U S Geological Survey

All posts tagged U S Geological Survey

Image source: USGS, Washington Post

By Tara Dodrill Off The Grid News

Do you live in an earthquake danger zone? If you think all of those not living along the West Coast are basically safe, then you may be shocked by a new USGS study.

Approximately half of all Americans are at risk from “damaging earthquakes,” according to the U.S. Geological Survey report.

Among the lower 48, a total of 143 million Americans live in areas that could experience the “big one.” Among that number, a full 28 million live in places with “high potential” for ground shaking and 57 million live in “moderate” hazard zones.

Continue reading at Off The Grid News: If You Thought You Were Safe From Earthquakes, Then This New Report Has Some Stunning News

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San Andreas Movie Poster

By Michael Snyder – End of The American Dream

Hollywood has a long history of inserting political messages, social commentaries, subliminal effects and even cryptic warnings about the future into big budget films.  So is someone attempting to use “San Andreas” to tell us something?  For many years, doomsayers have been warning that the “Big One” is going to come along and rip the coastline of California to shreds.  Up until this moment, it hasn’t happened, but without a doubt we have moved into a time of increased geological activity all over the globe.  As you read this article, 42 volcanoes around the planet are currently erupting.  That means that the number of volcanoes erupting right now is greater than the 20th century’s average for an entire year.  In addition, we have been witnessing a great deal of very unusual earthquake activity lately.  Just in the United States, we have seen unusual earthquakes hit Michigan, Texas, Mississippi, California, Idaho And Washington within the last month or so.  Could it be possible that our planet has entered a period of heightened seismic activity?  And could it also be possible that someone behind “San Andreas” is aware of this and is trying to warn us about what is coming in our future?

Of course just about everyone in the scientific community acknowledges that the “Big One” is eventually coming to California.  In fact, the U.S. Geological Survey recently came out and said that the probability of a megaquake along the west coast is greater than they had previously been projecting

A recent report by the U.S. Geological Survey shows the inevitability of just such a quake, which is predicted to hit within the next couple of decades.

“The new likelihoods are due to the inclusion of possible multi-fault ruptures, where earthquakes are no longer confined to separate, individual faults, but can occasionally rupture multiple faults simultaneously,” lead author of the study and USGS scientist, Ned Field says. “This is a significant advancement in terms of representing a broader range of earthquakes throughout California’s complex fault system.”

And it is undeniable that California has been hit by an unusual number of earthquakes recently.  Could this be a sign that our portion of the “Ring of Fire” is heating up?  Just over the past few days, there have been significant earthquakes at dormant volcanoes all over the state of California and in Nevada.  I don’t know about you, but to me all of this shaking is reason for concern.

If the state of California does get hit by a major earthquake in the near future, the damage that would be caused would be immense.  Among those trying to raise awareness about this is Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti

“I hope this movie can be a gut check and a visceral reminder to people of the danger from quakes,” Garcetti said before the screening. “But then that people will also do a head check about how they can really be prepared…to react by looking at some good research and using their heads about the dangers we really face.”

Garcetti has recently introduced a series of proposals called “Resilience by Design” to try to make sure the city’s buildings, telecommunications system and water supply are able to withstand a large earthquake. Emphasizing the challenges Los Angeles faces, the mayor noted how mobile phone service largely went down after the 1994 Northridge quake. And he said the water supply could also be challenged in the next big shaker, considering that the San Andreas Fault (depicted as causing the giant temblor in the Warner Bros.’ film) crosses the California Aqueduct in 20 places.

But not everyone appreciates this new film.  One of the features of “San Andreas” that has been heavily criticized as being “unrealistic” is the giant tsunami that engulfs San Francisco.  According to the Daily Mail, it is not possible for the San Andreas fault to even cause a tsunami…

And, unlike the film, the San Andreas can’t spawn tsunamis.

Most tsunamis are triggered by underwater quakes, but they can also be caused by landslides, volcanoes and even meteor impacts.

So why is a giant tsunami in the film?

Continue reading at End of The American Dream: Is ‘San Andreas’ A Cryptic Warning About What Is Going To Happen In America’s Future?

About the author:

Michael T. Snyder is a graduate of the University of Florida law school and he worked as an attorney in the heart of Washington D.C. for a number of years.

