Thursday, December 31, 2015

Mr. Google - Enhance the Nest Cam!

I know you are reading this!  You read everything.  We just got a video of house being hit by an earthquake which was totally useless because they didn't glue down the camera with seismic wax.

You guys are big on California and whole Left Coast.  Add functionality to the camera for very little cost.  You could do what I am trying to do in a heartbeat.  Put in an accelerometer and some seismic wax.  Next time there is an earthquake, we'll get the video and a PGV.  Or have a separate slave unit they can put on the floor slab.

I'll continue to work on my Raspberry Pi accelerometer, since I know you won't do anything, but I think it would be a great seller.  :)

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Latest Oklahoma earthquake paroxysm starts

Wow, it started early, fast and furious.  I was expecting another week or two, but maybe all that rain went down the open boreholes.

This parox will be on the lower section.  I'm calling it with this one, because the earthquake is following the mechanism, and although called an m4.3 here, it has been recorded as a M5.2, intensity 6.  This was a mixed mechanism, with shear-tension, but should act as the start of a zipper effect.  Within a week we should have a bunch of these along the shear zone, ending at Cushing.  As well, we should have some 'pure' thrusts aimed at the city.

**everything may be off a few days

***the accelerometers at Cushing should get to 20 cm/s with this parox.

ps.  If we had the hh deployed we could have seen EM pulses along the main faults. -- maybe.

ps2:  The neatest eastern earthquake video ever!  Note the kick and short duration.

ps3:  The worst damage yet, for the two zones.

ps4:  In an unexpected development, the usgs is saying the same thing, sort of, in a polite manner.

Monday, December 28, 2015

The Happy Happy Shake Meter with Magnetic Pulse Technology

This will be name of my new accelerometer with a compass chip.  Right now I'm like millions at Christmas, and got my Raspberry Pi 2 up and running.  I'm waiting for my breakout board with a dozen projects.  Soon, I'll be doing the Blinken Lights.  Reminds me of the PDP-8 I saw when I was in high school.  I won't use paper tape.  :)

In the thirty years I fooled around with accelerometers and seismometers, I've had some painful lessons.  Every time I think of some of them, I cringe.  Anyway, I learned how to make these work.  It would be amazing if I ever read that somebody else had learned this too, but nope.  The general idea is to surround OK with a bunch of hh's for the next big earthquake.  I'm going to muck around a lot, but eventually somebody is going to have to throw in some money, since it needs some server-side technology.  I'm looking at this as a kind of DropCam for seismic nerds.

The magnetic pulse thing is neat, but a very long shot.  It will use a 3-axis 12 bit magnetometer chip, but the problem is that every lightning strike will set it spinning.  I like the physics that produces a magnetic pulse 2 weeks ahead of a major earthquake.  If we actually record it, somebody may work on it.  Right now, the busgus is putting all its eggs in the stupid early warning thing.  EM technology is properly exotic, we put the sensors on the northern Polaris seismic stations, and it helps find new diamond mines.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Lisbon earthquake changed history


Did this for my g+ earthquakes collection, but decided to put it here as well, since it was so significant.  Opened the world for later colonial powers, like the British.  Shows what an earthquake can do.

Accelerometers can save lives

I got my Raspberry Pi stuff for Christmas.  I hope to make a really cheap and effective accelerometer, using the raspi zero and distribute the design.  Nobody would actually pay me anything.

This has been done before, but the projects always died.  In California they are throwing all their eggs at stupid early warning, since this is the most glamorous.  But their earthquake physics is completely wrong, and this can only be fixed with accelerometers.

You need accurate timing, and calibration.  It's quite easy now to keep a loop in the cloud with Google, so that when a big one hits, it will be recorded before everything goes down.  Much better than the twit-thing!

With a raspi and a 14 bit accelerometer chip, it should be only $20 to build.  I'll be experimenting if I need a chain of $10 accel. chips to reduce thermal noise.  Up to now all such things for seismic have had large custom seismic proof masses to reduce thermal noise.

The key improvement to life will be to read velocity on the base slab, and maybe higher up if people are rich.  Right now, engineers are obsessed with peak acceleration which is completely wrong.  A bunch of these things in OK could change that.  Right now, there isn't one in the whole place.

The other thing to change is the view on soil amplification.  It's totally wrong right now, and it will kill people.


