Thursday, June 30, 2011

Summer and the fishing is fine

Well, I'm winding down blogging for fishing.  It's the start of the bass season, and I should be more into that.  I'd like to say I'm shutting down completely, but that's a horrible thing to do, since we know then there will be a big earthquake tomorrow.

Things on the back burner.

AECL - now all the wait is over.

Bruce Deep Thing - nothing going on as the greenies buy their chains.

New Nuclear - see AECL above.

New Zealand - there can't be any more damage there, even though we'll get a big earthquake every few months.

The US - they shall just sink, gracefully.

Thus, really, even if I went canoeing up north with no news whatsoever, I don't expect anything to happen.  :)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

AECL sold for a buck, no chance for new reactors


SNC-Lavalin will focus on servicing the 34 CANDU reactors in seven countries, said Yuri Lynk, an analyst at Canccord Genuity in Montreal.
“The main gist behind buying it is to get guaranteed access to the refurbishment work,” Lynk said in a telephone interview. “They’re still working on the design for third- generation reactors while their competitors are well on their way to completing similar if not bigger reactors in China and they’ve even broken ground in Georgia.”

I think this about tells the story.  SNC will do their usual job of milking the existing candu's, and no chance for new reactors since they are blown out of the water.

What will Ontario do?



Very cute.  Will latch your cupboard in an earthquake.  I wonder how you test them?

NZ Earthquake Paper


Not bad, but very political.  Makes for interesting reading.

Deep Bruce has handed out the cash


OTTAWA, June 29, 2011 /CNW/ - The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (the Agency) has allocated $175,000 to seven applicants to support their participation in the federal environmental assessment of Ontario Power Generation's (OPG) proposed project to construct and operate a facility for the long-term disposal of low and intermediate level radioactive waste.

Have you ever noticed how useless these people are?  I think they make a special effort to dig them out.  And so we shall have another hearing where the greenies chain themselves to the table.  :)  (with the chains being paid for by the gov't.)

Death of a Pigeon

Hey, I thought this was a bloody falcon!  It turns out it was probably a falcon which gave it a close haircut.  So the tag mentions a racing pigeon outfit, and they don't have any form for reporting finds!  Somewhere, somebody is pining over his missing racing star!  I sent them a nasty email, and they'll probably go all snooty. :)

Google+ Please!


Dear Mr. Google.  I've been on every one of your failed social projects, and I've put in a lot of content.  I know your nasty business side hates me because I make fun of the ads, but your whimsical creative side should love me!  Please send me an invitation!

If I get it, I can withdraw into a nice Google cocoon.  Just throw up a circle of earthquake friends.  This blog business is getting too mucky.  All my hits are referral spam.  All these content farms just take my articles.  In my magic circle I can be even more nasty without offending Smitherman fans.  Oh please, oh please!

Ottawa, Ontario Catfight Over Nuclear


This is a fine, totally obvious article.  At least I always couched it in more humorous terms.

Unfortunately, the article is making up a big scene.  There is no real new comment from Ontario, since I think the Libs are quite tired, and ready to stick up the legs.  :)   This is a problem for the new boys, as well as the Smitherman billions solar-wind disaster that I just read about.

Since SNC is getting the whole thing for a buck, I would see them give up on new reactors, and just go for milking the support.  That's what lots of companies do.  (I am feeling the pain of one such takeover of a Canadian company.).

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

UK Prepares to Inject Ancient Fault


They plan to continue to 6,500ft, where the temperature is expected to be 82C.
The water’s high salt content makes it unsuitable to put directly into heating systems, but its geothermal energy will be harvested and used to warm clean water.
The water fell as rain on the Northumbrian hills thousands of years ago before seeping along a major crack in Earth’s crust called the Ninety Fathom Fault.

