Sunday, January 31, 2010

Texting's Terrible Toll


TORONTO — Little or no grammar teaching, cellphone texting, social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, all are being blamed for an increasingly unacceptable number of post-secondary students who can't write properly.

Ha! Let's see, before texting, and the internet, I would spend all my 'free' time watching Gilligan's Island and Star Trek. I would also endlessly read sci-fi books. Was this better than texting or Facebook? Who knows?

Seismic Retrofit


Interesting article on the issue of retrofitting the old brick downtown of Napa, California. This area is in a 'hot' seismic zone, but nothing big has happened in living memory. The mere fact that old brick buildings are standing, is proof of that.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Niagara Tunnel into the Cap Rock

Ah, I love that as soon as I complain that they are hiding something, they come out with their report! What's a guy to do?

January 27th 2010
The tunnel is 5,711 meters (18,737 feet) long at an elevation below the surface of 89 meters (292 feet).
There is no tunnel over-break. TBM averaging 18.5 meters (70 feet) per day

The Concrete Invert Bridge is at 3,725 meters

The Overbreak Restoration Carrier is at 700 meters

There it is! We are in the DeCew, and zooming along at high speed! All their troubles are behind them. No more rock squeeze! I can retire from reporting on this....

US Gives Up on Underground Nuclear Storage


The idea of storing, and ultimately burying, nuclear spent fuel underground is outdated, Hamilton said, adding, "It has been made clear to me that science has advanced dramatically since the Yucca site was chosen 20 years ago or so. We are going to pull together the current information and research to develop a plan."

Wow! This 'blue panel' is 90% political, with 2 scientists. I pity them! They are rejecting underground at the start, and going for 'something else'. Canada will be next on the 'something else' bandwagon!

These people have a two year party before they come up with this original idea. They'll probably hold 'hearings' at all the national party spots!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Texas Nukes Die


Texas' chances of getting a new nuclear power reactor look bleaker than ever.

NRG Energy chief executive David Crane said Friday morning that he's willing to walk away from plans to build two new reactors in South Texas if a deal to jointly share costs and ownership with the City of San Antonio unravels.

I always thought these plants had the very best chance of starting in the US. After all, it's in fat and growing Texas, and they don't give a shit about nuclear waste or the environment! The nuclear displaces burning oil!

But now, everybody is going gaga over the chance of cost overruns. Did the Niagara Tunnel scare them all? It used to be "No way these things are going over budget, so we won't even think about it!" What has happened to this fairy tale? Who burst their bubble?

So, no nuclear plants will be built until we are staring death in the face, or Houston loses its air conditioning! My dreams of actually getting a slice of the "new nuclear action" are shattered. :(

Working up a Knol

Well, the Knol-guy got me feeling guilty. He's the only one doing anything about Knols, and is feeling kind of lonely. I used to write lots of wikipedia articles, and then I wrote a lot of knols. Why did I stop?

Well, for the wiki-thing, I got as far as I could with public sources. Do you know what a pain it is to get images for those articles? Everybody puts conditions on those images, except the USGS, and I squeezed them as far as they could go! All the interesting stuff is behind the pay-wall, and I would never use that as a source, although many poorly-written wikis use them as references, which you can't check up.

So, the knol is "The Great Lakes Controversy"

-starts with a picture of the lakes
-looks like ice lobes, must be ice lobes
-reference to Kiplings 'Just So' stories, how the leopard got its spots, etc
-show pictures related to ice
-the concept of "The Glacial Bulldozer"
-yada yada

My brain has died! I have tons of material, but this looks tedious. I'll need some solid encouragement to keep this going. But for now, I am sinking with the weekend, my blog hits, my ad revenue, and maybe I'll come back Monday... :)

Water Vapour Blows Carbon Dioxide


“Current climate models do a remarkable job on water vapour near the surface. But this is different — it’s a thin wedge of the upper atmosphere that packs a wallop from one decade to the next in a way we didn’t expect,”

I've always said this, and I got it from a lecture 20 years ago. Note how everybody is so infinitely PC about not offending the carbon fanatics!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Earthquakes Beat Global Warming


A United Nations report finds more people died from earthquakes in the past decade than from any other disaster. Data compiled by the Center for Research on Epidemiology of Disasters says earthquakes remain a serious threat for millions of people worldwide.

