Dead horse

The 2012 Super-moon. The largest full moon in 18 years. And no, it did not cause any large earthquakes either.

What exactly does that mean? Well, having a dead horse, in more modern navy slang, is having a debt that comes out of your pay to cover short term loan that the paymaster gave to you. It’s money you don’t see until it’s paid off. There’s nothing wrong with it, you should always pay your debts, but that is just a term that is applied to it. It comes from older nautical days when sailing was prevalent. If your ship was becalmed for extensive periods, odds are, you would run out of feed any livestock that you were transporting. The last thing you want laying around while you are stuck waiting for the wind… are dead horses. I’ve been around the stench of decaying animal copses (MV Livestock Express in the Red Sea) and it is not a pleasant aroma. (the Livestock Express had about 300 sheep stacked in one corner and couldn’t dump them due to environmental regulations)

Yeah, it’s an obtuse approach to the meat of this, but it is related… sort of.

The Horse latitudes are between about 30 and 35 degrees latitude. It’s pretty close to the boundary that I used in this chart.

Image by GeoLurking.

In case you missed it, this is one of the follow up charts that I used down in the discussion in the Moonie post. And, since I’m beating a dead horse, I felt the intro was appropriate.

That chart is a plot of the major plate boundaries between 30°N and °N and 30°S. It’s also the region traversed by the apparent sub Lunar and sub Solar points. That means that they both pass directly over head in this region at some point during the year. (plus about 5° of slop just to make it even)

Edward Lane at April 22, 2012 at 14:54 brought up a good point that spurred me back into thinking about the forces at work on the different ends of the plate boundaries. As many of you remember, I mentioned that if there were an effect, that there should be a physical explanation for it… at least an idea of a mechanism. Something that could be examined to see what the merits of the parent idea were. (Solar/Lunar influence).

Simplifying that plot into something that we can sort of measure, you get this:

Image by GeoLurking.

This is the angular measure of the extents of the plates in longitude as measured from the center of the Earth. The vertical boundaries are misleading, they actually get closer to each other the further from the equator they go. But for getting a general idea of their size, this works.

Now, since the Moon is pretty close, and it’s generally the most touted astronomical body that influences seismic activity, let’s look at what it’s effects might be.

Gravitational acceleration on the surface of the Earth is 9.8 m/s per second. This can also be expressed as N/kg of force. (9.8 N/kg). What is the comparable acceleration effect of the Moon on an object on the Earth? Roughly 0.00003319 m/s² towards the Moon.

How about the variation from one end of a plate to another, allowing for the extra distance from the Moon? Well, for a 30° plate, from directly under the Moon to the end furthest away… 0.00000015 m/s² less.

Here it is in graphic form:

Image by GeoLurking.

Referring back to the rectangular boxes on the plates… the largest extent was about 114°. That plate has an acceleration difference from the Moon of about 0.00000150 m/s², or ten times greater than the 30° plate.

Either way, that variation in force from the moon is still about 0.0000153% that of the gravitational force from the Earth.

This also explains why the researchers who have found a Lunar effect on some already seismically active areas have such a hard time extracting that signal, it is excruciatingly small.



214 thoughts on “Dead horse

  1. I just noticed that yesterday was the slowest day ever on this blog. 2513 visitors, lower than Christmas even. I blame this on everyone being Hekla hung over since Etna-day was the best in quite a while.

    • There has just been a major algoithm shift that has caused large alterations in ranking. A large part of this relates to links – outbound and inbound. The site will most likely have been affected. Some inadvertant and unintended effects have occurred, but no-one is too clear on the specifics.. yet. This is the most likely explanation. When I am clear on what modifications may be required, I will let you know.

    • I have one probable reason for the less visits here (at least it applies for me).

      Without wanting to be negative, I prefer to see posts and discussions written about volcanoes and not as much to spend time discussing the impact or not of the moon on earthquakes. I think 3 posts in a row on that is a bit too much. Write something about the dead zone and you will see people becoming more lively again.

  2. Link leading nowhere removed, Michele posted a blank page. There was also no topic, no base for discussion.

    Do better.

    • Michele Casati, I told you that must have a topic to alleviate a discussion. Throwing up links is not it.
      Please do it better, next link is down the drain if it is without a personal comment and description of what you want to discuss. I noticed last time around that most of your links pointed to you not even having read what you posted. They where completely off the topic of what you want to prove. Lift the level.

      • It’s a malformed link,

        Since Michele can’t be bothered to elaborate, here’s the abstract.

        Volcanic activity on the Earth is described by special
        annual indices available since 1500. These indices have
        been compared with annual sunspot numbers. Volcanic
        activity displays no ll-yr periodicity. Using 2l-yr
        running averages a striking similarity between these
        two time series is clearly seen. Volcanic activity is
        generally lower in periods of prolonged maxima of
        solar activity and higher in periods of prolonged solar
        minima. There is also a similarity between the spectra
        of these two series in the long-period range. Main
        peaks are located in the same periods in both series
        (200-215 yr, 100-105 yr, 80-90 yr). The influence of
        volcanic activity on the climate is indubitable. Annual
        means of surface air temperature display similar longterm
        periodicity as the volcanic activity.

        Jaroslav StreStlk
        Geophysical Institute AS CR, Bocni 11 1401, 141 31 Prague, Czech Republic, Email: jstr@)

        • Fantastic, I wonder what Michele tried to prove with this link.

          I will also dub Jaroslav into world-champion of A) Stating the obvious and B) Proving something else than he thinks

          What am I on about? Well the only thing Jaroslav does in that paper is to point out (“prove”) that if you correlate to time-cycles (11 and 21 years), they will intersect and inter-peak now and then.

