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Earthquake Review-Forecast (3rd Quarter of 2016)

Updated on July 1, 2016
retrojoe profile image

Has studied astrology/historical seismology since the late '70s in San Francisco. Published in the ISAR International Astrologer in 2012.

Map and Data courtesy of IRIS and the Global Centroid Moment Tensor Catalog
Map and Data courtesy of IRIS and the Global Centroid Moment Tensor Catalog

Not much stuff seismically to discuss for June 2016


Each month on average, one to three earthquakes of at least 6.8 magnitude occur somewhere in the world. Last month was different in that there were none. It was the polar opposite of the seismic activity in that category that occurred back in April of 2016 (when such quakes numbered 2.5 times the average). February 2016 was similar to June 2016, which also had no significant events of at least 6.8 magnitude. However, while there were 11 earthquakes of 5.8-6.3 magnitude in February, there were 19 such quakes in June. A starker contrast is shown in May 2016 between the 6.0-6.3 magnitude earthquakes and the 6.8 magnitude or larger earthquakes (when compared to June 2016). Averaging these two months of data together, one gets a more standard pattern of activity, but it still comes out a little less than average. Still, the average of these two months comes out to 17 quakes of at least magnitude 5.8, while in February and March the average was only 11 quakes of that size. One common theme that runs through the past five months is that, for the most part, astrology didn't play much of a roll in the seismic unfolding. Since astrology tends to do better during months that come up with more high energy events than average, it is not surprising (with the exception of April) that randomness has ruled lately.

Source of data= Global Centroid Moment Tensor Catalog
Source of data= Global Centroid Moment Tensor Catalog

The present state of affairs..

That however, may be about to change. But it may come in bits and spurts first before we get more active years such as was the case in the year 2015. What I am expecting is average activity for 4-5 months before the seismic fireworks begin. As a result, for the next six months, there will be just two hubs, one for each quarter of the year (instead of the beginning of each month).


If anybody is wondering why this hub is coming out a bit late, it is due to the fact that we are in a weak seismic activity window which encompasses the first week of July 2016. After collecting mostly deadly quakes from history and sorting them by month and day, the first week of July registered just 4 events (out of a total of around 545 earthquakes collected). A more typical number would be 10-11 such quakes. What is the source of such an anomaly one might ask? The most likely connection is that the earth is at its most distant point from the sun, around which it orbits, every July 4 (or very close to that date). So, for this July 4th weekend, I've decided to not be rushed into producing a, hopefully not too routine type of, earthquake review and forecast hub.

Source of data= USGS (map displaying magnitude 6.6 earthquake in Sumatra plus 12 earthquakes of magnitude 6.0-6.3 which occurred during the 20 days that followed.
Source of data= USGS (map displaying magnitude 6.6 earthquake in Sumatra plus 12 earthquakes of magnitude 6.0-6.3 which occurred during the 20 days that followed.

What may be in the offing..

In this particular hub, I have decided to zero in on the most active series of earthquakes or the 12 quakes of 6.0-6.3 magnitude (when 8 is average) which occurred in June 2016. Such quakes were numerous during the first 10 days of April 2016, before larger quakes began showing themselves in above average numbers. Since this could be a sign that heightened activity of the larger earthquakes is around the corner, we will take a closer look at these moderately large quakes since they could be precursors to larger events in July and August of 2016.

Back in April 2016, a magnitude 6.0 to 6.2 magnitude earthquake occurred in Japan. The next day, a larger (7.0M) and deadlier event occurred in the same area. Vanuatu also experienced 6.4 and 6.7 magnitude events before a 7.0M event occurred late in the month of April. In May 2016, there was a 6.4 magnitude quake near Fiji and a 6.9 magnitude event the next day. However, the magnitude 7.8 event in Ecuador of 16 April (responsible for the deaths of many hundreds of people there) came without warning.