To avoid the USGS, I'm going to call my device the "Happy Happy Shake Meter" and put in EM.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Oklahoma earthquakes starting to ramp up again.

I'm taking a word from volcanology - paroxysm, meaning to throw a hissy fit.

This is Fuego in Guatemala.  I could see it throughout some of my trip.  It was always smoking for us, but we missed this paroxysm.  It's just a show, doesn't bother anyone, just like OK earthquakes.  Let's forget about other implications.

OK had a big parox (shortened it for lazy typing) in December.  It activated New Madrid.  After it was over, I knew that it had shook everything out for a month or two.  Now I can see it coming back to life, probably something in a month.  Unlike Fuego, the next one will always be bigger, as all the stresses start to align.  I've decided they can continue to wash out oil for next to nothing, so they will be always injecting.

I'm still on for a big blowout within a year.  As usual, the boring fine print says the uncertainties are longer than our lifetimes.

Addition:  We're getting the shallow thrusts near the city on the lower zone.  I'm expecting that the next parox will be on the lower zone.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Extrapolation without physics


I like this article because it goes into the danger of trying to extract signal from noise for a correlation.  People then want to use this correlation to predict future events.  This happens all the time in earthquake studies, but was a new thing for climate.

For earthquakes, people are so jaded by the numerous attempts that they demand physics.  The electromagnetic signals are so noisy that it is easy to extract 'some signal'.  Again, this is like trying to correlate the stock market with an infinite universe of possible things, such as football, Miss Universe mistakes, or global temperature.  You can always find a correlation.

I have great fun applying rock mechanics to earthquakes, and I'm in a very tiny minority.  This is only physics I know that applies to earthquakes, and it doesn't look good for prediction.  All earthquakes start out exactly the same, with that first quartz grain slipping in water.  Then it's a series of falling dominoes.  Will it go on or stop?  To be useful, you need a signal that maps out the future rupture plane.  Is it all at the critical displacement, ready to fall?  To predict earthquakes you need some new physics, such as advance 'micro ruptures' that can map out the zone, and prepare it for the final rupture.  This would be neat, and could be tested in the lab if they ever figure out that water is essential.  They always do those tests with dry rocks.

So, here is the testable hypothesis:  For large failures, there is an 'advance' process that aligns all the quartz grains at the critical displacement, ready for stick-slip.  At this moment, there is a detectable physical property change, such as electrical conduction, or a seismic wave guide.

Like I have said, the problem with 'politicized science' is that nobody wants to dive into a hypothesis that could be proven wrong.  Bad for the career.  You never see the busgus doing it.  

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Arctic Ice Volume continues to climb

Nasa continues to whine that things are getting worse.  I don't know what they are puffing.  Once we get past this failure of an El Nino, then we'll know what cold is.  I think the climate-teests will try every statistical trick to keep the flat line from going down.  These guys are the masters of adhoc-ism, so I can't wait for them to say we are warming when we are cooling.  No observation will ever crunch that belief, it will go on and on forever.

Remember, I am not a 'denier', I merely point out the lack of physics.  Nobody can dispute the past observation, it is extrapolation into the future that requires physics.  You can correlate earthquakes with anything you want - clouds, weather, funny signals -- nothing works for the next earthquake.

It's now proven that, even during an ice age, the total heat balance of the Earth remains the same, it's just that all the heat goes South.  So, when a mile-high cliff of ice is knocking at your door, you'll still be reading that Nasa says the earth is getting warmer.  :)

Saturday, December 19, 2015

El Nino defeated, normal pattern resuming

All hope is not lost, the dead can still rise.  While touring crypts in Guatemala, we found there were all sorts of tricks to make sure you weren't buried alive.  But when excavating old coffins, they found a lot of scratch marks inside.  This El Nino might sit up and say "I'm not dead yet!".

For us in Toronto, our strong westerlies have ended and we are getting the dreaded "Polar Vortex".  All the heat from the dead El Nino is now going south, and we are resuming the normal pattern of the last few years.

I am not mentioning a certain state that starts with 'C', because if this holds, then they are dead.  Who needs a giant earthquake?  So, let's not talk to them, and keep their hopes alive for Christmas.  In the East, the cold weather could revive the moribund natural gas price, and start up Oklahoma again.

ps. Australia confirms this.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Google auto movie of Guatemala

Wonderful trip, I think I might be recovering.  This is place is choked with rampant population growth, and huge inequality.  Nothing works, but the people are almost the happiest in the world.  That's the Latin fever.

