**The violets in the mountains have broken the rocks.**
LARGEST QUAKES so far today -
5.1 SOLOMON ISLANDS
Yesterday, 6/13/15 -
5.0 SOUTHERN EAST PACIFIC RISE
5.6 NEAR N COAST OF NEW GUINEA, PNG.
5.1 MINDORO, PHILIPPINES
5.1 SOUTH OF FIJI ISLANDS
5.0 SUMBAWA REGION, INDONESIA
5.3 ALASKA PENINSULA
5.1 ANDAMAN ISLANDS, INDIA REGION
5.2 SABAH, MALAYSIA
5.1 NEW BRITAIN REGION, P.N.G.
5.1 MARIANA ISLANDS REGION
5.0 SOUTHEAST OF RYUKYU ISLANDS
5.4 GALAPAGOS ISLANDS REGION
5.4 OFF EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
5.5 OFF EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
5.6 OFF EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
5.0 SUMBA REGION, INDONESIA
5.0 HOKKAIDO, JAPAN REGION
5.0 NEW IRELAND REGION, P.N.G.
6.1 ANTOFAGASTA, CHILE
5.1 FIJI REGION
5.6 OFF EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
5.4 CRETE, GREECE
5.1 GREENLAND SEA
5.3 SOUTHERN EAST PACIFIC RISE
5.5 SOUTHERN EAST PACIFIC RISE
5.6 PACIFIC-ANTARCTIC RIDGE
5.0 MARIANA ISLANDS REGION
5.0 GALAPAGOS ISLANDS REGION
5.4 CARLSBERG RIDGE
6.0 HOKKAIDO, JAPAN REGION
5.2 GALAPAGOS ISLANDS REGION
5.0 GUAM REGION
5.2 PAPUA, INDONESIA
5.5 SOUTHERN EAST PACIFIC RISE
5.6 MID-INDIAN RIDGE
5.1 KERMADEC ISLANDS REGION
6.0 SABAH, MALAYSIA
5.0 BONIN ISLANDS, JAPAN REGION
5.1 REYKJANES RIDGE
5.0 GUAM REGION
5.0 HOKKAIDO, JAPAN REGION
5.0 FIJI REGION
5.1 FIJI REGION
5.0 AUCKLAND ISLANDS, N.Z. REGION
5.0 SOUTH OF FIJI ISLANDS
5.0 BONIN ISLANDS, JAPAN REGION
5.1 KERMADEC ISLANDS, NEW ZEALAND
5.0 OFFSHORE O'HIGGINS, CHILE
5.0 NORTHERN PERU
5.1 NORWEGIAN SEA
5.0 SOUTHERN MID-ATLANTIC RIDGE
5.1 ANDREANOF ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN IS.
5.9 OFF COAST OF OREGON
5.0 NORTHERN SUMATRA, INDONESIA
5.1 NORTH OF SVALBARD
5.3 OFF COAST OF OREGON
5.0 BANDA SEA
5.7 OFF COAST OF OREGON
None 5.0 or larger.
5.3 SOUTHERN SUMATRA, INDONESIA
6.2 IZU ISLANDS, JAPAN REGION
5.1 BIAK REGION, INDONESIA
7.8 BONIN ISLANDS, JAPAN REGION
5.0 EAST OF KURIL ISLANDS
5.3 NEAR COAST OF ECUADOR
5.8 SOUTHEAST INDIAN RIDGE
6.8 ALASKA PENINSULA
5.2 ATACAMA, CHILE
A series of moderately powerful earthquakes struck off the coast of Oregon overnight last Sunday and on Monday, but did not trigger tsunamis. On Monday, a magnitude 6.0 quake struck off the coast of the West Coast state at a depth of 8.1 miles (13 km) at about 1:11 p.m. local time. Earlier, a 5.5-magnitude earthquake hit at 3:46 a.m. at a depth of 9.3 miles (15 km). A magnitude 5.8 temblor occurred just before midnight on Sunday at sea 280 miles (450 km) west of Yachats at a depth of 6 miles (10 km).
A Strange, Remarkable Quake Hit Wyoming 2 year ago - An earthquake struck Wyoming two years ago that made little sense, scientifically speaking — but experts seem closer to solving the mystery.