The largest quake in June 2016 occurred on the 1st day of the month and registered a magnitude of 6.6 or 6.7. It was located off the west coast of Sumatra and was an aftershock from a magnitude 7.8 event which occurred on 2 March 2016 (3 months earlier). Although a magnitude 7.8 earthquake is pretty powerful, the area is still capable of producing another, even more powerful, seismic event in the not too distant future. Looking at earthquakes of magnitude 5.8 or larger for the 20 days following the 1 June 2016 aftershock, there were 12 worldwide earthquakes that were confined to the 6.0-6.3 magnitude range. Most of these were concentrated in Indonesia and the islands east of there (Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, New Zealand), but there was also activity in southern Mexico and central America. These are likely areas that could see more and larger events in the coming months.

Unlike April, when there were 10 days of 6.0-6.3 magnitude events, followed by much larger temblors, June had 20 such days, but the 10 days that followed had very few earthquakes (3 in the 5.8-5.9 magnitude range and 1 of 6.4 magnitude in eastern Tajikistan). I expect this weak period to continue for at least through to July 3, 2016. It may even continue throughout most of the month of July.

Screen shot of Kepler 8.0 graphic for the month of July 2016, showing peaks in Astro-Aspect Values, Eclipse-Aspect Values, and transits to a recent solar eclipse.
Screen shot of Kepler 8.0 graphic for the month of July 2016, showing peaks in Astro-Aspect Values, Eclipse-Aspect Values, and transits to a recent solar eclipse.

The final word for this seismic forecast..

This brings us to the forecast for the next 3 months. The first possible date for an increase in significant (M6.8+) seismic events (although the possibility is pretty weak) is on 4 July 2016 at 2325UT. The next date in July is the 16th at 0643UT, when aspects between solar system bodies are focused on aspects relating to the asteroids. A much more likely date for a significant seismic event or two would be on 31 July at 1210UT (the window for that date beginning at 0000UT on 31 July and ending at 0000UT on 2 August). This date is the most likely time for the pace of larger events to pick up and should continue throughout most of the month of August. Dates and times of peaks (in Astrological Aspect Values) for that month are on 6 August at 0305UT (strong), 15 August at 2320UT (weak), 20 August at 1100UT (fairly strong), and 21 August at 1300UT (fairly strong). September should return to no better than average levels of activity with two fairly strong peaks on 4 September at 1930UT and 19 September at 1126UT. All of the peaks above have a 2 day window surrounding them, beginning 12 hours before each peak and 36 hours after each one.

August display of various transiting aspect peaks among solar system bodies      (Kepler 8.0 program).
August display of various transiting aspect peaks among solar system bodies (Kepler 8.0 program).
September display of various transiting aspect peaks among solar system bodies (Kepler 8.0 program).
September display of various transiting aspect peaks among solar system bodies (Kepler 8.0 program).

© 2016 Joseph Ritrovato

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  • retrojoe profile imageAUTHOR

    Joseph Ritrovato 

    23 months ago from Vancouver, WA (nextdoor to Portland, OR)

    Well... almost the final word.

    Earthquake Weather Update 20160924: Seismically speaking, things have been quiet again lately after a burst of activity in August 2016, following several months of a slow down. However, based on the most recent spell of activity, things appear to be on the upswing. Bigger quakes have been percolating to the surface these past few days, and the last 6.9 magnitude one in Fiji happened at the time of an 8.6 point peak in Astro-Aspect Values (AAV) ranks.

    Although this is technically below the base line, speaking statistically, which is the AAV rank based on the average occurrence over a period of 31 years, (1985-2015) conditions warrant a second look. The reason we should look at this as pertinent is due to the fact that seismicity has been in a slump in terms of its frequency.

    This peak, although below the base limit, is still in line with a peak (one hour between the peak and the event), and we are at near average frequency at this time. In my opinion, that should be just about ready to change.

    With this second quake of at least 6.8 magnitude for the month of September, we are just entering the solid average zone for the month. One to three quakes of this size can be considered normal in any given month, but I am getting a feeling, although there is only less than a week to go before the next month, one or two more similar sized quakes could occur just before that bend.

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