At approximately 06:17:19 UTC on Sunday, February 26th, a 6.7 magnitude earthquake based on land struck at a depth of 11.7 km (7.3 miles) in the region of SW Siberia, Russia, 101 km (62 miles) E of Kyzyl, Russia. Coords: 51.731°N, 95.921°E …(USGS)
The 6.8 magnitude earthquake that struck the Tyva republic in Russia’s East Siberia on Sunday will trigger a new series of earthquakes in the region, a Russian scientist said.
“Judging from the data received from our stations, this is not the continuation of the Tyva earthquake that occurred in late 2011 with its epicenter at the Academician Obruchev Ridge but signals a new series of earthquakes,” said Viktor Seleznyov, director of the Geophysical Institute at the Siberian branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
The earthquake, the second powerful tremor in East Siberia in the past two months, had its epicenter located 107 km (66 miles) east of the city of Kyzyl near the border with Mongolia, at a depth of 15 km. The earthquake struck at 10:20 a.m. Moscow time (06:20 GMT) with a magnitude of 6 to 7 points in the epicenter.
The earthquake caused no casualties or damage, according to preliminary data reported by the Russian Emergencies Ministry.
The previous earthquake with a 6.7 magnitude occurred in December 2011 in the Kaa-Khemsky district of Tyva, some 100 km east of the city of Kyzyl, at a depth of 10 km. The tremor caused no destruction or casualties.
The next earthquake was expected to strike closer to Lake Baikal. Normally, a fault that becomes active in one area causes a series of decreasing tremors by their magnitude, he said.
“In this case, it is most likely that some neighboring fault became active near the previous one. This means that Tyva will now be rattled by two series of earthquakes simultaneously,” he said.
Thousands of lambs have been killed by a new virus that is threatening the survival of many British farms.
The Schmallenberg virus causes lambs to be born dead or with serious deformities such as fused limbs and twisted necks, which mean they cannot survive.
Scientists are urgently trying to find out how the disease, which also affects cattle, spreads and how to fight it, as the number of farms affected increases by the day.
So far, 74 farms across southern and eastern England have been hit by the virus, which arrived in this country in January.
A thousand farms in Europe have reported cases since the first signs of the virus were seen in the German town of Schmallenberg last summer.
The National Farmers Union has called it a potential “catastrophe” and warned farmers to be vigilant. “This is a ticking time bomb,” said Alastair Mackintosh, of the NFU. “We don’t yet know the extent of the disease. We only find out the damage when sheep and cows give birth, and by then it’s too late.”
It is unclear exactly how the disease arrived in Britain, but the leading theory is that midges carried the virus across the Channel or North Sea in the autumn. However, scientists cannot yet rule out transmission of the disease from animal to animal.
Infected ewes do not show any symptoms of the virus until they give birth, with horrific results. Farmers have described delivering the deformed and stillborn animals as heartbreaking.
The lambing season has only just begun, which means that the full impact of the disease will not be felt until the weather warms up and millions more animals are born.
On the Continent, some farms have lost half of their lambs. So far the worst hit in Britain have lost 20 per cent, according to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).
QUIET SUN: With no sunspots actively flaring, the sun’s output has flatlined again.
NOAA forecasters put the chance of an M-class flare during the next 24 hours at no more than 1%. Solar activity should remain low.
AURORA WHIRLPOOL: On Feb. 14-15, Arctic skies erupted with an unexpected display of auroras that veteran observers said was among the best in months. At the height of the event, a US Defense Meteorological Program satellite photographed a whirlpool of Northern Lights over the Bering Sea:
“A number of images from the DMSP F18 satellite captured the dramatic auroral event of the last couple nights,” says analyst Paul McCrone, who processed the data at the US Navy’s Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center in Monterey, CA.