Today, Michael is best known for his work as the publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog and The American Dream

Read his new book The Beginning of the End

By Brian Lada – AccuWeather

A powerful earthquake, 7.3 in magnitude, struck Nepal on Tuesday, just weeks after an even stronger quake devastated large areas of the country.

The epicenter of Tuesday’s earthquake was located 76 km (47 miles) east of Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

According to the USGS, Tuesday’s earthquake is the largest aftershock to date of the magnitude 7.8 April 25, 2015 Nepal earthquake – known as the Gorkha earthquake.

Tuesday’s earthquake was able to be felt in the nearby countries of India, Bhutan, and Bangladesh, according to reports from the USGS.

Several aftershocks hit in the same area shortly after the main quake occurred at 12:50 p.m. local time (3:05 a.m. EDT). At least half a dozen aftershocks occurred in the vicinity of the 7.3-magnitude quake, all with a magnitude of 5.0 or higher.

“Landslides were reported closer to the epicenter of the tremor in the district of Sindhupalchowk,” the LA Times said. The district of Sindhupalchowk is located northeast of Kathmandu.

More at AccuWeather: BREAKING: 7.3-Magnitude Earthquake Hits Nepal

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In a very rare joint statement, the U.S. Geological Survey and the Oklahoma Geological Survey issued a warning of a damaging earthquake of more that 5.0 magnitude for central Oklahoma.

Robert Williams, a research geophysicist with the USGS Earthquake Hazards Program in Golden, Colorado, told Live Science:

“We haven’t seen this before in Oklahoma, so we had some concerns about putting a specific number on the chances of it. But we know from other cases around the world that if you have an increasing number of small earthquakes, the chances of a larger one will go up.  That’s why earthquakes of magnitude 5 and larger are more frequent in states such as California and Alaska, where thousands of smaller temblors hit every year”

This is the first time the USGS has issued an earthquake warning for a state east of the Rockies, Williams said. Such seismic hazard assessments are more typically issued for Western states following large quakes, to warn residents of the risk of damaging aftershocks. (source)

For the first time the number of small earthquakes in Oklahoma was more than the number of tremblors in California during the first three months of 2014. It was this that prompted the alert.

Many of the buildings in central Oklahoma can, and do, withstand small earthquakes, but the fears are that anything over a magnitude 5.0 would cause widespread damage. Oklahoma’s last major earthquake was in November 2011, when a magnitude 5.6 earthquake centered near Prague, Oklahoma, destroyed 14 homes and injured at least two people.

Bill Leith, Senior Science Advisor for USGS said:

“Building owners and government officials should have a special concern for older, un-reinforced brick structures, which are vulnerable to serious damage during sufficient shaking,” (source)

Researchers believe that fracking may be the cause of the huge increase in earthquakes in the area. The deep injection wells used for the disposal of wastewater caused by the process puts huge pressure on existing faultlines, sometimes tens of miles away from the well itself.

The uptick in earthquakes of all sizes showed a staggering 50% rise in the first three months of the year. More alarmingly, 183 magnitude 3.0 and above earthquakes occurred during the seven month period from October 2013 and April 24th 2014.

The long term average of 3+ quakes was on average 2 per year between 1978 and 2008.

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Contributed by Chris Carrington of The Daily Sheeple.

Chris Carrington is a writer, researcher and lecturer with a background in science, technology and environmental studies. Chris is an editor for The Daily Sheeple. Wake the flock up!

 

After the Los Angeles area was rattled by an earthquake on Friday evening, a little rain is on the horizon.

The 5.1-magnitude earthquake occurred at 9:09 p.m. PDT on Friday near La Habra, Calif. La Habra is located to the southeast of Los Angeles.

“The event was felt widely throughout Orange, Los Angeles, Ventura, Riverside and San Bernardino counties,” the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) stated in a summary about the earthquake.

There were 23 aftershocks within the first hour, according to the USGS. The largest aftershock registered with a magnitude of 3.6 at 9:30 p.m.

The earthquake did not cause major damage, the Associated Press reported. Only minor injuries were sustained when the earthquake triggered a rockslide in Carbon Canyon and caused a car to overturn.