Called the Wind River Earthquake, it hit with 4.7 magnitude in an area that rarely sees such seismic power. Hardly surprising, since the Wind River area has little tectonic-plate movement that would normally trigger such an earthquake. But a new study says the quake may not have originated with tectonic plates grinding against each other at all. The Wind River Earthquake may have started deeper, in "the Earth’s hotter and more viscous mantle." Such a quake might be caused by crust falling into the mantle, which lies between the Earth's higher crust and deeper core.
These deeper quakes remain "a highly controversial topic," but this one "occurred well within the mantle, and likely over 20 km [12.4 miles] deeper than the base of the crust." If true, the finding makes the Wind River Earthquake one of the three deepest ever recorded in the area.
Still, some things don't fit: While such deep quakes can occur in volcanic regions, when fluid or magma flows in the Earth's mantle, they usually affect a smaller area; the Wind River quake ruptured nearly 11 million square feet. And Wind River is noticeably far from the nearest volcanic region. So what's up? Perhaps the mantle was so brittle that it failed and triggered the quake, say researchers, who admit that the causes remain debatable.
TSUNAMI / FREAK WAVES / ABNORMAL TIDES -
California Faces Tsunami Threat From A 'Complicated Logjam' Of Faults Off West Coast. New research into the little known, fault-riddled, undersea landscape off of Southern California and northern Baja California has revealed more worrisome details about a tectonic train wreck in the Earth’s crust with the potential for magnitude 7.9 to 8.0 earthquakes.
Despite being criticized for its shaky science, the release of “San Andreas” - starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as a rescue-chopper pilot trying to save his family - has triggered a scientific debate over whether the catastrophe shown in the movie could happen in real life. The disaster flick shows a massive earthquake caused by a shift in the San Andreas Fault, which forms the tectonic boundary between the Pacific Plate and the North American Plate.
In a new study, scientists warn that while the extent of damage shown in the movie is unlikely to happen in real life, there are several long faults with the potential for tsunami-generating earthquakes within 90 miles of the U.S. West Coast. “There are many active faults offshore southern California which could produce greater then magnitude 7 quakes and tsunamis.” However, unlike the movie, such disasters would probably be caused by the little known California Continental Borderland - an undersea landscape off the coast of Southern California and northern Baja California.
The surveys of the region show a “complicated logjam” of faults produced by the movement of the Pacific Plate, which is sliding northwest relative to the North American Plate. Two of the largest faults in this logjam are the Santa Cruz-Catalina Ridge Fault and the Ferrelo Fault. “What they were searching for are signs, like those seen along the San Andreas, that indicate how much the faults have slipped over time and whether some of that slippage caused some of the seafloor to thrust upwards.”
While analyzing this data, the researchers found that the blocks of crust were being subjected to vertical movements in the region because of a phenomenon known as “transpression,” which happens when faults slip horizontally relative to each other. Such a process, believed to be responsible for the creation of the Transverse Ranges in southern California, has the potential to cause the seafloor to rise and send a tsunami-generating pulse toward the shore.
However, the results of such a process would still not be as dramatic as shown in the movie. “It's not that it's not a risk. It's just not as big a risk as the ones we see from the big subduction zones.” Subduction zones are regions where one tectonic plate is being forced under another. Such a zone is not present off the coast of southern California.
But, even if the resulting tsunami generates one to two-meter surges, it could have a huge impact on ports in the region. “We’ve got high resolution maps of the surface of Mars. Yet we still don’t have decent bathymetry for our own backyard.”
TROPICAL STORMS -
* In the Eastern Pacific -
Slow-moving hurricane Carlos weakened a little but expected to restrengthen...located about 80 mi (130 km) SSW of Acapulco, Mexico.
Heavy Rain Threat for Texas/Louisiana; Hurricane Carlos a Threat to Mexico - An area of low pressure over Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula formed Saturday morning, and has the potential to become a tropical depression over the Gulf of Mexico on Monday. The disturbance, designated Invest 91L by NHC on Saturday morning, was bringing a large area of intense thunderstorms to the Western Caribbean on Saturday afternoon, as seen on satellite images.
Strong easterly winds of 29 mph, gusting to 43 mph, were observed at the Yucatan Basin buoy on Saturday morning. The heavy thunderstorm activity will push across Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula and into the southern Gulf of Mexico on Sunday, then move north to northwest towards Texas and Louisiana on Monday. Ocean temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico are warm enough to support a tropical storm, and the atmosphere is very moist. The disturbance will push northwestwards over Texas by Tuesday, but it is uncertain how much rain Texas and Louisiana might get from the storm.