          • First inter-peak would be after 233 years.

            And lately the entire concept of eruptions affecting weather is rather getting a slaming.


            On the relation between solar activity and seismicity
            M. N. Gousheval, K. Y. Georgieva’, B. B. Kiro?, D. Atanaso?
            ‘Institute for Space Research, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
            6, Moskovska Str., Sofia 1000, Bulgaria
            2Solar-Terrestrial Influences Laboratory, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
            Acad. G.Bonchev Str., b1.3, Sofia 1 113, Bulgaria
            ’Sofia University, Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics

          • “The possible mechanism includes deposition of solar wind energy into the polar ionosphere where it drives ionospheric convection and auroral electrojets, generating in ‘turn atmospheric gravity waves that interact with neutral winds and deposit their momentum in the neutral atmosphere, increasing the transfer of air masses and
            disturbing of the pressure balance on tectonic plates.”

            Here we come to something interesting. This is physically impossible.
            Regardless of the Higgs Boson existing or not. A Higgs Boson or a Graviton are both neutral to manipulation by electromagnetism, ions, protons, and so forth ad absurdum. That is why CERN does not shoot Higgses around (nor Gravitons is they exist). The only things we know about the causes of gravitation is that they are near impossible to manipulate without moving the mass that actually causes it. And that includes moving one hell of a lot of mass.


          • Along that gravity line.

            If I remember, one of the things that may account for it would be a theoretical ‘gravity neutrino’ that leaks into and out of our existence. Fully hypothetical, just an idea kicked around by some researcher. Dunno if anything ever became of that.

            A ‘gravity neutrino’ / graviton that was loosely bound to our universe might explain some observed phenomena. But, like all things in the quantum realm… it’s gets really fuzzy really fast.

        • True. What is telling in the paper is that he clearly states that his spectral analysis gave conflicting conclusions.

          This is probably why…

          Figure 4 from the paper, the red and blue arrows are mine.

          Notice the blue arrow. This points to a regions where the phase sort of matches. The red arrow points to a region where they don’t match so well.

          Additionally, no mechanism is proposed for the two cycles going into and out of phase. Thats a pretty astounding phenomena when you get down to it.

          Heres what it looks like with 2 generic waveforms.

          It appears that every so often, the two waves peak at about the same time, but a lot of the times they don’t. It might be some sort of constructive interference. At other times they don’t “work together” and they tend to operate against each other. “Destructive” interference maybe?

          I wonder If I can get a grant funding more research into this. It really needs to be examined in more detail.


          Actually, this is pretty normal (mainly directed at other readers who may not be aware of it) If those two waveforms are radio frequency energy (RF, like in a radio) and I run both of them into a non-linear junction… like in a diode. Those two waveforms will mix, or heterodyne against each other. In practice what you get are “the sum, the difference, and the two originals” when you do this.

          For an 11 hz and a 21 hz signal, you would get a 32 hz, a 10 hz, and the 11 hz and 21 hz waveforms coming out of the mixer.

  3. I am Sorry,
    copy entire link :

    There isn’t only the Moon …but… Mars, Venus, Jupiter, etc. …
    The solar system is one
    We know full gravity and electromagnetism ?

    Russian scientist Yu.M. Galaev published

    This paper confirms the experimental work of Dayton Miller, who used a better interferometer in a more sensible location than that used by Michaelson and Morley in their underwhelming 1887 experiment, misrepresented as a null result and disproof of the existence of the ether, a transmissive medium pervading space. Miller and his work were subjected to a rather inept hatchet job by his former assistant Robert Shankland.
    R.S. Shankland, S.W. McCuskey, F.C. Leone and G. Kuerti, “New Analysis of the Interferometer Observations of Dayton C. Miller”, Reviews of Modern Physics, 27(2):167-178, April 1955.

    • And here you come with something that is a real Dead Horse.

      There is nothing such as Ether.
      “The experimental hypothesis veri[fi]cation of the ether existence in nature, i.e. the material medium, responsible for electromagnetic waves propagation has been performed.”

      Well, there is just nothing such as ether in our understanding of Physics, that concept was debunked a long time ago.
      But I guess you do not believe in the theories of Relativity?

      • Sorry Lurking, my bad. I’m just trying to point out in my usual roundabout way that what we have here is a kind of interdisciplinary, not fertilisation, but logical pollution. When people try and think outside the box in order to come up with a new idea or insight, what are the chances their thoughts and ideas will be truly original? Most likely, and I think that this is what’s happeneing here, they will only duplicate the thinking behind old-to-ancient debunked and now defunct theories.

        The gift of original thinking is rarely bestowed, perhaps not more often than to a handful of individuals in every generation. The capacity for truly weird, wonderful and sometimes beautiful thoughts is far more lavishly spread. :mrgreen:

      • Sorry, that wasn’t meant as a rebuttal.

        frame dragging is the movement of space-time itself as an effect of the gravity of the mass itself… not an “ether.”

        And… now some scientists are trying to do away with time… as a dimension.

  4. Mt Pavlof: periodicity due to winter sea level rise.( S McNutt, J Beavan)
    Kilauea, Pelee: earth tides ( sun + moon) ( F Mauk, M Johnston)
    Global cycle due to annual hydrological cycle and global crustal deformation (B Mason D Pyle; G Blewitt at al)

    • Kilauea, Pelee: earth tides ( sun + moon) ( F Mauk, M Johnston)

      Hello Peter!
      Long time no see, welcome back!

