Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Antipodal Earthquakes

I was amused to find this article about how large earthquakes can cause reciprocal quakes at or near their antipode.

Scientists have identified the trend but are baffled by the mechanism. Seriously? These guys have never played Jenga or any of the other balance-shifting or spring-loaded games where moving one small piece makes everything else explode? They haven't noticed that we are standing on a giant ball? They're acting like the parts of the Earth are disconnected. I mean this isn't even as complex as "everything is alive, everything is connected." It's just basic physics. If you build up pressure, eventually it has to release. If you move one thing in a system, something else has to move too. The only hard part is figuring out the details.

But we already have the one that matters: big earthquakes can cause antipodal earthquakes. That means whenever there's a big earthquake, seismic authorities should calculate its antipode and issue a warning that another earthquake could soon occur somewhere in that region. Heightened awareness might help reduce the harm done.

I've actually been discussing this with a few audience members. Apparently they're more alert to these things. The opposite side of the world to San Diego is Saint-Philippe, Reunion, Reunion. That's somewhat southeast of the Maldives. The antipode of Male is off the coast of South America. Put those together and you can see why a major shakeup along the Ring of Fire could knock loose a bubble of hotspot in what is now Kraken territory.
Tags: news, science

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