If you take the monster tour bus you are sheltered from the fact that the place is choked.  The hotels and sites are wonderful.  Here's the movie.


Back home

It's great to be back.  Comments are open again.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Fun in Guatemala

Very inexpensive. Tourism seems down. But you really need a bus tour. We have a big luxury bus.

Artistic earthquake damage

Monday, December 7, 2015

Linux and Android - getting an OTG USB disk to work

I'm going travelling, and in case there wasn't super-duper wifi everywhere, I bought a 64gb Lexar OTG USB disk with a micro-usb2 connector on one side and a usb3 standard connector on the other.  OMG!  that was half a day to get it work on the Nexus 7-2.  I don't even know what worked - using tware format on windows to format it to fat32 or multiple power offs.  Finally it works, but you really have to eject it properly.  When it works, android picks it up, and you can use any file explorer.  You can put a lot of movies on it for the plane, and a lot of pictures.

It didn't do anything with the Nexus 5x no matter what I did.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Oklahoma starting to go big again

Darn, just as I'm getting ready to go to the Land of Big Tectonics.  I've closed comments on everything, since I can't police them for terrorist codes.

Oh yeah, OK M4.3 strike slip.  It shook out a whole bunch of little earthquakes.

ps.  They finally came up with a fault plane solution, so it is longitudinal splitting caused by compression at the ends.  The whole thing is becoming a single shear.

ps2.  I'm just about to leave.  OK looks steady right now, perhaps that was just another leftover.  Pictures of active volcanoes coming soon.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Untreated depression takes its toll

This latest shooting is probably just another case of untreated male depression.  Probably a good hunk of shooting deaths in the States is due to this.  He was about the age when it hits.  Perhaps the wife was abused, but Bonny and Clyde pairings have happened before.

In the terrorist belts, there is a whole infrastructure dedicated to finding these suicidal depressives, and equipping them.  In the States, none of that is necessary.  As soon as the person snaps, he can accumulate all the weapons he needs.  There are millions of people with enough stuff in their basements to wipe out a small town.

As a depressive myself, I think there are two things that make the situation worse.  First, Hollywood glories in untreated depression.  Look at all the latest movies!  It wouldn't be a story if the person just got a little pill and was all better.  Depression is good, and even better if you go out and kill people.  Of course, it's always 'bad' people they kill.

And of course, there's the other thing.  Each year lots of people step in front of subway trains, but that lacks satisfaction in the planning.  Far better to get a gun.  Perhaps a lot of them.  What are you going to do with all these guns?  Big boxes of ammo are glorious.  Out to kill bad people!  Everybody who wants to live is bad.

We'd be better off if we had a culture of recognizing the symptoms and then getting people the little pills.  There should be no stigma to realizing you need a little help.  But until that happens we'll see more and more killings, and it has nothing to do with radical terrorism.

Addition:  From an earthquake perspective, one has to determine if this has the potential to go exponential, that is, an ever-increasing rate of mass shootings, with larger impacts.  The rate of going suicidal should be steady, since it is a genetic factor.  The availability of the Internet is probably saturated, so the culture and material to identify 'bad guys' is steady.  Open information might lead to earlier treatment, but I doubt it.  That just leaves the ease and cost of accumulating powerful weapons.  Cost is going down, and availability is going up in a linear fashion.  So it's a tough call, but I think it's weak exponential.  So, expect an increasing rate of shootings, with higher impact.  That means the graph of 'shooter deaths' could be to the power of 2, just like earthquakes in Oklahoma and the potential of death.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Oklahoma earthquakes have settled down

I'm now thinking that Monday's 4.7 was just a leftover from the intense activity of last week.  That truly was the first signal of a large quake.  Looks like there isn't a second signal.  That activity really shook things up a lot so we can expect a period of quiet.

During that time, all the wells they closed will open up again, and inject like mad.  Natural gas prices have tanked due to El Nino winter warming, so there might be less gas frack waste.  I am therefore hoping for a quiet Christmas, but who knows?

During this time, they can extend the injection to the 'virgin' territory SW of the northern shear line.  An M7 only requires 30 km of fault, which they have.  They can go on to an M8 when they extend it to 300 km.