      Back to the paper, yes, I have been waiting for someone to mention the effect on lava-lakes by earth-tide. Because earth-tides do affect lava-lakes during ongoing eruptions. I have though never heard of them starting a formative eruption creating a lava-lake. Must be rather spectacular watching a lava lake increase and decrease in slow-motion in 12 hour cycles.

      • Karen, Carl,
        Apologies for lack of URLs – I’ve given up looking for the papers on G Scholar as so few are available gratis. By chance I was reading Bill McGuire’s book (Waking the giant) and the info seems relevant.
        The stuff he outlines about volcanism and the annual hydrologicla cycle distorting the globe ( by 1.5mm) by shifting water between hemispheres is astonishing. But I have not seen the actual papers.

  5. Michele, seriously, where do you find these papers regarding dead and debunked physical theories? Phloggiston died 1914 (Ether), the other paper uses a gravitational model that was debunked in the 60s by QCD-theory.
    Try finding something that is a wee bit more contemporary because this is like a list of Physics Dead Horses, and they do not need to be Phloggistoned out of the graveyard.

  6. Ref my image in the article. I didn’t notice that Excel had a cell to small to represent that number “dst”. It should read 8,972.31 for those variables.

      • Here ya go

        Feel free to forward the link. I obviously can’t. I’m tired of fighting it.

        (I’m also not the only person who was lost as an Eruptions post writer due to Disqus’ B/S.)

          • We could maybe ask around here how many people have the problem of no longer being able to post comments on eruptions. I am one of them, Henri and Geolurking makes 3…. anyone else?

          • I dont either Carl, i like this much more, and i dont like the tons of adds on Wired and as long as i cannot log in, i get all kind of pop ups and videos. I go there to read it because the posts are great and informative but …
            Suv stated somewhere that she wont follow to a blog using Disqus. I have never seen Helen again. ( Remember us staring at Helens arch for days, waiting for it to break down which never happened?) But if i remember correctly Erik once said that the more comments his post gets, the more money he gets, so i was wondering for a while why he did not notice that so many people disappeared. But he is a young father and an assistant professor, so he most likely had other priorities.

          • I think many have tried to convince him to go somewhere else really. But I think it is good for him at Wired, it is on the other end a rather professional outfit.
            And he is pretty busy young Erik 🙂

            I miss Helen and her Arch. If anybody knows where she wants send her our regards and try to lure her into the madness.

          • @Newby
            Nobody can follow the comments in there. Period.
            As soon as I have commented I feel like I lost my ass in an Igloo and the sleigh-dogs are laughing.

          • I can leave comments but they sort of ended in the wrong place. Like Newby I find it very difficult to follow comments in a logical order. I now tend to read only.

        • It took me ages to get connected to the Eruptions site at Wired, and now I can, but cannot send any links or images – they always seem to get lost, so now I just catch up read from time to time. Erik was very helpful. Fair play. I just gave up trying.

  7. Michele,
    The moon: well, I mean, it makes the tides and so I understand that some insist on searching for other effects it could have. Even if we really still see no shade of valuable evidence for that.
    But Mars? Please. What gravitational effect does Mars have on planet Earth
    that I in my car don’t?
    It’s difficult to follow your argumentation through these links that offer some smashed in pseudo-facts and pictures. A lot of people could “believe” (terrible word) you cause you sure are a persuasive dude and throw around a lot of info. But it gives those trying to explain things carefully a hard time, as real physics show this little bit more complexity than all too easy illustrations.
    You know, sometimes I have to tell people to build a house correctly in landslide contexts, but they are not interested in what actually happens under their feet and argument they know about the Earth and hazards and the interactions of everything and so on. The Moon likes to be cited. And so they come to the conclusion that one can’t do anything as it’s “above us”. They start lighting candles and praying instead of building proper ground foundations. Bad thing. Look, when you’re in a little paddle boat on the atlantic, it’s nice to pray, but God won’t come down in person and you’ll have to row your boat alone…
    Please be careful with how you dispatch “theories”.

    • What is the gravitational effect of a car/truck driving the length of a plate, compared to the interaction of mars – I’m guessing pretty similar, but I’m guessing it’s going to take someone with Lurking’s maths to sort it out.

  8. Speaking of Etna – if you look at the thermal cams, you can see that she’s started to degass again.

      • Yeah I saw that over on WUWT,

        Much of the ice shelf damage comes from upwelling warm currents… with the exception of the West Antarctic peninsula.

        Sort of throws a wrench in the air induced melting… with is odd when it does that with un-melted fresh snow on the surface.

        • I think the warm current melting has always been going, but as long as the top was kept cold it made less of an impact.

          But, to throw a spanner out. What if a warm-current has started down there? Or more to the point, what about if the existing warm current has taken a more southern trajectory?

  9. Regarding gravity and plate tectonics some idea is haunting me since I saw this geoid model from ESA´s GOCE mission:
    If I get it right it shows variations in the gravitational field and the effect it would have on the sea level if the whole surface was covered by water (depicted extremely exagerated).
    So there are large scale highs, e.g. under Island/Western Europe, southeast of Africa and under Indonesia/Australia and lows, e.g. around North America, south of the Pacific plate and a particularly marked “hole” south of and under India.
    So here comes my question: Is it physically possible that the earth literally bulges at the highs by attracting heavy mantle material and the relatively lightweight continental plates “glide” off the slope? I especially got this, lets say sensation, as if the Indian plate was like sliding “down” towards the low, finally jamming into Asia. Or as if the Americas were breaking away from Europe/Asia in a kind of Mega-Landslide (excuse me 😉 ) to the west. This impression is especially strong looking at the “ww15mgh” image from this website:
    Since my geophysical knowledge mainly comes out of wikipedia I hope the crowd here can put my mind to rest…e.g. say it´s complete BS or just an illusion.

