just an observation I've made about that particular prophecy. Thanks for being a good sport about it.

    • Rich kelley profile image

      Rich Kelley 2 years ago from The Ekklesia

      Thanks for the correction about frequency verses intensity.

      I have fallen for the "party" line on more than one item, that upon reading of the text showed something different. :)

    • cam8510 profile image
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      Chris Mills 2 years ago from St. Louis, MO until the end of June, 2017

      Rich, I certainly am not here to debate biblical prophecy, but I would suggest you read the passage in Luke 21:11. It doesn't say they will increase, only that there would be great earthquakes. I do believe this is a common misconception about this prophecy. But you will come to your own conclusion about that. I hope the article was some help in your discussions.

    • Rich kelley profile image

      Rich Kelley 2 years ago from The Ekklesia

      I have read the answers and understand what both are saying about the "technical" term aftershock. However if I was at the center of an 8.0 earth quake, anything that followed, 7.1, 4.5 3.2 wouldn't in my mind convert to "Oh I'm sure glad that was only an after shock". I mention this because the scriptural warnings about earth quakes increasing as the time draws near were not about word definitions as determined by man. An after shock of 6.5 is an earth quake, regardless how those keeping track of things want to call it. To be told that my house or family was consumed by an aftershock is not more comforting than to be hit by the actual a quake.

      I guess what I'm saying is that to determine if things are increasing all movements of the earth should be considered, not just the first. Sometimes technology and definitions will hide the truth.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Cam

      I saw it afterwards as I was using my phone too. It was pretty good

      Lawrence

    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 2 years ago from St. Louis, MO until the end of June, 2017

      lawrence01, thanks for that helpful information. I hope Rich is able to come back and see it. When I posted my response to him, I was using my phone which is always such fun :) Take another look at my answer to him and see if you agree with what I said. I know it was short so I appreciate your added comments.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Cam

      Just a short reply to Rich. After the first quake any shakes after that which are less than or equal to on the richter scale is classed as an aftershock.

      Good example of this was Christchurch in New Zealand in 2010 had a 6.8 quake at 1 am (I may have the dates slightly worng but bear with me) and in the following months hundreds of little shocks happened until a 7.1 hit and was classed as a separate quake. Since then they've had thousands of shocks but are not separate quakes.

      Hope that explains a bit

      Lawrence

    • somethgblue profile image

      somethgblue 2 years ago from Shelbyville, Tennessee

      OK, I will make a prediction then leave you alone, May 28th or 29th of this year the Ring of Fire (including California) will experience a large earthquake 8.0 or higher. So in three weeks and three days you will see that the USGS is not THE source for earthquake information.

      Sorry to bother you . . . after all pushing your buttons was getting kind of old.

    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 2 years ago from St. Louis, MO until the end of June, 2017

      somethgblue, this is my hub, not the forums. I'm asking you one more time to stop posting.

    • somethgblue profile image

      somethgblue 2 years ago from Shelbyville, Tennessee

      Interesting, how you feel I'm dragging this out. I suggest that you simply move the venue, if you feel a need to continue.

      You are responding to the buttons I push, not the other way around, either don't respond or come read one of the many articles I have written about the increase of earthquakes on our planet and leave a comment, then you can push the buttons.

      I'm tempted to report this article to HPs editors for false content but you have made a decent, if somewhat sophomoric attempt to inform, so I will hold off and give you time to edit and correct your glaring misinformation.

    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 2 years ago from St. Louis, MO until the end of June, 2017

      Somethgblue, Our discussion is causing some to not participate. I chose to remove a fruitless discussion. Please don't drag this out it.

    • somethgblue profile image

      somethgblue 2 years ago from Shelbyville, Tennessee

      “At first, they'll only dislike what you say, but the more correct you start sounding the more they'll dislike you.”

      ― Criss Jami, Killosophy

      “Everything was perfectly healthy and normal here in Denial Land.”

      ― Jim Butcher, Cold Days

      “I have always found it odd that people who think passive aggressively ignoring a person is making a point to them. The only point it makes to anyone is your inability to articulate your point of view because deep down you know you can’t win."