The reason for the outburst is still not completely clear. It started on Feb. 14th when a magnetic disturbance rippled around the north pole. No CME was obvious in local solar wind data at the time; the disturbance just happened. Once begun, the display was amplified by the actions of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF). The IMF near Earth tipped south, opening a crack in our planet’s magnetic defenses. Solar wind poured in and fueled the auroras.
more images: from Göran Strand of Östersund, Sweden; from Heidi Pinkerton of Birch Lake, Babbitt, Minnesota; from Roger Schneider of Tromso, Norway; from Hanneke Luijting of Tromsø, Norway; from Peter Rosén of Abisko NP, Sweden; from Jesper Grønne of Silkeborg Denmark
The submarine eruption south of El Hierro Island could be in a process of change: While visible activity on the sea surface above the vent, as well as harmonic tremor signal (thought to be more or less proportional to erupting magma flux) have nearly ceased, the number of earthquakes under the island has increased sharply since yesterday.
On 15 February, more than 20 quakes were measured. Most of the earthquakes were very small, well below magnitude 2, and were clustered beneath the NW and SW sectors of the island at depths of around 10 km. There is no conclusive interpretation of this measurement.
A possible (and usually assumed) scenario is that rising new magma from the mantle reservoir is creating new intrusions and rupturing rock to create pathways in the crust under El Hierro, not using the same paths as until now. That would explain why less magma is currently being erupted at the current vent(s). In that scenario, the eruption will continue, perhaps even from a different vent, and an increase in magma output is going to be expected any time soon. However, this is speculation.
The earthquakes could as well be related to some other (known or unknown) process, e.g. gravity-induced adjustments that respond to pressure changes and occur within previously ruptured areas of the crust beneath the island.
The next days or weeks will show what happens next.
A strong 6.0 magnitude earthquake struck on Tuesday roughly 160 miles off the coast of Oregon, the U.S. Geological Survey said. This earthquake comes one day after a 5.6 magnitude quake rattled Northern California near the Pacific Coast.
A 4.2 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Vancouver Island toward the northern edge of the Juan de Fuca plate earlier in the day on February 14 at 2:54 p.m. local time.
With all quakes, being prepared and having a plan is the only true defense as a quake can happen at any time.
At approximately 03:31:20 UTC on Wednesday, February 15th, the 6.0 magnitude earthquake based on water struck at a depth of 10.0 km (6.2 miles) off the coast of Oregon, 256 km (159 miles) W of Coos Bay, Oregon. Coords: 43.536°N, 127.381°W
The 1700 Cascadia earthquake was a magnitude 8.7 to 9.2 megathrust earthquake that occurred in the Cascadia subduction zone on January 26, 1700. The earthquake involved the Juan de Fuca Plate underlying the Pacific Ocean, from mid-Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada, south along the Pacific Northwest coast as far as northern California, USA.
The length of the fault rupture was about 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) with an average slip of 20 meters (22 yards).
The earthquake caused a tsunami that struck the coast of Japan, and may also be linked to the Bonneville Slide.
At approximately 08:19:58 UTC on Tuesday, February 14th, a 6.5 magnitude earthquake based on water struck at a depth of 54.7 km (34.0 miles) in the region of the Solomon Islands, 72 km (44 miles) W of Kira Kira, Solomon Islands. Coords: 10.387°S, 161.262°E
As well, a 6.0 Magnitude EQ struck near the East Coast of Honshu at 06:21:58, 93 km (57 miles) ESE of Mito, Honshu, Japan, at a depth of 10km (6.2 miles)… (USGS)
A powerful earthquake rocked eastern Japan Tuesday, but no tsunami warning was issued and no damage was reported at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.
The US Geological Survey said the 6.0 magnitude quake, with an epicentre 10 kilometres (six miles) deep, was centred 166 kilometres east-northeast of Tokyo, where correspondents said buildings swayed.
Japan’s meteorological agency also located the quake off the coast of Ibaraki prefecture, south of the stricken plant. A very small change of tidal level was forecast but was not expected to cause any damage. Nuclear plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) said the stricken Fukushima Daiichi plant remained stable.