    • I do not know, and I guess that nobody really knows enough to answer that question.
      But Iceland is inflated (if memory serves) 45 meters, and other corresponding hotspots are also inflated like that.
      Why India is lowered I do not know, probably doing with heavy subduction and plate tilting from slaming into Eurasia.
      So, your idea is not without merrit, but getting an answer… I though think it is a bit simplistic to say that it is sliding like that. MAR functioned beautifully while the Icelandic Hotspot was way west of its current location. So back then in a sense it would have been sliding upphill.
      But as said, I do not think there is a definite answer to your question since a lot is unknown of the causes behind the driving effect of the spread-zones.

      • Thank you. At least I now feel I have not missed something completely obvious :-).
        Would you think the “bulges” are caused by hotspots or rather a coincidence? Looking at for example Hawaii there is not so much of a height. Maybe inner core asymmetry?

        • Ah, but Hawaii is heavier then the rest due to its immense height counted from the ocean floor. It is in an aspect of it the worlds highest volcano with a bit to spare to Ojos del Salado.

        • Something to conciser… is the slab graveyard.

          Once a slab subducts, it starts to delaminate. The water rich portion melts away and drifts to the surface to form magmatic arc volcanoes. The more resilient portion continues onward until it either buckles and folds up as a wad at depth, or gently settles into the lower reaches of the mantle. A lot of times, you can visualize it as the subducting plate continues to fracture and break up on the way down.

          Benioff zone south of Kamchatka Peninsula

          In more catastrophic occurrences, the subducting plate could undergo slab detachment and drift free in the mantle.

          Slab detachment is believed to be what happened to the Farallon plate after it went under along the west coast of North America. The loss of that mass slowed the subduction rate for the fragments that remain… they being the Explorer, Juan de Fuca, Gorda, and Cocos microplates. Old parts of the Farallon that haven’t subducted and aren’t really that motivated to do so… at least not as fast as the Pacific plate is on the western side. The detached Farallon is believed to be loitering somewhere deep under the Eastern coast of the US.

          Why all the stuff? As a psuedo intro.

          Under Europe, may be several subducted slabs. This additional mass (relatively cool and dense ex oceanic crust) carries a higher gravitational signature that normal, free ozzing mantle.

          Yeah, it’s a bit of conjecture, but it’s a pretty good collection of tidbits about what may be at play in the gravity anomaly.

          • Spooky thought, ancient submerged slabs, not melting, re-emerging someday?
            Anyways, it is noteworthy that America is not subducting under the Pacific plate, but vice versa, so no slab pull from that end to support the westward movement.
            Thinking of how to PUSH (MAR) a table cloth (i.e. America) off a table, should result in quite some wrinkles.

            Thank you all for your replies! Hopefully I won´t get nightmares from the slab graveyard tonight.

          • It’s a matter of density.

            Continental crust is about 2.7 g/cm³
            Oceanic crust is about 2.9 g/cm³
            And the mantle is about 3.3 g/cm³

            When the oceanic crust and continental crust collide, the denser crust loosed and gets subducted. Eventually the subducted crust melts is reconstituted back into the mantle. (or not, some researchers study the oddball chemistry of magmas and have found that not all basalt is the same.)

          • And the crust under India is cooler because it is so thick where it is colliding at the Himalayas, and thickening in depth as well as height, like a huge hammer into the crust. It is odd that it doesn’t melt, though, and return to heated rock. Some of the deep slab melt around the Pacific is also occurring at phenomenal depth.

    • Hi there!
      Not an illusion, at all.
      As a matter of fact, Earth’s gravity plays an important role in plate tectonics.
      The subducting slab is heavier, because it is older, denser and cooler, therefore sinks into the mantle, beneath the overriding plate, (with a litle help of convective currents), whereas, at the opposite extremity of the plate, newborn material is produced by rifting and gets cooler the farther it get from the ridge it was originated.

        • Your answer was spot on the money regarding the standard modell of gravitational pull on plates Renato.
          I though think that localy Cryphia might have a point. But how to prove that is beyond my brain.

          • I suppose that there are indeed many factors at stake here, like Coriolis effect, temperature gradients closer to mantle plumes, differences of rifting speed and / or convection currents. Indeed, hard to prove. But no doubt the gravitational anomaly is another factor, secondo me!

    • chryphia: I like your theory. I think there are more forces at play than anyone has realized to date. I am sure the responses you get here will be very interesting. Thank you for the post and link.

      • Well, I can’t actually come up with something that shoots it into oblivion, at least as long as one sees it as a regional phenomenon.

          • Yeah, but the cause is regional.
            Wonder if one could be able to spot speed difference at MAR over time? But then MAR is mean to us and is mostly under water.

          • Speed of sea floor spreading can be estimated by the stripes caused by magnetic polarity switches. Don´t know by what that is calibrated though.

    • That’s a b-y good question! Something must have set the plates in motion and something must add momentum or the plates would have stopped moving long ago. Thinking of it as the plates sliding off a slope (or an energy gradient?) is a creative thought. Then again, if so, why is the Indian subcontinent still crashing into the Eurasian plate, against the gradient, and not sliding into the hole?

      • Maybe India is very well inside the middle, just that the himalayas are covering most of the northern part.