Nyah! Nyah!

El Nino Plasters Machu Picchu


Every 7 to 15 years it rains on the deserts of Peru, and everything turns to mud. So, the lesson here kiddies, is not to visit on those days!

I was there! I loved my trip to Peru, and the visit to Machu Picchu. The ancient Inca stonework feels lovely to the touch. It exudes strength!

The SuperStack Will Save Us!


A global plan to put man-made particles into the atmosphere to deflect the Sun's heat would rapidly lower global temperatures until cuts in carbon dioxide emissions took effect, they argued.

Sudbury had it right all along! Just a little bit higher, a little bit more force, and some engineered nano-sulphate! We would be the heroes of the world! Or perhaps the US Seismic Bomb, placed anywhere in the Philippines?

Betting on the Next Earthquake Disaster


Santo Domingo.- The magnitude 7 earthquake which practically destroyed Haiti’s capital on January 12 didn’t surprise the scientists who study the Caribbean’s seismic risks, but one of them went even further, affirming that if he had to wager as to where the tremor would occur, he’d bet on Dominican Republic’s North, and not Haiti.

Oh! We earthquake people so much need an international betting pool! Where will the next disaster pop out of the woodwork? How would we define that it meets the grade? 50,000 dead? or only 200, like something in California. Perhaps by economic loss? over 1 billion?

For economic loss, I pick Toronto, with 50 people dead, and 10,000 homeless. For high life loss, I pick Lima, with 100,000 dead. Who will set up the pool? I'll bet a whole day of blog earnings on it! :)

*The preceeding has been black humour. There is no betting pool, we earthquake scientists are too saintly to do such a horrible thing.

Dubai Secret Tunnel


OOOHHH! Have I got a scoop ahead of TunnelTalk! This is proof that the development in bankrupt Dubai was a little bit crazy!

A Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) official said they weren't aware of the tunnel which links Downtown Burj Khalifa to Al Mafraq Road and bypasses heavy Dubai Mall traffic congestion on Financial Centre Road (formerly Doha Road).

They have a perfectly good road tunnel that nobody knows about! This is much better than having a non-tunnel (Niagara) that everybody knows about, but nobody says anything!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Haiti Buildings Made of Paste and String


Well, I can't get through with the apple event, which has clogged the whole internet! So much for coveritlive and twitter, they have gone down in a flaming heap! So I present this rather useless article.

A big Berkley seismic guy goes down to Haiti. "Hey, all these buildings are knocked down!", he says. "They were made of wallpaper paste, and rebar string."

"Ooooh!", everybody says. :)

Niagara Tunnel Stops Reporting Again

It's been 17 days since the last vague report that they may have started moving, with conditions worse than ever. No report on their daily progress. Now, the dying media would take this non-report, and not report it

Technology Digression: The bankrupt newspapers are pinning all their hopes on today's apple show! I've got news for them. These apple fans don't read! They just buzz around talking on their iphones, while wearing dark clothes and crossing Toronto streets! (a lot of them dead recently). There must be a limit! They can't text, listen to music, watch the latest video, talk away, figure out the next club they go to (gps), cross the street, and read a book at the same time! Or can they?

But I digress. Apple readers would not be interested in this tunnel story of no progress. But I am! I'll make things up! Maybe they had another tunnel failure? Maybe the overbreak has reached the surface, and they swallowed Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum? I can think of all sorts of things....

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Toronto, the Next Haiti - Part 3

The goal of earthquake mitigation (or the magical billion dollars in my pocket), is to affect the curves in some beneficial way. We can only try to change the local curves, but we must always keep in mind the global curve.

Obviously, the best thing to do is to raise the standard of living well above the 'line of death'. This cannot be done by aid, but by open trade and meaningful employment. Haiti's sugar and other agricultural products are blocked by US protectionism.