      ― Shannon L. Alder

      . . . and of course here on HPs there is the delete button, denial made easy.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Cam

      I was being a little cheeky. But the discussion about earthquakes being on tbe rise is interesting for me as New Zealand has at least two earthquakes of around three on the richter scale per week!

      The fact is 99% of earthquakes are so small we never feel them.

    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 2 years ago from St. Louis, MO until the end of June, 2017

      Faith, thanks for that info. My home state of Michigan had a 4.2 yesterday.

    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 2 years ago from St. Louis, MO until the end of June, 2017

      lawrence01, I'm glad you found the article helpful. While it wasn't written specifically with biblical prophecies in mind, I am aware that many Christians are interested in this issue. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Cam

      This was a fascinating hub. I've heard many a preacher claim the increase of earthquakes as proof Jesus is coming soon but realized that its often a scare tactic to literally 'scare me into heaven' (theres no need, I've already got my ticket!!) But your hub points out that while we mat not have a great length of recorded data (timewise) they are actually on the rise and no one knows why.

      Great hub

      Lawrence

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Hi Cam,

      I know you are off rafting and such this weekend, but I just logged onto my laptop and I see where just today California has had some earthquakes.

      God bless

    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 2 years ago from St. Louis, MO until the end of June, 2017

      somethgblue, thanks for commenting on the article. First of all, do not come to my hub with an arrogant, know it all attitude, suggesting I change my sources and "correct" my article. As for your source, Global Incidental Maps, I am checking them out firsthand, which is more than you did for the USGS. You simply took someone else's criticisms and borrowed them.

      I'll not be changing a word of my hub.

      In addition, you stated that there used to be 50 EQs per day counted and that now there are over 200. Do you realize that I said virtually the same thing in my article? This proves that you did not read my article with any level of comprehension, so please refrain from criticizing me until you do.

    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 2 years ago from St. Louis, MO until the end of June, 2017

      Hi Rich, sorting all of this out actually has to wait until all I'd quiet geologically speaking. Shocks/quakes that occur close together in time are usually associated. If the g biggest is first, it is the main shock and everything after is/are aftershock(s). If a later one is bigger, the first is considered to be a foreshock. Hope this helps.

    • Rich kelley profile image

      Rich Kelley 2 years ago from The Ekklesia

      We were discussing earth quakes at work and the though that after shocks are actually another earth quake but they call them something different. Do you know if they count after shocks as quakes or not?

      Thanks

      Rich

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      There you go , Chris! That is what I had in mind, as you state, a series of sorts to follow this hub here, on natural disasters, and whether they are increasing. Yes, that is the scripture and no need to make it a prophecy one, as you state. The facts are interesting and relevant at this time as they are happening right now. I did watch something that discussed all of these and scientifically backed up with facts what is going on right now. Famine is nothing new, but it is widespread in places you would not believe and, plus, being this is 2015 and we are still having famine. I saw where a "lucky" family in Africa walked hundreds of miles through the dessert just to find a place where there was water. The child was suffering ... Water is drying up, even here in the states, which is going to have unbelievable effects here but not only around the world as far as crops that feed not only us but around the world.

      That is good you have the rest of the month to get packed up to move. I know your move will provide a lot of new inspiration for hubs too.

      God bless you.

    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 2 years ago from St. Louis, MO until the end of June, 2017

      Faith, actually, I've been thinking all along that it might be good to complete the set of natural disasters which could include EQs, volcanoes, drought, famine and various kinds of storms. I am making an assumption that Luke 21 and its parallel passages are speaking in general terms about many kinds of natural phenomena. For example, volcanoes are not mentioned, but it seems reasonable that their activity would increase as well since they are geologically related to earthquakes. Also, it is my feeling that when I write these things, they do not need to be written as "end times" articles, but as general interest articles. This would draw a wider audience. I'll keep this in mind and will probably work on it over the next few weeks. I'm moving from Philadelphia at the end of May to begin work in southern Oregon.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Hahaha I am. Well, you shouldn't be such a good researcher and great hub writer who is helpful.

      I will find out. Yes, it must have something to do with the first time you post?

      I hope you enjoy a great weekend ahead.

      Peace

    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 2 years ago from St. Louis, MO until the end of June, 2017

      Faith Reaper is handing out hub assignments, and I got droughts. Talk about a dry subject.