      • I like the idea, localised gravity anomalies set up a distortion in the earth’s shape, mantle then flows under convection to fit that shape, dragging the crust along, incidentally speading/subducting as it goes and altering the positions of the gravitational anomalies. Which effects the shapes of the convection currents.

        Well it makes some sense to me – it might be madness but it seems like a plausible theory.
        Indian subcontinent sounds like a good chance to disprove (or fail to disprove) the theory. What would the gravity anomaly have been that set indian crashing northward in the first place?

      • I read somewhere one theory that the earth itself may be ‘growing’ i.e expanding as new material comes to the surface at a faster rate than it subducts/ recycles, but that no data yet exists to prove or disprove the theory… after all, how could you measure a process that would take many millenia in human time? Dont know if anyone has more information on this? Or data to show if it is total twaddle… but it seemed an interesting idea to explain the break up of the early supercontinent and ongoing continental drift.

        • It is just physicaly impossible for the planet to grow like that. The mass is governed by the gravity, and gravity compresses the mass to the maximum extent of the masses compressionrate, and that rate is uniform over time.
          Always beware of theories that break laws of energy preservation, and are counter to gravity. It is actually the favourite polshifter fad right now together with the jumping plates, that mysteriously hopp around several meters at a time.

          Only way for earth to grow is through acreation of cosmic material. If memory serves that is 100 ton every day on average.

          • We’ve had this discussion before here, and I still consider it possible that the planet grows new crystals out of water and gases in the mantle and lithosphere. The fit of the continents seems to indicate that water is the key to the earth’s lubrication and the motion of the plates. It seems logical enough.

  10. No more room for replies, I ll’ proceed from here:
    I have never read anything about the possible indirect effects of sun/moon tides on the ocean waters above the oceanic crust. Couldn’t they also play a role in the whole “system”?

  11. The sun causes tides too????
    And i am sorry dragons are not all too witty, i am not really getting your idea. Could you please formulate it again, please. Which indirect effects in the water?

    • The sun actually does that, and on the occation that the both tides coincide you get high tidal flood, and when they opose you get the lowest tide.

      • Oh, yeah heard about that, thats what you get living in the middle of a continent, i have never experienced a tide which was higher than 30 cm. Thanks for answering.

        • To be quite honest, when I first got into contact with tides it was as much a surprise for me. I learned sailing in the Baltic Sea, no tides there.
          A mild surprise to feel in the middle of the night how the boat that was anchored in the harbour was starting to lean over… came up on deck as the mooring to the jetty tore loose. Just to reado it, understand what had happened, pee, and go back to sleep. After that I have a better grasp of it.

          • Yup! Cross one of the Severn Bridges at high tide and it’s miles wide – come back later in the day and it’s just a mud flat. Amazing to watch the speed the water gets up so only for very experienced sailors (or idiots on airbeds who have to be rescued).

    • You have a few other continental movements to also keap track of…
      What is the original link for that paper?

    • Haven’t read it yet.

      But do note that the chemistry of the magma from the Icelandic hotspot leans towards a more shallow origin than the deep seated “normal” ones. Potentially a mid to shallow mantle origin.

      • Yep, I’ve read that too which is another anomaly to chalk up. Also, the excess energy induced by these “hot spots” are completely out of proportion to their surface expressions, in the case of the Hawaii one no more than 0.2 mW/m2.

      • UrTh points to shallow origin, but REM-content to a deep. I think it is a rather complex process going on, perhaps a deep hotspot for Bardarbunga, Askja and Grmsvötn, and shallower “draught”-plumes for the rest… But I have no proof at all for this except the extreme REM counts.

  12. OT Ahem ahem, remember Lurking and others mentioning a cat problem some days ago. It seems i am having this problem right now and very loud problem at that. I think i am going to play Grisu.

      • Yeah that could reach the bunch, there are at least 5 cats singing right now. The Grisu method wont. They are in the neighbours garden, i am not able to spray them at that distance with the waterhose as planned. ( Grisu is a dragon who always dreamed of joining the firebrigade)

        • Use this, just remember that you need to lube the cats up with a beer bottle first.

          (and secretly I must admit that I looked for Lurking in the video, not that I have a clue how Lurking looks though)

          • OMG Men and their machines. But the cats shut up, i think my neighbour went outside and simply shooshed them away. I ll call it a night. BBGN

          • That, and backflipping a Monster Truck, makes a big part of the fantasies we have about America and Freedom… 🙂

        • Here in England we have the ancient art of welly whanging. The complex aerodynamics of the Wellington boot demands much practice from would be champion Whangers. This clip shows the aristocratic nature of the sport and a truly magnificent whang from one of Britain’s Olympic hopefuls.
          Cats make excellent targets on which would be whangers can hone their accuracy.

      • Must include that in parts two and three of my version of Saturday Night Live/Sunday Entertainment.

        (When the five major planets align with the quadraturic pylons of the ancient temple of Azanulbizaar and I ascend to Power, all evil-doers such as politicoes and their hench”people” will be incarcerated and put to god use – manual labour, as menial as possible. On Saturdays at 8pm, instead of the usual prime-time entertainment for the intellectually challenged, there will be a show in which ten of these miscreants feature and people can vote for the one they consider most worthy. We break for “News at 10”, after which the winner is announced and people can then vote for a suitable reward for a life devoted to self-aggrandisement. The vote closes at midnight and from those who have voted, ten winners of £1m will be drawn. (If I can solve the problem of the world being on different time zones, I might jack up the numbers to ensure a healthy turnout in the best democratic tradition. Alas, the ancient writings in Linear D, wchich incidentally only I am able to interpret corectle hem-hem, offer no solution to this minor problem.) The proceeds from the voting minus expenses will go to a worthy, scientific cause such as space exploration or worldwide monitoring systems of natural phenomenae, hitherto underfunded if funded at all. On Sundays at noon, the winner of the public and thus democratic vote will receive his or her equally democratically awarded reward such as a trebuchet launch off Trollväggen, Norway. )

  13. Totally OT – had a very funny experience today, for which I must thank all of you.

    Two days ago my 13-year old son began asking me how volcanoes were formed, so we started having a really good long discussion about it (he is very interested, especially since we went to Iceland last year). Now, what I didn’t know was that he is doing volcanoes at school, and had some homework to do.