Better construction can shorten the initial big dip, and better planning can steepen the recovery curve. Are there cities where it is hopeless to sink a billion dollars to try to change the curve? You bet! Could I have done anything with New Orleans before the storm? My billion would have been swallowed by corruption.

Could I have done anything for Haiti? You will notice that the politicians and newspapers tiptoe around the issue of overpopulation and a certain church. If I had poured my billion into that valley of death, it would have resulted in more overcrowding, and more illegal levels being added to the existing crap buildings.

What about Padang, Indonesia? Here it is, a giant tsunami-scoop basin with no evacuation exits! Right in front, the stage is set for an M8 (or more). If it is packed to the gills, then you can't do much. If they have the income, newer buildings can be tsunami refuges, but that's a lot of money! I'm afraid a billion dollars is a bucket of water on the desert.

But you can do something about rich cities! Right now, many of them are hopelessly smug, and say something like this: "We're not California, or Haiti, so we don't have to do anything!" But so much could be done! We have a moral obligation to the world curve, to reduce massive economic loss, where we can prevent it!

So now, we are in the company of cities such as Toronto, Montreal, New York and Boston. There are many others who have the 10-3 odds of major devastation, and yet have done nothing about it. That billion dollars could go into 'earthquake awareness', and have an effect. Studies could be done, and other simple things accomplished. As I have said before, the odds are so low that each individual city will 'pooh-pooh' it, and place it below potholes, but on a world scale, this happens all the time.

In summary, a devastating urban earthquake hits somewhere in the world, every few years or so. The worst hit are the places where there hasn't been a major earthquake in 300 years, and absolutely nothing had been done in advance. Some cities may be too hopeless to do anything, but there are many places where great improvements can be made for a reasonable amount of money.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Haiti Rescue 'Call-off' Meaningless


Under normal circumstances, when the rescue effort is called off, it is time to bring in the bulldozers. You could have the rescue period go on forever! Surely, there is one person buried with tons of food and water! But, there are all those disease-causing bodies buried under open rubble, and the rain will wash out and contaminate everything. It is time to bury the trapped bodies.

They've done that for most recent earthquakes, like Italy. The heavy equipment comes in and takes down those dangling structures, that could kill people with the next aftershock, and they clear out and pile everything in a giant mountain of burial rubble. But there's no heavy equipment here! They can't do anything!

So, the rescue crews can be as stubborn as they want, and refuse to leave. Only the threat of disease might start to keep them away. The next phase of recovery doesn't happen until they can call in the bulldozers.

Toronto, the Next Haiti - Part 2

Any urban earthquake immediately lowers the local standard of living, in a precipitous drop. If it is a very poor city, living just above the 'line of death', then the earthquake may result in many deaths.

The Line of Death (LOD), is very close to the actual standard of living, due to poverty, famine, poor housing etc. If you are extremely close, then buildings collapse under their own weight! The amount of time spent under this line may determine the total dead, ie. a slow recovery brings disease, etc.

A rich city has more margin about the LOD. They can take a hit without massive loss of life.

However, they may have a line where there is severe economic disruption, and a significant crash in the standard of living. This is due to power outages in winter, roads, bridges, etc. If you hit that point, a lot of money flies out the window!

This brings us to the world curve. Any earthquake will have a blip on the world standard of living. We know that just a small increase saves many life-years, due to better education, mobile phones, laptops for children, etc. A small dip or slowdown can affect millions, and perhaps shorten their lives. The effect may be far beyond any local effect, such as in Haiti.

Our main object in earthquake prevention, is to minimize these curves, especially the world curve. We can reduce the extent of the dip, and steepen the recovery phase. All this comes at the cost of carefully 'investing' that billion dollars I have in my pocket for this type of work (I wish!). After all, a billion put in one thing, cannot be put in another.

-to be continued.

The Earthquake Interest Curve

This is shot of my hits during the past Haiti ordeals. We can see things go very hot, and then drop. I got a fancy bottle of wine out of it!