A moderate earthquake struck Northern California’s coast Monday afternoon, rattling nerves around the Oregon border but yielding no immediate reports of major injuries or damage.
The magnitude-5.6 quake struck at 1:07 p.m. about 18 miles (30 kilometers) east of Trinidad, in an unincorporated part of Humboldt County, the U.S. Geological Survey said. The epicenter was a rural area near the small community of Weitchpec on the Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation, about 240 miles (350 kilometers) north of San Francisco and about 60 miles (96 kilometers) south of the Oregon border.
The temblor was widely felt within a 100-mile (160-kilometer) radius, but the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said it wasn’t large enough to generate a tsunami.
The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department and Eureka Police Department sent deputies and officers to check on residents, but dispatchers said there were no immediate reports of emergencies. Things also seemed fine on the Hoopa reservation, according to Byron Nelson Jr., the tribe’s vice chairman.
“It was just a mild shaking. It wasn’t a sharp jerk,” said Sgt. Gene McManus of the Del Norte County Sheriff’s Department, a neighboring agency that also saw no immediate problems.
On January 9, 2010, a 6.5 earthquake 25 miles southwest of Eureka ‘snapped power lines’. The last major earthquake, a magnitude 7.2 on April 25, 1992, which triggered a small tsunami. Eureka is located near the Mendocino Triple Junction Region, “one of the most seismically active regions of the San Andreas transform system”.
At approximately 21:07:02 UTC on Monday, February 13th, an earthquake based on land struck at a fairly shallow depth of 32.9 km (20.4 miles) in the region of Northern California, 10 km (6 miles) WSW of Weitchpec, CA, and 29 km (18 miles) ENE of Trinidad, CA. Coords: 41.153°N, 123.817°W
Initially reported by the USGS as a 5.3, then upgraded to a 5.5, and then 5.6.
Credit: QVS Data (http://qvsdata.wordpress.com/)
OLD SUNSPOT RETURNS: Sunspot AR1402, which unleashed an X2-class solar flare on Jan. 27th, has returned after a two-week transit around the far side of the sun. Two weeks of decay have greatly reduced the old active region.
The sunspot group, re-numbered AR1419 for its second apparition, is crackling with B- and C-class solar flares. These flares are minor compared to the eruptions of January.
The return of AR1402 is mainly significant for nostalgic reasons.
When Syrian dissidents took to the streets last year to protest the Bashar Assadregime, they did not anticipate a muted response from the world community. Thousands of civilian deaths later, outside support for Syria’s democratic movement has been almost nonexistent.
There is no air blockade to protect civilians, no significant humanitarian aid and no genocide charges against Assad. Leaders like French President Nicolas Sarkozy and U.S. President Barack Obama, both of whom spoke so strongly against Moammar Gadhafi’s carnage in Libya, have been frustratingly subdued on Syria.
Western countries like to pin the blame for the inaction on Russia and China — the two countries that vetoed a United Nations resolution that called for Assad to step down. Yet, any right-minded person would have known such a veto was coming. Considering the close ties between these countries and Syria, there was no chance they would abandon their ally. The resolution was clearly a pretense to shift the blame and avoid responsibility.
If the world does not put a stop to the massacre in Syria, the implications would be significant. Democratic activists around the world will likely question the double standard. Why were the U.S. and NATO so eager to jump into the Libyan conflict, but are staying on the sidelines in regards to the ongoing massacre in Syria?
The obvious conclusion appears to be that western countries will only intervene to prevent genocide or to support democracy when it is convenient. Libya was a convenient target, because the country is oil-rich and Gaddafi had few powerful allies. On the other hand, Syria has the backing of Russia and is a regional power.
Recent U.S. intelligence indicated al-Qaida and other terrorist groups have infiltrated Syria. The inaction by the international community may have given al-Qaida an opening to hijack the democratic movement in the region. If the information was correct, this could be the beginning of a never-ending nightmare.