    Today he came home beaming from ear to ear, having had a huge ‘scientific’ argument in front of the class with his geography teacher about his homework. She (bless her – she’s actually a great teacher) was expecting something along the lines of ‘molten rock comes up through cracks in the earth’ but he started banging on about rifting, hotspots, subduction zones and silica content – answers to which she had little reply!! About an hour after he got home I had a phone call from the teacher inquiring as to where the hell he had got all that from! Proud Dad moment of the year so far!

    So thank you all for teaching me and stoking my interest – a year ago I couldn’t have told him sh!t.

      • To be honest, it’s early days yet, but I have some expectationss that he will follow these interests through to later years. That is, after his international rugby career is over, of course!!

          • Try telling my lovely wife that, though! The sad thing is, tomorrow he’ll ask me about some IT homework, and my reply will be along the lines of “Well, in FORTRAN we did it like this …”

          • Very nearly mine too! Having looked for a ‘proper job’ for some while I got two offers on the same day. One was to punch cards in a dingy building full of pipe-smoking beardy men on an industrial estate in my local town, and the other was from a publishing company full of attractive girls in London. Guess which one I took!

            Mind you, back in those days the job title ‘computer programmer’ sounded awfully clever, and the couple of mates I know that went into that world have both now been retired for several years and are sailing yachts somewhere.

      • Well… for one, it is at the SW end of Vedivotn.

        And two… well, back during El Hierro’s festivities, I came up with a “poor man’s focal solution”.

        A real focal solution gives you a read on what the stress field was that made the quake.

        When a quake occurs, you have what is known as a “double couple” solution. The waves of the quake show extensional or compressive features based on where the seismo reading the wave is at in relation to the quake.

        Tod do this, seismologists look at the “first motions” of the waveforms and then use algorithms calculated the focal solution.

        Using my “poor man’s” method, I look at the spread of the various solutions guestimate a solution based on the shape of the error ellipse. My logic being that the highest resolution of the quake position solution is going to be along the axis with the least motion. This is just an estimate, and may be totally wrong.

        From my guestimate, the quake shows either rock extension or compression along a NW to SW direction. This would fit with a fissure line from NE to SW either opening or closing.

        Given the location.. it’s worth watching. Not that anything is gonna happen… but there is about 2.5 to 3 meters worth of extensional stress since in the area since the last fissure line eruption.

        (the dead zone)

  14. Hi All, I’ve noticed a small swarm going on at Long Valley, California (I know, it has had swarms before). According to the following link, there has been a little activity, If you click the blue star over Mammoth Yosemite Airport on the map, it will show GPS Data, there seems to be a sudden steep drop on the graph, does this mean anything??

    Also, a couple of days ago 23rd April, there was an apparent incident where 600 bags of sulfur fell off the back of a lorry at Yosemite Entrance…..


    • Another of the lovely coincidentes in the world.
      And by the way, your sudden drop is from 2009, probably a change of antenna, or due to a larger then normal regional quake back then.

  15. About the cat thing. In this video it’s a dog, but with these tons of cats left outside uncontrolled where I live I’d like to do that with them. Poo and pee in my carport, they kill all the little birdies (also those on protection lists), protected lizards etc. I don’t hate them as individuals, but the consequences of the 1.5 million of them messing around in my country as I have to be so excessively strict with my dog (even in many forests I have to keep it on the leash, I collect every single turd, pay taxes). Cat taxes would be an interesting thing, for a start. Hunters argument that they kill foxes to get balance in the ecosystem. 1.5 millions of cats in the wild create a disequilibrium too… But again, I don’t want to go into a hate thing. It’s just that a bit of consequence and regulation would not be a waste…

    • 😉 Before you start to kill off cats on an industrial scale for killing endangered birds & ditto lizards plus indiscriminate defecation, which species is the single greatest bio-hazard through over-proliferation? Are you ready to propose such draconic measures in this instance too? :mrgreen:

      • That is planned for the end of this year, isn’t it?
        The industrial scale idea isn’t too bad. I’ll think of it…

        • I’ve just been on three days of training, during which one of our trainers explained that we (humans) are evolved bacteria and behave in the same way. We live only to reproduce and then die. As evolved bacteria we should find a way to maximise our future reproduction rather than continue to over-produce ourselves which can only end in catastrophic failure of the human colony. Of course Earth will serenely continue on its way but without our infestation. If we are to remain a successful parasitic colony we must find a way to clean up after ourselves. 😉

      • We should change the way we look at ourselves. Human beings are parasites. They eat the thing on which they feed up, and then look for the next. So accept our nature. Use up that planet and then head towards the next. Now we’re slowly having that one at the limit? What should be our reaction to that problem? Invest money in space research and look for the next planet to destroy. We can leave a pond or two with a bit of forest on that one so it can catch up a bit. Maybe we can come back eating it again in some millions of years… 🙂
        But I don’t take the cat’s on the trip to the next buffet… 😉
        Please, this is sarcastic, and not even new. Just for fun.
        Even though, if anyone has an idea for a “human way” to educate cats that are being left outside uncontrolled / “unmanaged” by those who wanted them but don’t feel responsible for whatever they do, I’m glad to listen. Dammit I’m not an ancient egyptian and don’t see them as gods or something. Poor endangered birds and lizards (I’m sorry to grin like an idiot while I write that…).