This is the standard curve for all earthquakes. People are very interested in the drama, and then totally forget things until the next earthquakes. It's a pity, because I'm always interested!

Haiti has a tough road ahead. You have a city of 3 million which was wiped off the map. How do they regain their livelihoods? It's not like New Orleans, where everybody goes off to Houston! I wonder what the cost of reconstruction will be, and whether the aid money gets anywhere near the amount.

What can they do about reconstruction, when you absolutely know they'll be hit by a monster M8 in 20 years or less? If I had the money, I would build a good cement plant, a rebar plant, steel fabricator, and most importantly, a plant making screw piles! I would put every building on screw piles, down to refusal. Then I would make all the buildings out of integrated form concrete, with light steel roofs. These people also have to worry about disease, fire, and hurricanes. Of course, water and sewage would be the first thing to lay down. All in all, less than the cost of the Niagara Tunnel overruns!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Uncertainty Around Zero - The Maple Story


This is a nice background on the Maple story. It turns out that they made an absolute promise of having a negative power coefficient, but that the uncertainties of their calculations were really quite high. Thus, you are futzing around zero within your uncertainty fuzz. When it came out a bit above zero, all regulatory hell broke loose. I'm a bit alarmed that they didn't brace the fuel bundles, like the Koreans, since they are in the SEISMIC DEATH PIT OF HELL, but who cares? The things aren't on.

Oops, I forgot, I'm not writing...

Thursday, January 21, 2010

No Pro, Bro!

Ok, somebody stick my picture on their poster, when they take to the streets. I won't be there, since I have crowd anxiety, and I'm a lazy bum. Hell, I only took the kids once to the Santa Claus Parade, before I swore 'Never Again!'.

Iron and Nuclear Waste


This is in response to a reader question, who paid my drinking tab for the day, by clicking. Actually, in the winter, with my depressive cycles, I can barely sniff the stuff, so my tab is low!

Chemical reactions that take place this deep within the earth means that, should all three barriers be breached, the interaction between the iron and groundwater would create large amounts of hydrogen which, under the naturally high pressures 500m below the surface, would prevent the uranium from dissolving.

Good old Sweden! They have chosen to place their nuclear waste, in glaciated, very leaky granite. To do that, they need a story. They have decided to create the world's richest copper mine, by encasing the waste in expensive containers. They can't stop open-channel flow, the copper isn't good enough, so now they pull the old Iron Rabbit, out of the hat.

I don't have a clue how that works. Supposedly, the fizzing iron creates a 'super shield' of hydrogen bubbles which stops the Evil Wizard of Corrosion. Great story!

TunnelTalk Ottawa Article


Yeah! I suggested to them that this was a fascinating topic, and they waded in with a professional article. Not like me!

Preliminary studies also indicate three inactive faults cross the tunnel alignment in the downtown core that will likely affect the quality of the bedrock and the hydrogeological regime. More detailed testing of the geotechnical and hydro-geological conditions will be advanced in the preliminary and detailed design phases.

Yeah! Inactive faults!

Toronto, the Next Haiti? Part 1


The headline was chosen for my next series, as a deliberate shot across the bow for the rather stupid Toronto Earthquake Authorities (actually, they don't exist, so I could just say 'extremely intelligent'). Obviously, there are a zillion reasons why Toronto is not the next Haiti (in earthquake terms), if you want to get selective about it.

Well, there's nothing left for Haiti, other than the crying, and the bulldozers. The next effort is in rebuilding the place, and making an effort to prevent this from happening throughout the world. For that, we need some hard science.

An earthquake causes the local instantaneous drop in the quality of life, or standard of living, through the damage to housing stock, and lifeline support (roads, communication, etc). For cities on the verge of life, this drop causes massive instantaneous death. For other places, we can call the equivalent in 'life-year reduction'. Any drop in standard of living can result in the loss of millions of life-years.

If I had a billion dollars burning a hole in my pocket, dedicated to just earthquake mitigation, where would I put it? Should I weigh by instantaneous death, or life-years saved? This series goes by life-years, not by the more dramatic measure, and you can see that Toronto isn't that far from Haiti, as you would believe.