Yeah!  This is right in the middle of the city!  We'll soon have some interesting news as they replace that silicon-saturated water with nice fresh water.  Good luck to them!   :)

AECL Goes to Quebec


The Harper government is set to announce the sale of Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. to Montreal-based engineering firm SNC-Lavalin Group , a major gamble that Canada’s nuclear program can stand on its own amid growing global resistance to nuclear energy

If there is anything that represents Quebec Inc's French model, it is SNC.  Born of the iron grip on Hydro Q., it got everything in Quebec.  It sucked up all the other consultants like a rolling snowball.

Now it has AECL.  What is poor Ontario to do?  If I were SNC, I'd move everybody to Quebec, just to really tweek Ontario.  :)

Monday, June 27, 2011

Another collapse in Montreal


This is an important lesson in seismic capacity.  If a building is in settlement distress, or buildings are collapsing on their own, then the seismic capacity is zero.  A normal building shows no distress, and can stand up to heavy live loads, and strong winds.  This is inherent seismic capacity.

I always put things in terms of peak ground velocity (PGV), which is something the Clueless Swiss should use, and might have prevented the general shirt-losing.  Thus, the seismic capacity of Montreal buildings is 0 cm/s, and the seismic capacity (non-damage) of sound buildings is about 50 cm/s.  On top of this, you must take into account that soil can amplify PGV by a factor of 10 to 100 (again, don't tell the Swiss!).

Modern soft-story, transfer-slab condos tilt at 30 cm/s.   If you are in one of these on soft soil, then get the insurance while you still can.  When Montreal gets hit, it will be worse than NZ, and I'm sure the Clueless Swiss will pull out of earthquake insurance all together.

Insurers pull out of NZ


Civic Assurance chief executive Tim Sole today told Radio New Zealand reinsurers had been " very badly burned" by the Christchurch earthquakes, leading many to pull out of New Zealand altogether.

Other articles state that even if they increased their rates by a factor of 4, it would still take 25 years to earn back their money.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Alaskan Earthquake

In the middle of nowhere, and not very big for this place.  You can see from the map that this is a very active subduction zone.  M8's and 9's are the big boys in this neighbourhood.  It would be difficult to get an M9 around that sharp curve near Russia, but it is very easy on that straight stretch towards Anchorage.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Greenies give up on earthquakes


How long can they keep up Huffpocan?  The most important thing was to get a nice picture of Pickering.

But I am very sad about the quotes.  They give up on earthquakes, and an earthquake is the most important risk factor for Pickering, since it is so woefully unprepared.  Woe is me....  

The Shake Table Movie

I got a call that a big-time movie producer wants a shake table.  I directed them to McMaster or UofT.  I'm becoming a regular Mr. Earthquake of Ontario!

This sets me thinking of a plot where they need a shake table.

Scene 1

Down in an underground lab in the old abandoned Toronto subway station, scientists stick two wires into the ground.  "Oh No!  We're getting signals, and they're aimed right at the Toronto City Hall!  A big earthquake will shake that thing apart, since it has been so weakened by Rob Ford!  What to do?  What to do?"

"Quick Watson.  To the Shake Table! "  Once there, they quickly set up a paper mache  model of the City Hall.  "We must shake it!"  "Ah, there's the problem, it needs more glue in the corners.  We are saved!"

Fixing Bollywood Subtitles in Linux

Yeah, it's Bollywood fever in Toronto.  I wanted to put up a big Bollywood classic on the home screen.  I chose Taal, and somehow an .avi and .srt file ended up on my Linux computer.  The ps3 doesn't handle this, so I had to figure out a way to 'burn' subtitles on a plain video format.

Yes, Avidemux does this, but not straightforward.  You have to pick the xvid video codec and then go into filters.  The subtitle filter asks for the .srt file, but then flumoxes you with a request for a ttf font.  I found them in /usr/share/fonts.  Nobody said this on the internet!  Pick a nice bold font.

Now I have a classic all ready to view.  It has lots of singing, dancing, and a ridiculous plot.  Something like Glee!

