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LostInParadise's avatar

Have there been an unusually large number of earthquakes lately?

Asked by LostInParadise (24716points) March 11th, 2011

I just heard about the one that hit Japan. Within the last year there were large earthquakes in Haiti and Chile and I seem to recall some other areas as well (Russia?, Iran?, China?). This can’t be due to global warming. If I were a religious person, I would conjecture that we are being punished for something or other. What’s going on?

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9 Answers

ette_'s avatar

As a “religious” person, I wouldn’t say that the earthquakes would be a punishment, but rather a sign of the end times. Just my 2 cents, because I don’t want to open up a can of worms.

coffeenut's avatar

We just need to give in and pay Dr Evil’s demands of 1 billion, gagillion, fafillion, shabolubalu million illion yillion…yen….

ragingloli's avatar

Greater media exposure.
That is all.

Coloma's avatar

There will be a ’ super moon’ event on the 19th that some say increases the odds of earthquakes and volcanic eruption from the moons gravity in passing so closely to the earth. From what I have read the increase is small and while true, not an omen of anything cataclysmic as some astrologists are predicting.

syzygy2600's avatar

Nope, not more than usual. It only takes a few minutes of research to verify this as well.

LostInParadise's avatar

Following up on @syzygy2600 ‘s comment, I did a Google search. There has not been a spike in earthquake activity, though 2010 did have a large number of resulting deaths. Link

kevbo's avatar

“They’ve” attempted to pin some earthquakes on global warming. Fracking, which is an in vogue process for drilling for natural gas has also been linked to causing earthquakes as well as a handful of other manmade causes Then there’s the astronomical stuff as mentioned. Lastly, there’s the Dr. Evil-style earthquake-inducing technology that I typically make mention of.

Anyway, to answer your question, this guy’s analysis seems pretty solid. I think it’s safe to summarize his conclusion being a) more smaller quakes registered in recent decades primarily due to better methods of detection, b) but also a noticeable uptick in large quakes in the past ten years. Also c) he says:

2008 had an unusually high number of small-magnitude earthquakes… 2008 is still the most unusual year in the data, IMHO.

marinelife's avatar

This is an active geophysical period.

“One scientist, however, says that relative to a time period in the past, the Earth has been more active over the past 15 years or so.”

Live Science

incendiary_dan's avatar

As some other have basically said, it’s not the frequency of the earthquakes, but rather the magnitude. This most recent one in Japan was apparently the fifth largest recorded in the past 120 years.

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