The following was just an opening salvo. I haven't thought a bit about what I'm actually going to say! I shall now think my way out of this....

Les French Nuclear Cat Fight


My blog readership continues to zoom, and I'm glad everybody realizes how nervous this makes me, by plying me with wine!

PARIS — Prime Minister Fran├žois Fillon on Wednesday summoned the squabbling chiefs of EDF and Areva to a meeting to calm tensions in the country’s increasingly dysfunctional-looking nuclear power industry.

Oh, how the Mighty French have fallen! I think they are getting the Canada Disease, which is derived from the Japan Disease, which came from the Soviet Disease.

All these comes from letting the Drunken Old Boys run everything, with self-similar organizations.

I know, I know, I'm being nasty here. I should be more happy, happy. Maybe I'll find some good news, like AECL getting the Rusty Bucket of Seismic Death working again. Yeah, that's the ticket! :)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Ontario Picks Another 'Winner'

Coming soon, to your 'getaway' spot!

Smithers' final legacy - another multi-billion dollar 'winner'. The landscape is littered with these winners! Well, hopefully we'll soon run out of money to finance all these 'slam dunks' of his. I think I put his account up to 10-20 billion dollars wasted. He'll make a fine mayor for Toronto! :)

German nuclear waste to be removed


It was decided to use Asse in the 1960s and 1970s but this is seen as a licensing failure: The complex is in the upper portions of the salt, which are now unstable and increasingly allowing the ingress of groundwater. Ultimately this would be expected to erode waste canisters and allow contamination of groundwater.

Wow! This follows my scenario for the Bruce Waste Fiasco perfectly! Of course, Bruce hasn't even started yet, but one day they will have the nerve to open the environmental review show.

Haiti 'Aftershock' - The Long March to Jamaica

Is today's earthquake an aftershock, or the unzipping of a known 'marcher' fault? Obviously, that's a stupid rhetorical question! At least the quakes will be farther away, and our friend's house wouldn't be bothered. However, once these 'little' quakes have lined all their ducks in a row, I'm still expecting an overlapping M8, which is sufficient to 'finish' that end of the fault for another 200 years. M6's and 7's just ain't gonna do it!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Miracle from Haiti

Our lady who was missing and feared dead has shown up! Her ancestral home is still standing (must be on rock, or something), and she has reported in. She has chosen to stay in Haiti and help out. God Bless!

Istanbul Next


Their 3D model of the fault's seismic mechanics points to annual slippage of between 12.8 and 17.8 millimetres (0.5-0.7 inches) per year, or as much as 45 percent less than estimated before. In addition, the movement rates vary by 40 percent along the main fault.

As a result, builtup energy could be released along the segment in a progressive string of ruptures at stress points, as opposed to a massive quake that would tear the section open in one go.

No more original comments from me, not worth it. :( I shall be as mindless as all the other blogs.

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Weenies - Cancelled

I've got the post-earthquake blues. I'm haunted by my own dream images of Haiti, and my current writing compulsion is dead. As well, I get the same number of ad clicks if I have 500 or 50 hits a day. And I've got a head cold!

So, I was excited about the Ottawa tunnel. My contention was that it could be constructed with intelligence, just like the Niagara Tunnel could have been constructed with intelligence. My 'Weenie' series would look at tunnels with the same horrible geology at Ottawa, but totally successful. My first look was the Seikan Tunnel, which isn't, successful, that is.

The Seikan Tunnel is currently the worlds longest tunnel, and may still win as the worst conditions in the world (until Ottawa comes along!). It was built through volcanic beds that were wrenched up to vertical, so it had lots of porous channels to the sea. And in Japan, you can't spit without hitting an active fault!

They constructed first a pilot tunnel, then a medium tunnel, and finally the main tunnel. Even with that (and an infinite amount of grout!), they still got pissed out of the tunnel once.

The tunnel can be considered an economic failure. They only made it wide enough to hold one standard train, and one dinky train. You can't go too fast because of air pressure. When you ride in it, you constantly hear the sea pouring in, to remind you that if there were to be an earthquake, you're dead! Needless to say, everybody takes the cheaper air flights!