Old Folks Geology Talk Today

I'm very excited, since I'm going to the old folks home for my second lecture.  The first was very well received.  This is a tough audience, since half of them fall asleep!  As a tribute to Bollywood, I keep a very high energy production going.  I only use a few slides.

My big number will be 'Dance of the Plates', where two people do naughty things with seat cushions.  I only keep this up for 30 minutes, and then there are questions.  So, I'm a star of radio and stage.  If somebody videoed it, then my credentials would expand!  :)

State of the Internet in Canada

This is a nice graphic from CIRA of which I am a member.  Anybody can become a member and they need it, because I think they will soon be blown out of the water, with all these new domains.  Soon we'll have .igloo, .backwater, .monopoly   All of which are good for us.  :)

Ontario Earthquake Followup


"The earthquake last June is a reminder that moderate earthquakes, rarely up to about magnitude 7, can occur in the Ottawa-St. Lawrence Valley region," says John Clague, who has a research chair in natural hazards at Simon Fraser University.
Examples include the 1663 Charlevoix earthquake (probably a magnitude 7.0), the 1988 magnitude-5.9 Chicoutimi earthquake, and the 1944 magnitude-5.8 Cornwall-Massena earthquake.
"Although not as large as the biggest earthquakes on the west coast, moderate earthquakes in Central Canada can cause considerable damage if their epicentres happen to be close to urban areas," he said.
"Also, there is a large stock of older masonry buildings in Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, and other smaller communities in southern Ontario and Quebec that would not fare well during strong earthquake shaking."

Dull article, needs some life.   These people will wring their hands, but nothing gets done here.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Local: BBQ was blowing up

Next to the cottage, I live at the barbecue.  So, 10 years ago I got this big Costco thing, which is small by today's standards.  The stainless steel really lasts, but I'll have to replace the cast iron burners soon.

It has a back rotisserie burner, made of a porous ceramic, and it does great chickens!  Lately, because of the home army, I've been jamming 3 Costco chickens on it.  But it's been sick, and today kept blowing up, and I had to finish the chickens in the oven.

So, fearless as always, I took it apart.  It was blowing up at the big air gap to mix the fuel, which is part of the element.  The element comes out, and it is all riveted.  But, holy crap, when I turned it upside down, it rained black ash.  Just like an Iceland volcano!  So I kept banging it until no more came out.

Now it works like new!  I couldn't find anything on the internets, so I hope this helps.  :)

Big Sections of Christchurch for the Bulldozer


Unstable sections of land will be made into a nice park.  This is standard for floodplains and such.  That whole basin is starting it episodic sinking, so they will get flooding as well as liquefaction.  Will the sinking stop?  I think the next big earthquake will tell.  I will guess that it is along the margins of the current sinking zone, and that the sinking eventually expands to cover the whole anomalous basin.  But no use 'wallowing' until then.  :)

Bollywood in Toronto


Hey this is exciting!  We can't bribe enough people to get the Olympics, but we got this!  In celebration, I am 'absorbing' one film from Da-Cloud, to see on my big screen.  :)

La La -- The Big One Would Bugger S. California's Economy


This has a picture of my fav. California seismologist.  Anyway, this is old news, and everybody will ignore it.  Actually, California is waiting for this, since it will solve their Greekish bankruptcy problem.  If the big one happens, they can throw up their hands, and say "Oh, my!", and get tons of bankrupt federal money!  :)

Arkansas Injection Wells to be Closed


It's finally happened.  Although they can't admit any cause and effect (due to the impact on other wells), they are banning the injection wells in 'fault zones'.  Ignoring the fact that this wasn't a fault zone until they started injecting.

So, no more fun here.  Can't wait for another fault zone to magically appear, and then see how long it takes to shut it down.  :)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Internet access as a human right


Since I am a blogger, these things always interest me.  In other countries I'd be dead by now, since I make fun of people like Conrad.  The worst is that Google cut me off my wine money, so now I just blog for some sick compulsion.  :)

Over here, the worst threat to intellectual internet freedom are the copyright police, who would gladly shut down the whole thing.  I don't think these happy hackers are a big threat, since they are just joy riding, like in the good old days when the car manufacturers put in dime-store locks.  We can't allow the police to shut down the internet, and they should be happy, since it is so easy to catch rioters who aren't smart enough to put on a mask.