      I tried to follow through with the Question-to-hub link, but I don't think I can do it after I've entered my comment. If you find out anything, let me know. Thanks, Faith.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Hi Dear Chris,

      I will try to find out about the hub from a question deal for you. On another note, I just watched a documentary on droughts, etc., and was amazed to find out just how terrible it is in California and Texas. It used to be that you could drill down about 7 feet to hit water in Texas, now you have to drill down about 500 feet! There is one spot in CA that has shrunk (sunken in) the size of a state, forget which one, due to drought. The river is drying up, which will not only affect CA but all those countries for which CA provides food. Since you are so good at statistics ...

      God bless you.

      In His Love Always,

      Faith Reaper

    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 2 years ago from St. Louis, MO until the end of June, 2017

      Paula, Thanks for such an enlightening comment. 5 to 7 minutes of the earth moving beneath your son and his family would definitely be unnerving. I've never experienced an earthquake I could feel, but soon I'll be moving to southern Oregon where I'm sure earthquakes happen on occasion.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Cam... My son & wife & daughter had their very first experience with an earthquake since moving to California. When it first began they just froze for a few moments. Then realizing what was happening, the reactions were so typical...the girls screamed and jumped on the bed, hugging one another...and my son who hoped to calm them down, just hopped onto the bed too and said, "Don't panic girls....we're all in this together.".....

      I actually don't think he impressed them, but nice try! He tells me it was a very unique experience, just a tad unnerving. It lasted for at least 5 to 7 minutes.

      Just between you & me, in those 7 minutes, I'd have been all packed and ready to head back to NY!... SNOW I know how to deal with!

      Excellent hub with such in-depth research. Thank you. I did enjoy this hub. UP++ tweeted...Peace, Paula

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Oh, on the question, check the one I posed (eighth from the top) about Hebrews ... you will see how Word55's hub link floats about his profile pic when he commented and then wrote a hub. I hope HP updates it automatically so all can click on it from the question asked.

      Blessings

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Thank you so much, Chris,

      Yes, the discussion is very helpful. I enjoyed reading both of your insights and I appreciate you elaborating more on the specifics of your hub.

      You're the best!

    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 2 years ago from St. Louis, MO until the end of June, 2017

      Thanks Faith, I'll check into that. In the meantime, I encourage you to read through my discussion with tsadjatko. It might clarify to you what I was attempting to say in the article. Basically it boils down to this. There is an increase in the numbers of big EQs over the period from 1979 to 1992. Prior to that, there had been another such "spike" in big EQs, but they then returned to the normal range. According to my sources, that is likely what is going to happen with the current surge in big EQs.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      I tried to edit my comment, but it would not allow me to do so. Meant when all who read ...

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Hi Chris,

      Yes, when one asks a question, there is an option for others to write a hub from the question, and it shows up in the question posed. I think if you maybe try to comment, there is a way that all who reads the question will know you published a hub on the question. Another hubber Word just did this on one of my other questions and that is how I knew he published one related to the question I posed. You can actually click on the hub from the question. Maybe such is addressed in the Learning Center somewhere.

      I want you to get credit for all of your research here and wonderful hub.

      God bless you.

    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 2 years ago from St. Louis, MO until the end of June, 2017

      alancaster, I loved your comment on this hub. Lots of descriptive information there. There is no question that volcanoes and EQs are related since volcanoes occur along fault lines allowing the release of gases and magma. I wonder if Vs even reduce the number of EQs by releasing built up pressure that could lead to an EQ. I haven't heard or read that before, but it kind of makes sense to me.

      I'll look for a graph/chart that shows the seams you described. It would be a good addition to the hub. Thanks for reading and for the great comment.

    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 2 years ago from St. Louis, MO until the end of June, 2017

      Shauna, as I was reading on the topic, plus what I knew as a result of having been married to a science teacher, the increase in the BIG EQs is not a manmade thing. Smaller ones have been tied to deep well injection. See my comment to Frank on this hub. The big quakes occur as a result of the movement of tectonic plates and the existence of fault lines or cracks in the earths crust. Stress builds at these points until something, someplace finally gives way and moves. That's an EQ. Thanks for reading the hub. Nice to see you today.