So, this tunnel does not get on the candidate list. The new 'longest' tunnel will be the Goddard Base Tunnel, but that's TBM with excellent rock conditions. BAH!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Faults in Ontario? Oh, my!


We've gone to the next stage after a major earthquake -- "What about me?" Ten years ago we had lots of people here who would spin great stories, but they seem to have self-immolated. You will notice that nobody talks about earthquakes around here, except me!

Some of the stress from that travels through the North American Plate, causing so-called intra-plate earthquakes when that stress builds up around some smaller geological structures or weaker parts of the overall plate.

This is truly the first statement about Ontario earthquakes, from an institution, in a very long time! I am happy.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Nary a Seismometer in Haiti


Haiti’s political situation had made it a difficult place to do science, Calais says. “A lot of researchers who otherwise would have liked to work in Haiti decided not to…. There is very little science infrastructure.”

Though the planet is littered with some 4,000 seismic stations that constantly detect waves produced as the Earth’s crust moves and shifts, not one station is in Haiti, the scientists note.

And I thought there'd be one, at least! At least we find out here that the fault ruptured for 31 km, which makes it a sound M7.0. As I have said, a 3 km M6.0 might not have made any difference, but who knows? This is an absolutely smooth fault which make M8's a distinct possibility, but everything depends on location.

We will never find out the PGV that caused this, or the extent of soft basin amplification. The rebuilding will just have to make some assumptions, and I wonder what could possibly be done here. Will there be enough money to bring in steel frames? Could a concrete frame building survive this, since we now expect an overlapping M8 in 20 years. I am very interested.

The Weenie - World's Worst Tunnel Projects

I am now going through all my books and searching as best I can on the internet. I'm looking for really horrible tunneling projects, ones that were successful, through the worst conditions.

I'm not looking for financial disasters, like going too cheap on a tunnel, but what you can do when things are really bad. It's my contention that Niagara could have easily been done with 2-3 billion at the start, instead of its final cost of 5 billion (they haven't told you that, have they?).

Now, we have Ottawa. If they acknowledge 'badness' at the start, they should be able to pull it off for 2-3 billion. Most of the rock is probably good, with some really bad spots.

The point is, that this has all been done before. Intelligent people have tunneled through bad rock. I'm have trouble finding case studies, because they are all behind the 'pay wall', but I'll try.

The winner is awarded 'The Weenie', which is an imaginary prize representing what I think a really bad tunnel, badly done, would do.....

Lovely Lady Missing in Haiti

Our family is now touched by the tragedy in Haiti. My kids went to an all-French public school in Toronto, because the spouse is French-Can. The academic spirit of the whole school was M. Jean from Haiti. She was the librarian and the Grade One teacher.

Her spirit dominated everything. I am sure my kids vaulted in academics because of her. When she retired, she went back to her ancestral home in Haiti, to organize libraries for the children there.

Now, she's on the list of 1400+ Canadians missing. I hope for the best, but her home was a lovely 200 year old Spanish Colonial. There aren't any of those standing anymore. :(

Friday, January 15, 2010

Ottawa Tunnel a 'Slam Dunk'


OTTAWA — Premier Dalton McGuinty and mayoral candidate Jim Watson Thursday reiterated their support for Ottawa’s $2.1-billion light-rail project, clearing any lingering doubts and paving the way for the implementation of the plan.

Yeah! When the Niagara Tunnel goes tits up, there will be something else!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Niagara Tunnel Fresh Air

I just got a note from my own 'Deep Throat', that I was right in my guess on how the roof fell. Conspiracies can never hold together.... :)

Isotope Delays - Yada, Yada


"We're having problems, it might take another week."

Ha, Ha. In this day of earthquake doom and gloom, we always have the aecl jokers to cheer us up! I love these guys!.....

It takes an earthquake

Wow! Look at my hits zoom up! Not a speck in the ad department, though. I guess that troubled people looking this stuff up aren't interested in sleazy 'meet girl' ads!