        • isn’t there somewhere on the Eastern side of North America a plaque with safe, max population 5 million or 500 00 I am not sure which, they would have their work cut out to achieve that anytime soon.
          as for the pussy’s just use airfreshner and spray them with it espechially up their …..and around the place where they leave their calling cards, like heh it is my place not yours, they don’t like it, after a few times, volah

      • We have the Cats Protection League who are hardy redoutable ladies with traps and cat food who rescue cats and neuter them, before releasing them back in the wild, then rehome their neutered kittens to friendly families. Hence we have 2 feral lodger cats in our house, who will never be cuddly like wot cats are supposed to be…

    • I’ve got my watchdog Marvin, he is not keen on cats, he tolerates a couple, but only just, other then that it is breakfast, the last tom he chased got away just and hasn’t come back, as much as I like them, they do create havoc in the wild, as I see it, the problem is excessive charges by vets for desexing. Regulation doesn’t work, it only ever affects people who do the right thing in the first place.

    • Simple solution, a bit of problem solving of the owners is much better.
      I hate people who leave their cats running around outside.
      So, a bit of manhunt would probably be a good idea.

      • Here it has become a “must” to leave them running around outside. It’s in their nature and so on…
        Spanking some could probably help indeed.
        Behind my house there’s a big field. They usually stand there like “laughing” at my dog “you stupid are on a leash”. Sometimes I let her hunt them a bit. She’s not a giant, but has tons of guts and is f-cking fast. It usually ends in a sort of ball that rolls around several times (like in a cartoon), and then the dog comes back looking incredibly happy to have had the right to follow it’s nature for this small moment in time…
        I’d say all of our problems are man-made…

        • Cats are generally allowed to roam around in Britain as well, but as a result are often run over. Dog owners are expected to be more responsible. So one hunter/killer (cat) is allowed to roam around killing wildlife at will while the other hunter/killer (dog) has all natural instincts severely curtailed. All as a result of the demands of the meanest hunter/killer of the lot (us people).

          • That just says it all.
            But I suggest anyone having nice vids of stupid cats and dogs getting what they deserve to give the links… Everything connecting cats and water somehow is always worth a watch…

          • Anyone in UK: I think Channel 4 are doing a documentary on urban foxes next week. I used to see them a lot in the 1970’s when I lived in Bristol – they were a novelty then. Personally I love to see them. Now I live in the country I never see them – except dead at the side of the road. 😦 But I do see lots of deer, hares, rabbits etc. 🙂

          • Talla says:

            “… So one hunter/killer (cat) is allowed to roam around killing wildlife at will while the other hunter/killer (dog) has all natural instincts severely curtailed…”

            I think that at it’s core, this is due to the target prey and the hunting method.

            Cats tend to be solitary hunters. (Lions being the exception) Dogs, being almost genetically indistinguishable from wolves, revert to pack behavior. (this pack aspect is why dogs are perfectly happy being in families… it’s their pack). Mankind has always had a problem with four specific main animals. There could be others, but these three are the ones that have the greatest threat.

            Rats, Wolves, Large Cats, People.

            Cats deal with the Rat issue, and can actively seek them out when not confined.

            Wolves, Large Cats and People are a threat when they come after you. A Dog is of little use if it is out wandering around. In order for a dog to be able to assist… you have to have it there with you.

            So… even though it’s not readily apparent, and seems unfair. It actually is just another aspect of mankind using a tool in the correct method.

          • @GeoLurking : I’ve never thought of it that way before, but there is a great deal in what you say. Also dogs have been around people for longer than any other animal – back in the last Ice Age before any other animal was ‘domesticated’. Cats as pets are extremely recent. So to some extent we feel that dogs ought to know better, having been around us longer, and indeed they often do. Most aggressive dogs have been trained to be that way by bad/mad owners. You can tell, I guess, that I’m a dog person – never could see the point of a cat!

  16. We had an appointment with the docter and sadlay he had also behind his lungs water and is breathing is not going so good. His back pain they are going next week to make à scan and we must searching for a good revalidation home but at first hè is staying in hospital. Good day everybody! I saw at the Cam that Etna is again smoking.

    • So sorry to hear that, Dean, however it seems that your father is getting very good care at the hospital and so we must all hope for the best for him. Take good care of yourself.

    • whatever you do do not let one doctor tell you they need to cut into your back to fuse a dis i made that mistake took another doctor two times to fix the butcher job that was done to me 3 more surgerys and a nerve stimuletor for me to walk again. now all get to do is heavy doses of pain patches & pills scream myself to sleep and wake up screaming. hell with that story new way to fix back is laser surgery a buddy he was in almost the same pain as me went had laser surgery 2 mouth later no pain. he is back driving his race car.

  17. Forgive me my friends, but coming with the excitement of reading a new post and continuing to see the same old discussion moon/earthquakes effect, is boring. I think people are put off by both sides of doomers, moonies, and as well as persisting debunking.

    • I like the way things were explained, and it was fun having a good preacher of doom jumping in, put you probably have a good point with that comment.
      But what makes the “ambiance” in here? Clearly not only the blogposts… 🙂
      Up for a new “where will the next 7+ quake shake the crust”?