Hurricane Carlos a heavy rain threat for Mexico - Tropical storm warnings and hurricane watches are up for the Southwest coast of Mexico, as Hurricane Carlos continues its slow intensification process. Carlos became a hurricane about 140 miles south of Acapulco, Mexico, at 11am EDT June 13, marking the second earliest date that we've observed the Northeast Pacific's third hurricane of the year. The record is held by the third hurricane of 1956, which reached hurricane strength on June 12.
With very warm waters of 30°C (86°F) beneath it and wind shear a moderate 10 - 20 knots, Carlos is likely to continue a slow intensification process through Monday. On Monday and Tuesday, decreasing ocean temperatures, increasing interaction with land, and drier air will likely cause Carlos to weaken. Satellite loops and radar out of Acapulco shows that the outer spiral bands of Carlos have pushed onshore, but the storm's heaviest rains were just offshore on Saturday.
Acapulco recorded sustained winds of 26 mph, gusting to 39 mph, at noon EDT Saturday. The computer models are now more unified in showing Carlos coming closer to the Mexican coast, and Carlos represents a dangerous heavy rain threat to the coast. The Saturday run of the reliable European model showed Carlos making landfall near Manzanillo, Mexico on Tuesday morning; the Saturday run of the equally reliable GFS model showed a Tuesday evening landfall near Manzanillo. Heavy rains of 5 - 10 inches will likely affect portions of the Southwest Mexican coast Saturday through Wednesday, which will cause flash flooding and mudslides.
Boat With More Than 450 People Sinks in China’s Yangtze River - Rescue work was under way but strong winds and rain were hampering the search. A passenger ship carrying more than 450 people sank in the Yangtze River during a cyclone in southern China, and eight people have been rescued.
Further rescue work was under way but strong winds and rain were hampering the search. The boat was going from Nanjing to the southwestern city of Chongqing when it sank at about 9:28 p.m. Monday night in Hubei province. The captain and chief engineer, who were both rescued, said the ship sank quickly after being caught in a cyclone. The boat was carrying 405 Chinese passengers, five travel agency employees and 47 crew members.
SEVERE RAIN STORMS, FLOODING, LANDSLIDES -
Georgia flood - Tbilisi residents warned over zoo animals. Heavy flooding in the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, has killed eight people and officials are warning residents to stay indoors to avoid animals that have escaped from a zoo. The missing animals include tigers, lions, bears and wolves. It is believed that a zookeeper is among the dead.
A hippopotamus was cornered in one of the city's main squares and subdued with a tranquiliser gun. Rescue workers are searching submerged homes to check for trapped residents. Dozens of people have been left homeless after their houses were damaged or destroyed. People have been told to stay indoors until the animals have been found. The Mayor said the situation was "very grave".
Other animals have been recaptured or killed though it is unclear how many are missing. Helicopters are now circling the city as part of a search and rescue operation. Tbilisi's vice-mayor estimated the preliminary damage at $10 million (£6.43m). (video and photos at link)
EXTREME HEAT & DROUGHT / WILDFIRES -
Wildfire in drought-parched Northern California threatens small town - An out-of-control wildfire raging through a Northern California forest as the state battles a devastating drought has forced authorities to warn about 250 people to evacuate or prepare to leave their homes in a remote town, officials said on Friday.
The fire in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest follows an outbreak of lightning-sparked blazes in neighboring Oregon that prompted authorities to warn residents that drought and low mountain snowpack could lead to a destructive fire season. California's so-called Saddle Fire has charred at least 880 acres (360 hectares) since a lightning strike sparked it on Tuesday.
The flames are tearing through forest land, much of it in areas scorched by a 2004 blaze that has left dead and downed trees on the ground which could provide ample fuel for the latest wildfire. Also the area has many damaged trees with limbs at risk of falling. Firefighters have not managed to build any solid containment lines against the wildfire. "It makes it a really dangerous situation for our firefighters out in the field."
Authorities placed a handful of residents on the outskirts of Hyampom, a town about 200 miles (320 km) north of San Francisco, under mandatory evacuation orders on Wednesday and told the rest of the town of about 250 people to prepare to leave if flames get near. Those orders remain in place. One front of the fire is just a couple miles north of the town, and if it advances to the southeast the blaze could destroy homes. So far, the blaze has not destroyed any structures.