Still, I have really milked subject as far a I can go. Now it's just pictures of massive death and destruction. Depressing....

That's always the problem with the fun subject of earthquakes. Nobody believes you until everybody is dead, and what use are they? Now the barn door will close after the earthquake horses have run, and something will be done. A bit like airline security, I suppose.... :)

I wonder if an earthquake slightly closer to home than California will shake up the good burgermeisters of Canada?

The Next 'Haiti Earthquake'

This fault has a recorded history of 'marching' down the track, but it takes over 100 years to work it's way to Jamaica. I was just thinking that this fault should be able to pop out M8's, but it wouldn't make any difference! I would have predicted the same damage for an M6 at the same spot. The only difference would be in the size of the aftershocks, which must have done a number on the damaged buildings.

So where would be the other spots where I would get the same 'cringe' (number of deaths) if I saw it on the old ticker-tape?

Lima, Peru - old Spanish colonial, bursting with people, urban M6 probably saturates.

Padang - but you need a tsunami M8+

Istanbul - probably saturates at M7, since they have done some work.

China - any place, M7 or greater

Tokyo, but that has to be M8 or greater, right under the city.

Cairo - M7 under the city.

Too horrible to think about any more, but all these are at about the same odds as Haiti.

Developed cities would have far less deaths, but great economic damage to the world (at the same odds).

New York City - urban M6 - all transport shut down

Toronto - urban M6 - all power shut down

Montreal - urban M5.5 because of all the Mo-Mafie buildings!

Lisbon - M8 offshore

And of course, all of California. M8+

Like I said, these are the places where I would say 'Oh crap!' if I saw a close earthquake.

Ottawa Tunnel Proceeds


This is cute. I shall be following the plan, with great interest.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Haiti Earthquake - Relative Plate Motions Huge!


Ok, I said I would leave this alone, but I'm getting so many hits and so little money, that I'm still interested. I was going on the thought that the relative plate motion was about half that of the San Andreas. This would get into my thoughts of Living Memory, and how, below a certain strain rate, all thoughts of earthquake preparation go out the window. This is what happens in Toronto!

Basically, if nobody remembers there was an earthquake 'back in '54', or whatever, then earthquakes don't exist! The California strain rate of 2-4 cm a year seems to be the minimum required for enforced building codes! Our strain rate in Toronto is about 10 times less than that. You can actually express an overall strain for California at about 10-6 per year, and Toronto might be 10-7 to 10-8. Needless to say, the earthquakes here are beyond 'living memory' and so we will be poleaxed when it actually comes!

Now, for Haiti, they haven't had an earthquake like this for 250 years, and the books generally say that Carib. earthquakes aren't generally over M5.0. That gives me a low strain rate.

But what gives? This paper gives a relative motion (over a very narrow zone) of 2 cm per year! That's San Andreas power! And that is the big sucker fault that caused this last earthquake of maybe M7.3, which is a rip about 100 km long.

It basically means that we've been fooled by historic earthquake rates. It also means that M7.3 might be small for this region, we can easily get a Big Ripper - M8.0 or bigger. Is this earthquake a sign of more to come?

Haiti Earthquake - Hundred Thousand Plus Dead


That's just a guess by a paper, but it would be up there with Tangshan, China. When I first saw it flash by on the ticker-tape, I estimated tens of thousands, but I don't really know the total population of the area.

Here's where it gets depressing, and outside of scientific inquiry. There's nothing to learn here, we've seen this again and again. I hope they can figure out housing which can withstand earthquakes and hurricanes. I'm not going to report on this anymore. Your ad clicks can stop me from sliding into depression. :) :( :) :) <=== bipolar!

Haiti Earthquake - Aftershocks

Haiti is being rolled by aftershocks. This will make it doubly difficult to find out what is going on. Rescue efforts are going to be dicey.