    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 2 years ago from St. Louis, MO until the end of June, 2017

      John, I really didn't know what to expect when I began researching for the hub. I had been involved in a Q&A with Faith Reaper on the topic and was doing some research in real time for that. But I couldn't digest the info fast enough. So I decided on a hub. This is likely to be a spike, like the one in the 50s and 60s, but that doesn't mean it shouldn't be viewed as a part of the Luke 21 Bible prophecy. Actually, I think that prophecy may be a little misunderstood. Anyway, thanks for reading. I hope Australia skips the next expected Mw6.

    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 2 years ago from St. Louis, MO until the end of June, 2017

      Faith, I'm glad you found the hub and that you found it helpful. You mentioned somehow tying this in with your Q/A thread. I hadn't heard of that before, so I went ahead and published as normal. Thanks for the encouragement.

    • alancaster149 profile image

      Alan Robert Lancaster 2 years ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

      The sub-continent of India has been pushing against Asia's underbelly for a long time. Everest has gained in height since Sir Edmund Hilary climbed it back in Coronation Year (1953) by about a foot (or 0.25 of a metre). It's still pushing up, so something has to give.

      Looking at all the 'knit' lines around the globe, Iceland is being rent apart slowly because the continental shelf the Americas are on is on is still on the march west. Volcanoes and earthquakes are probably inter-related, aren't they. The Rockies might present the next surprise.

      That's the problem with living on the 'crust', it hasn't decided on whether to call it a day, and there's stuff down there that wants to be up (as if the earth had eaten something that didn't agree with it).

      Good Hub with plenty of information. What it needs is a map showing the 'seams', where the hot-spots are for quakes and volcanoes, and how they tie in.

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      Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

      I've never experienced an earthquake. Tornadoes and hurricanes, but no EQ. What's happening lately is very scary. Do the scientists speculate as to the cause in the recent rise in quake activity? Does is have anything to do with global warming? Over-building? What's causing the Earth to shift?

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      Author

      Chris Mills 2 years ago from St. Louis, MO until the end of June, 2017

      Frank, I only read about one thing where man was considered to be the cause of any earthquakes. On one hand, the USGS claims that fracking only rarely is the cause of earthquakes. But on the other hand, there is a great deal of contaminated waste water used in fracking and this is disposed of in a process called deep well injection. If I understand it correctly, the water is injected into empty spaces below the water table to avoid contaminating the water supply. This water then seeps into nearby faults and lubricates them causing slippage which causes earthquakes.

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      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      can man be the reason why the results the odd and sudden releases of energy in the Earth's crust which causes quakes? so curious since you did a lot of research

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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      It had seemed like the number of Earthquakes and other natural disasters were increasing Chris, but I thought maybe it was because of the speed of the media and communications these days..so we just heard about more of them. This hub made it clear that they are actually increasing. Even here in Australia we had a 5.1 Earthquake that struck near Eidsvold Qld about 160km from where I live...I felt the house shake and loud banging for about 30 seconds. Aparrently we have an average of one level 6 or higher earthquake every decade but most occur in remote unpopulated areas. The only time there were any deaths as far as I know were from one that hit Newcastle in 1989 when 13 were killed. Here is a link that shows details of recent earthquakes in Australia. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-02-16/eidsvold-ear...

      Good hub, voted up.

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      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Wow, Chrs,

      I noticed you had published a hub from my question on my phone when I was at work, and I could not wait to get home read more thoroughly and vote up and more and share everywhere. I just arrived home a bit ago.

      This is a most comprehensive hub and I just knew in my heart that the big ones were on the rise these past few years, and now, we already starting in 2015! You put a lot of time into this research and I am so grateful because I truly wanted to know if they really were increasing or did it just seem like it due to the Internet.

      Now, to throw in with these EQs, all of the other natural disasters, it is even more alarming.

      I appreciate you and all of the work you put into this hub.

      Up +++ tweeting, pinning, G+ and sharing

      God bless you

    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 2 years ago from St. Louis, MO until the end of June, 2017

      Thanks Bill. I'll be residing south of you beginning in a few weeks. Medford, Oregon. I suppose they get their share of these as well. Thanks for reading, Bill.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      It's a way of life here in Washington, Chris. Most quakes we never even notice. The last big one here was in 1995 I think. We are definitely overdue for another one. Great job of compiling facts on this one.

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