So, all you people in the more oppressive countries, like the US, you should make this a concern.  :)

Using abandoned oil wells as a seismic pickup


He said the institute worked out scientific principles of possibility of using the steel pipes of the unexploited oil wells as acoustic channel and basing on it principles of establishing seismo-acoustic telemetry station allowing monitoring of the abnormal seismic processes causing earthquake.

Excuse poor English, please.  But we spare no expense to get to the original source of this brilliant idea!  Also note the use of the last seismic pen drum in the world!  Instead of trying to sink a borehole seismometer, these guys have just attached a microphone to the steel pipe of an abandoned deep well.

These wells are really deep!  As such they can pick up all sorts of weird stuff.  As I have said before, each earthquake may lead with various signals -- electrical and acoustic -- but none of it is much use in telling the size and significance.  Still, this is a great cheap idea and should be used elsewhere.  They should also attach some electric monitoring.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Japan has fastest computer -- can only run on Thursdays


I just had to put this in!  Lately, a lot of this ridiculous extra computing power has gone into earthquake modeling.  A fat lot of good it did them!  But seriously folks, these computers can only tackle a small subset of computing tasks because of the horrendous effort to program parallel computers.  They would be good for realistic seismic analysis, such as discovering why certain structures (condos and nuclear plants) have a glass jaw for earthquakes.  Anyway, I hope it doesn't use up too much power!  :)

AECL: Canada's Grecian Moment


Just take all the comments about Greece -- "Like pouring money down a rat-hole."  and apply them here.  :)

Kokomo Hum and Windsor


Some say it's like a diesel engine idling. Others describe it as a deep drone or fluorescent light-like buzz. And a great many people don't hear anything at all.
Complaints about the "Kokomo Hum" began in 1999, when a handful of local residents began to report a constant low-pitched rumbling noise. They say they developed a range of mysterious health problems soon after, including dizziness, diarrhea, extreme fatigue, joint and muscle pain, nosebleeds, and excruciating, unending headaches.

Just had my radio interview.  There were fascinating stories, but it all resembles this, and other mysterious hums.  So, most likely it is industrial and not geological.  ....too bad.   The geology would come into play with the local soil conditions which could amplify it by a factor of 10 to 100.  I still think seismometers are a good idea, but we put them on firm ground, and I bet they won't pick up a thing!  Most likely, the tuning will get out of phase again, and it will stop.

We once were trying to install a seismometer north of Toronto.  The ground was singing, so that the seismometer was useless.  It was all over the area, and there were no heavy industries.  What was it?  Who knows?

Old reactors never die, they just rust away


Well, I don't really have a comment on this.  I have no hope for an eastern US Mark 1 reactor, and an earthquake.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Fish on the Radio!

I'm going to be on the radio tomorrow about the Windsor rumbles, which just might be the salt formations passing gas!  Anyway, maybe more people listen, than the last time, when my voice was just comforting cows.

Back from cottage.  Lots of storm damage, but our place is fine.  Power must have been off for days because some things spoiled in the fridge.  It's really weird when you don't know, and you wonder if you can eat something, or you will die.  The eggs seemed fine, and I'm not dead yet.  The chicken in the other freezer stunk, so that was out.  But we ate the steak in the fridge we think did ok.

This week I have the old folks talk.  I'm going over Ontario Precambrian geology, with a background in plate tectonics.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Earthquake Prediction: Dead Quartz Tells No Tales


Here we go again!  Put a piece of granite in a testing machine and it screams signals:  electric, electromagnetic, and acoustic.  Blah!  If you have a wrong idea of the physics for the area, none of this will help you in real life.  With a chaotic system, you can detect the beat of the butterfly wings, but you never know where it leads.