MAP 5.0 2010/01/13 07:23:04 18.355 -72.884 10.0 HAITI REGION
MAP 4.5 2010/01/13 06:58:27 18.346 -73.062 10.0 HAITI REGION
MAP 4.5 2010/01/13 06:48:03 18.379 -72.876 10.0 HAITI REGION
MAP 4.6 2010/01/13 06:24:17 18.339 -73.059 10.0 HAITI REGION
MAP 4.7 2010/01/13 05:49:24 18.431 -73.019 10.0 HAITI REGION
MAP 4.9 2010/01/13 05:24:03 18.438 -72.837 10.0 HAITI REGION
MAP 5.2 2010/01/13 05:18:03 18.386 -72.905 10.0 HAITI REGION
MAP 5.7 2010/01/13 05:02:58 18.417 -72.945 10.0 HAITI REGION
MAP 3.2 2010/01/13 04:28:17 57.392 -154.257 35.6 KODIAK ISLAND REGION, ALASKA
MAP 5.0 2010/01/13 03:52:22 -20.219 -68.605 64.9 POTOSI, BOLIVIA
MAP 4.7 2010/01/13 03:31:57 18.254 -72.922 10.0 HAITI REGION
MAP 2.7 2010/01/13 03:30:39 32.445 -115.159 27.6 BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO
MAP 4.6 2010/01/13 03:17:12 18.398 -72.997 10.0 HAITI REGION
MAP 4.6 2010/01/13 02:54:20 18.393 -72.974 10.0 HAITI REGION
MAP 3.2 2010/01/13 02:47:58 18.840 -64.493 33.3 VIRGIN ISLANDS REGION
MAP 4.7 2010/01/13 02:43:48 18.484 -72.984 10.0 HAITI REGION
MAP 2.5 2010/01/13 02:43:38 36.395 -117.870 0.2 CENTRAL CALIFORNIA
MAP 4.8 2010/01/13 02:26:35 18.470 -72.836 10.0 HAITI REGION
MAP 4.7 2010/01/13 02:17:58 18.451 -72.956 10.0 HAITI REGION
MAP 4.9 2010/01/13 02:11:31 18.445 -73.026 10.0 HAITI REGION
MAP 5.4 2010/01/13 01:57:35 18.459 -72.924 10.0 HAITI REGION
MAP 5.0 2010/01/13 01:55:17 18.397 -72.824 10.0 HAITI REGION
MAP 5.5 2010/01/13 01:36:32 18.363 -72.832 10.0 HAITI REGION
MAP 5.3 2010/01/13 01:32:45 18.384 -72.950 10.0 HAITI REGION
MAP 4.7 2010/01/13 01:24:33 18.494 -72.811 10.0 HAITI REGION
MAP 5.1 2010/01/13 01:16:52 18.431 -72.856 10.0 HAITI REGION
MAP 4.6 2010/01/13 01:05:50 18.537 -72.666 10.0 HAITI REGION
MAP 5.2 2010/01/13 00:59:06 18.257 -72.914 10.0 HAITI REGION
MAP 5.0 2010/01/13 00:43:28 18.541 -72.486 10.0 HAITI REGION
MAP 4.8 2010/01/13 00:23:57 18.410 -72.716 10.0 HAITI REGION
y/m/d h:m:s LAT
deg LON
km Region
MAP 4.5 2010/01/12 23:47:39 18.471 -72.851 10.0 HAITI REGION
MAP 4.5 2010/01/12 23:35:40 18.437 -72.811 10.0 HAITI REGION
MAP 4.8 2010/01/12 23:27:37 18.454 -72.808 10.0 HAITI REGION
MAP 4.8 2010/01/12 23:14:34 -13.800 34.491 10.0 MALAWI
MAP 5.1 2010/01/12 23:12:04 18.386 -72.555 10.0 HAITI REGION
MAP 4.2 2010/01/12 23:07:04 18.432 -72.620 10.0 HAITI REGION
MAP 5.5 2010/01/12 22:12:05 18.485 -72.556 10.0 HAITI REGION
MAP 5.9 2010/01/12 22:00:42 18.321 -72.848 10.0 HAITI REGION
MAP 7.0 2010/01/12 21:53:10 18.451 -72.445 10.0 HAITI REGION