Nearly 200 firefighters are battling the fire, setting backfires to clear trees that could be consumed by the blaze and dropping flame retardant by helicopter. The wildfire is the first major Northern California blaze in an annual fire season that normally runs from June to September in that region. It also is the nation's highest-priority wildfire.
Since it began, the fire has advanced in the late afternoon hours when winds and heat increase and moisture levels drop. "We have lots of resources out there, we're feeling good about the people we have on the ground, we feel hopeful about being able to catch this in the next few days."
Huge Sections of California are Sinking Because of the Drought - California's epic statewide drought has lead to mandatory water restrictions and a new state pastime, droughtshaming, but less-discussed is the fact that the drought is SINKING THE STATE. The Center for Investigative Reporting looked into just how bad the sinking has gotten and found that there's not a lot being done to monitor the phenomenon at a statewide level, and equally little money being put toward studying it, despite the fact that it's causing infrastructural problems across California and will continue to do so.
CIR also found that key elements for studying the dangerously accelerated sinking of the state aren't accessible to scientists because "California allows agriculture businesses to keep crucial parts of their operations secret." The cause of the sinking is known, and it's happened in California before. Once, it was even as bad as geologists think it might be now. Back then, it took more than $1 billion just to repair some of the damage.
Subsidence is caused when water is pulled out of underground water aquifers in "unsustainable amounts." This usually happens during food production — as the water is pumped up to the surface, the ground beneath starts to lose what's holding it up, like a Capri Sun pouch relieved of its fruit-flavored contents. Pumping water from underground sources isn't new, but it's a practice that's been kicked into overdrive during the drought. (That's been the habit during previous droughts in California too.) "Groundwater now supplies about 60 percent of the state's water," says CIR, though they don't note the pre-drought percentage.
Even though subsidence is a real, known thing, and its causes are known too, there's apparently no state-level structure in place for scientists to monitor where this drought-related sinking is at its worst, how fast its happening, or anything much about it at all, really. "We don't know how bad it is because we're not looking everywhere," a scientist with the US Geological Survey says. The last time a thorough sinking survey was done was the 1970s.
What is known is some of the damage the sinking has already caused: a dam that's part of a larger canal system is sinking and will cost more than $60 million to fix; water wells for both public and private uses "are being bent and disfigured like crumpled drinking straws as the earth collapses around them"; a Fresno County elementary school is in the middle of a "miles- long sinkhole" that makes them vulnerable to floodwater; and two bridges over canals in the same county have sunk so low they are almost totally underwater. (They've sunken before in previous droughts, like giant drought monitors.)
Unfortunately, many agencies mentioned in the article, both state and private, are not in the habit of charting subsidence-related repairs, and so they can't really offer information toward calculating how much sinking is happening or what it's costing people.
Subsidence-watching has a history in California. Years of charting the phenomenon show that the sinking was at its worst in the 1960s. (Repairs to just some of the infrastructure that was damaged then cost about $1.3 billion, according to a California Water Foundation estimate.) The drastic sinking slowed in the 1970s — after the completion of a massive public works project to build a system of canals that would ferry water to these drier, agricultural climes from elsewhere in the state. Doing so meant that people could ease up on sucking the ground dry.
But startling damage has been done. Between 1925 and 1977, the earth in one tower 40 miles west of Fresno had fallen about 30 feet. There's a famous picture documenting where a farmer would have been standing in 1925 and where he was actually standing in 1977. A 2012 report looking at the San Joaquin Valley suggests that, at least in that area, rates of subsidence could be nearing 1960s peaks again. 2012 figures showed that in the area around one town, land was sinking as much as a foot a year. It hasn't been monitored since, but it's possible land could be sinking two feet a year — a new record.
Tens of millions of dollars worth of infrastructure repairs are required in the area because of the effects of the sinking, and it's not just there. " Vineyards in Sonoma and Napa counties, areas around Paso Robles and Santa Barbara, and agricultural regions encircling Los Angeles" have all shown signs of subsidence, though, as mentioned, it's not clear at what rate.
Last year, the state passed a law aimed at regulating groundwater use, but farmers don't have to comply until 2040. One scientist with the geological says that even if farmers stopped sucking water out of the ground today, the water levels are so low that the sinking would have effects for years at least, and maybe for decades. California is still sinking, and it's getting worse.
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