A dry Saturday will aid those officials and crews still inspecting buildings and structures for possible damage.

RELATED:
Detailed Los Angeles Forecast
Forecast Temperature Maps
Los Angeles Interactive Radar

Clouds streaming overhead are signaling an approaching storm system set to deliver a little rain to Southern California late on Saturday night through Sunday morning.

The rain will be far from heavy and will be negligible in putting a dent in the region’s drought. Some places will even stay dry throughout the weekend.

The rain will instead just create a damp start to Sunday, causing residents to reach for their umbrellas before heading outside. Some sunshine will return for Sunday afternoon.

More numerous showers with even the potential for a thunderstorm will come Tuesday through Wednesday.

More at AccuWeather: Damp Sunday in Store for Earthquake-Rattled LA Area

By Brian Thompson

A 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck just north of the island of Puerto Rico early on Monday morning, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The earthquake occurred at 12:01 a.m. local time and was centered about 96 km (60 miles) northwest of the capital of San Juan. The earthquake was felt across Puerto Rico and parts of the Dominican Republic.

According to the Associated Press, residents in San Juan reportedly felt buildings sway and had items fall in their homes.

There have been no reports of a tsunami. The National Weather Service in San Juan said early on Monday that there was no threat for a tsunami after reviewing tidal gauges following the quake.

There have also been no reports of any injuries.

This comes just nearly past the anniversary of the devastating earthquake that shook Haiti in 2010.

More at AccuWeather: Magnitude 6.4 Earthquake Strikes North of Puerto Rico

Copper River Delta

acquired May 28, 2013                                     download large image (10 MB, JPEG, 8416×5611)

Named for the ore deposits found upstream, the Copper River drains an area of more than 24,000 square miles (62,000 square kilometers) and flows into the Gulf of Alaska. By volume of discharge, it is the tenth largest river in the United States. Its delta forms one of the largest and most productive wetlands on the Pacific Coast of North America.

On May 28, 2013, the Operational Land Imager on the Landsat 8 satellite captured this image of the Copper River Delta as spring thawing swelled it with water and glacial sediment. The Childs and Miles glaciers drain into the Copper River. As they slide down the mountains into the valleys, the glaciers grind on the bedrock below, creating what scientists refer to as “glacial flour.” That sediment is a good source of iron and nutrients for phytoplankton and marine plants, which in turn support abundant salmon runs.

The glacial flour that gives a milky tan and gray tint to the water is so fine that it remains suspended for a long time. After being carried downstream, some of this fine sediment slowly precipitates onto the large delta and extends it. The excess flows out to the ocean, suspended in fresh water that is less dense than seawater. When the water from the Copper River—as well as the nearby Miles River and Van Cleve Lake—reaches the ocean, it forms a layer (or plume) near the surface, on top of the salty seawater. The plume pulses back and forth offshore, depending on the tides. That is, when the tide falls, the fresh water surges into the ocean and the plume pushes away from the shore; when the tide rises, the plume gets pushed back toward the shore.

“The glaciers in this area are receding at some of the fastest rates in the world, which can have all kinds of impacts on the local ecosystems,” said Robert Campbell, research oceanographer at the Prince William Sound Science Center. Scientists are trying to figure out what exactly these impacts will be in the Copper River watershed.

The MODIS instrument on NASA’s Terra/Aqua satellite also captured an image of the Copper River during a dust storm in November 2012.

  1. Related Reading

  2. Alaska Department of Fish and Game (1996) Copper River Delta—Critical Habitat Area. Accessed August 2, 2013.
  3. Copper River Watershed Project. Accessed August 2, 2013.
  4. Copper River Country, Alaska History and Physical Geography of the Copper River Valley. Accessed August 2, 2013.
  5. U.S. Geological Survey (1990) Largest Rivers in the United States. Accessed August 2, 2013.
  6. U.S. Geological Survey (1996) Geomorphology of the lower Copper River. Accessed August 2, 2013.

NASA Earth Observatory images by Robert Simmon and Jesse Allen, using Landsat 8 data from the USGS Earth Explorer. Caption by Talya Lerner. – Earth Observatory

Instrument: 
Landsat 8 – OLI