        • As it’s 2012 and there’s only eight months to go I’d like to go for Los Angeles. Just to even things up, how about a major quake on the fault that caused the Lisbon eartherquake – but further up so it causes a massive tsunami funnelling up the Thames on the opening day of the Olympics? That’s how a disaster movie would do it, I think. 😀

          • If you want a tsunami in the Thames, you would need a large landslip in on the other side of the North Sea. Or a weather-induced one from a storm.

            A megathrust on the Lisbon fault (The Azores-Gibraltar Transform Fault ) is less likely to get London but it might get the south west / west of the UK and low lying areas on the Channel, maybe reaching as far as the Thames Estuary.

          • Nah…for London, it would have to be the North Sea, which would also get a lot of low-lying Europe on the Channel and other side of the North Sea.

          • There I see how geographically challenged I am. Just had a look at a decent map. You’re completely right, of course.
            Then a meteorite into the North Sea…

          • @ KarenZ

            “…A megathrust on the Lisbon fault (The Azores-Gibraltar Transform Fault )…”

            Not trying to nitpick… but “megathrust” is a type of subduction zone orientation. (convergent margin)

            But in this context, I think you meant “big arsed quake,” which that area has been known to produce… and makes for a good disaster scenario.

        • Most likely areas for the 7+’s are the usuals: Vanuatu, PNG, Tonga, Japan – the areas that usually get them.

          For a doomsday scenario, a 7+ (or indeed a smaller one) would have to occur in an area that does not normally get large quakes…….

          • If you want a nightmare scenario, a short but very intense plinian blast (VEI 3-4) near or at Astroni, Naples. Imagine the base surge once the ~20 km high column collapses (Grimsvötn 2011 but compressed in time to a under 30 minutes). Or a similar-sized, but less violent of longer duration in the Eastern Eifel Volcanic Field near Augsburg that dams the Rhine for a few weeks. Then the dam bursts…

            Same as 50 grams of dynamite can kill you just as dead as 50 tons, it’s a matter of location. And these small-scale events in the wrong location are far more likely than the the really bad biggies.

          • BTW, Augsburg is rather far from the Eifel volcanic field. Perhaps Henri was thinking about Köln / Cologne …

          • Good call, I was thinking of Koblenz but managed a truly weird logical sommersault. Somehow I confused the cruiser SMS Augsburg which is described in several of the books published by the Podzun-Pallas-Verlag, Koblenz…

            Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

      • I think Alaska and Kamtchacha seem “overdue” for a large earthquake.
        Also a larger quake south of Portugal or Spain.
        And also somewhere around the northern part of South America, in Colombia.

        Those are the spots of larger earthquakes that haven’t happened since a while.

        Also a M5 or 6 would occur sometime in the future in north Tjornes region. It has been a while since last big one there.

  18. if one looks to the ING graph of Gomers the nearest island to El Hierro there is a spike just after 8am, it seems to me a more acurate one of might be going on at EH

    • CHIE has not updated since 08:00. The spike on EGOM does not appear to be seismic – maybe somone knocked the seismometer, but I could be wrong.

  19. Good morning!
    A new swarm at Reykjanes Ridge.
    Probably activity in Iceland will increase thereafter…

      • Thanks for heads up islander. My son’s office is just round the corner from there,so typically mother like I immediately worry. All OK! His road wasn’t affected . Phew! 😀

    • 0.5 frequency on EGOM looks to have gone solid red on the daily chart since about 22.00 yesterday – I think Carl/Lurking have previously suggested that frequency is fresh magma on the move from deep, but I may have that wrong.

      • OT – or back to volcanoes 🙂

        Has anyone else been keeping an eye out for stuff on Nabro ? I occasionally check into this site and then go to the more recent month and see what they are saying.

        I spotted something that looked interesting enough to mention this time. There has been a series of reports fromt he site about a thermal anomaly. And this time they are suggesting that perhaps as the anomaly is in the same spot it’s a lava lake.
        I don’t know whether the A’a type lava that was initially erupted by Nabro would or could be consistant with a lava lake or not, but I thought I’d ask here what you all thought.

        ps. sorry this is in an odd spot, wordpress was hiding my post comment button until I clicked reply somewhere else.

  20. Irpsit says:
    … I think people are put off by both sides of doomers, moonies, and as well as persisting debunking.

    Lets see…. I first went over the data for this stuff about 3 to 4 years ago.. initially to see the data for myself since it sounded plausible to me. I hit on indications that pointed towards a possible mechanism if the theory held up. Found it was wrong, beat people about the head and shoulders with the plots of the data that showed the disparity in the claims and the data, then didnt say much about it ever since.

    The 2012ers come along , spewing their tripe. If I let that pass with out responding, there is a real chance that someone else may buy into it and form another follower of the Church of Loon.

    Carl asked for a presentation of my data in article form, so that it could be added to his collection of references. I did so. I’m reminded of the idea for that underlying mechanism which I had never explored in detail… having grown frustrated at hammered through a crap load of data and come up empty handed. (remember, I had originally found the idea plausible and wanted to see the proof myself) So, I also looked at that this time around.

    I have been punted off of more than one loon site. Mainly since no one want to have their pet cow run through the meat grinder. I generally leave them alone. When one comes to bark at me or anyone around me for being a disbeliever, I take umbrage at that and will respond. Its akin to someone telling you that Oxygen is a poison and to stop breathing immediately or die.

    Well, Oxygen is a poison… to anerobic bacteria.

    Well, I’ve covered both aspects of the Moon data. The articles are now part of the record here, and can be pointed at if needed.

    My apologies for defending common sense.

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