Predicting QuakesOctober 17, 2009 at 5:58 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
This list appears in Sandy Lydon‘s lecture handouts this week:
Most Notable Santa Cruz County Earthquakes Since 1950
1865 (October) : estimated 7.0 on San Andreas fault, damage in Santa Cruz
1868 (October): estimated 7.0 on Hayward fault, damage throughout county
1890 (April): strongest in Pajaro Valley, chimney and brick walls
1906 (April): damage throughout county, 7 deaths in Hinckley Canyon
1926 (October): damage in Pajaro Valley
1983 (May): Coalinga, some damage in county
1984 (April): Morgan Hill, some damage in county
1989 (October): Loma Prieta, extensive damage in county, 7 confirmed deaths.
What’s with April and October?
Last night I went to an event at Cabrillo and saw a presentation by Tom Bleier who owns a company that is researching if it is possible to predict earthquakes from the very low-frequency energies produced by rock under stress.
The website of the company is http://www.quakefinder.com/ but it seem to be broken. Blieir didn’t seem like a crank, but he’s privately funded and the UCGS doesn’t have anything to do with him. He’s training students from high schools all along the San Andreas to build instruments and deploy them, thus building a network of earthquake detectors. They aren’t predicting quakes yet, they are simply gathering data to test the hypothesis.
Here’s a news story:
He seemed to be claiming that his research shows that someday we could know that an earthquake was to occur 14 to 15 days ahead of time. How would that change things? It would change everything. We could all lay in water and soup, and prepare to camp out for a week or so. We could prepare businesses, we would keep our families together instead of leaving the kids off at day care. We could make sure that our pets had food and water and weren’t left alone. We could take care of ourselves, and not need public “shelters.” There was a time when hurricanes weren’t predictable too.