Social Question

philosopher's avatar

Why has there been an increase in Earthquakes recently?

Asked by philosopher (9152points) April 6th, 2010

I studied Oceanography but I did not know.
I goggled this; if your interested see the linkhttp://www.scientificblogging.com/rock_whacker/why_there_have_been_so_many_earthquakes_lately
I am interested in your explanations.

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24 Answers

tinyfaery's avatar

Because mother nature is coming to get you. Either that or plate tectonics.

rebbel's avatar

Or: Why has there been an increase recently in questions about he recent (supposedly) increase in earthquakes?

lilikoi's avatar

If you studied oceanography, you should be telling me! If you don’t know, there is no shot in hell that I’ll be able to explain it, lol! I just figured that plates effect each other so when one shifts, that can set off chain reactions. Seems logical to me, but I can’t say for sure.

njnyjobs's avatar

Because technological advances enable authorities/specialists to document such occurences with a high degree of precision. These may have been happening in the past at the same or greater rate but without actual documentation, then there is no way to say that there was or was not an occurrence.

anartist's avatar

The world is coming to an end

grumpyfish's avatar

It’s really not:

http://folio.benpeoples.com/p594403910/e2344f4d7

(The general trend is due to an increase in detection, not an increase in earthquakes)

philosopher's avatar

@njnyjobs
The link explains it but I hoped someone new more.
LOL I also took Geology a long time ago.
I thought we would have someone currently learning this stuff on here.

syzygy2600's avatar

Because when the internet came out people forgot that everything pre-21st century existed?

There number of earthquakes has remained roughly the same since record keeping began. In fact, in the case of severe earthquakes, there has actually been LESS in recent years than 50 years ago.

ekans's avatar

I think that @njnyjobs is on to something. We now have much better technology to not only document earthquakes, but also to tell each other about them; check out this map of earthquakes and this relevant comic. I also think that the perceived prevalence of earthquakes could also be due to the increasing population density of the earth. earthquakes that affect a lot of people are more likely to be more noticed, and, as we populate the earth, more people are living in more areas.

grumpyfish's avatar

@syzygy2600 There are trends in earthquakes, they aren’t actually a flat line. Roughly on a 10-year period, the number of earthquakes increases and decreases. It’s not enough to predict (e.g., a large earthquake can happen during a minimum), but in overall trends we should be around the peak.

rebbel's avatar

By the way, there has been another quake, in Sumatra this time, 7.8.

Dr_C's avatar

Ladies and gentlemen. It’s 2010. We live in the age of facebook, twitter, 24 hour news and up to the minute web updates. The problem is not an increase in the incidence of earthquakes, the issue is increased reporting and dissemination of news. By the time I felt the Earthquake here in San Diego and tweeted about it…. friends in irvine found out about it through my tweet before feeling it.

It’s not an increase in the incidence…. it’s faster and more widely available information.

Also.. It’s @AstroChuck ‘s fault

AstroChuck's avatar

Finally, someone has asked this question.

I think it’s got to do with 2012.

Foxx's avatar

@everyone Why are so many 7+ ers occurring so close to one another? It seems odd.

grumpyfish's avatar

@Foxx Random events tend to cluster. We’re talking about geological timescales—Things happening within 10 years are close to each other.

ShiningToast's avatar

Personally, I’ve been hearing for years that the San Andreas Fault is due for a really big one. I’m fine with a numerous medium-sized ones (like what we had on Sunday here in California.)

timtrueman's avatar

We’re pretty much where we’d expect to be at four 7.x magnitude quakes this year, the average is ~17 per year: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eqarchives/year/eqstats.php

Expected 7.x quakes = day of the year (96) / 365 * total expected quakes each year (17) = ~4.47 (as of April 6th)

squirbel's avatar

The solar flares. They are increasing.

VohuManah's avatar

@Dr_C Ha, reminds me of this.

grumpyfish's avatar

@squirbel In my research, I found a reverse correlation between solar activity and earthquakes… =)

Dr_C's avatar

@VohuManah rofl…. I saw that and sent it to the friends I mentioned. We had a good laugh.

mattbrowne's avatar

Probably not.

ekans's avatar

An Iranian cleric has just figured it out! It is so obvious, promiscuous women are the cause of all the earthquakes!

peanuts's avatar

Apparentlt in the late nineteenth century teams of seismologists were appointed world-wide to record global seismic activity. Up until that time records can only be gleaned from local histories and so true figures can only be estimated. However, from the early 20th century the seismic records show gradual but significant increases up until 1997 when all of a sudden the graphs show a much steeper inclination. Recent increases in both frequency and strengths of earhquakes world-wide is a fact and cannot be rationalised away. The reason for this phenomenon is not presently understood.

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