Like, with NZ, probably that whole basin is starting to sink, but everybody just thinks we have a typical California event series.  The same everywhere else.  I make my best guess of future activity by looking at the pattern of earthquakes, and trying to figure out the rock mechanics.  This is not earthquake prediction, but could be useful.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Earthquake: Anchorage Not Well Anchored


This is a wonderful story of everybody shrugging off a distant, tiny earthquake.  Anchorage is also on soup, like Christchurch, but they have a big earthquake in living memory, so we must assume that they don't have too many old brick deathtraps, since they all would have been knocked down in '64.

Still, if Chile came back, we must expect another big one hitting the place soon.  There will be lots of soil movement and one heck of a tsunami.  I hope they haven't been building soft-story condos!

The earthquake of 1964 was also noted for encompassing a lot of rock sites.  These rotten government buildings weren't even scratched!  Therefore, I would assume something like 5-10 cm/s on rock, and some very heavy amplification on the soil.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Local: The organic war on weeds

Ok, I finally starting to get a handle on dealing with the weeds in Organic Ontario.  As told, Ontario banned all the good stuff in an effort to save puppy dogs.  Immediately, my lawn was a mess!

Rules to live in Ontario

1.  None of this half-ass organic stuff is going to work if you don't have the healthy grass to crowd out the weeds when they are sick with organic flu.

2.  Don't fertilize!  Or very minimally.  Fertilizing makes the bugs happy, and there is nothing to kill them.  I throw on some left-over Costco Miracle gro every year or two.

3.  Get a big-sucker mulching gas mower!  This is more 'green' than some feeble electric or push mower.  You want to totally pulverize the cut grass and you need a lot of power when your grass gets lush.  When every piece of grass is dust, the worms can eat it right away, and it's gone in a day.  So many losers use 1950 lawnboys, and have hay on their lawn.  They can rake it, but it is toxic waste and nobody picks it up, and it is really rotten compost.  If you rake away the grass, you stripping the lawn of black organics.

4.  In summer let it go to light brown.  This discourages the bugs.  Water it once a week, so it doesn't die on you.  All the old people on the street water their lawn every day from their porch, with a sprayer!

5.  Use the organic iron weed spray.  This stuff only gives the weeds a case of the measles, but if the grass is active enough, it takes over.

6.  Use my vinegar spray for the sidewalks.  That's mostly Costco vinegar with a tbspoon of liquid tsp.  Just shocks the weeds, but dries them out if they are small enough.  You can use it on the paths in the veggie garden, and it doesn't spread.  Much better if you can get Pickling or Cleaning Vinegar.

7.  Spread seeds in the fall.  Use good old Costco rye grass and pour a lot all around.  This stuff is tough!  It's better if you throw on some black soil from a big bag if the soil is really poor and the worms are on strike.

Technology: Bluray isn't worth it

Well, I've completed my bluray tests, and have come to the conclusion that it isn't worth it for 90% of the movies out there.  Since I was testing, I got the movies from 'Da-Cloud' (tm).  The only movie where it made a real difference is Pixar's Up, which is rich in fine detail.  Most movies don't have important fine detail, and some put on a general fuzz.

With pre-processed movies from Da-Cloud, the ps3 upscaler does a fine job.  Even a dvd, rented from the last Blockbuster, was very good.  This revelation will save greatly on my Canadian Crippled bandwidth! :)

Rrready to Rrrumble in Windsor!


We never put any seismometers in Windsor, but it is right on top of the Grenville Front, which also goes under Bruce!  With all the water there, I have always been amazed that we don't have a seismic mechanism, like Hamilton.

Lake St. Clair is a giant meteor impact site, so the area is quite geologically complex.  Most likely this isn't seismic, since a cluster would have a fractal distribution, and some events would be obvious.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

NZ still believes these earthquakes are aftershocks of the M7.3


Now, I make fun of Arkansas, but I would never make fun of NZ!  They are just 'special'.

And really, their seismologists have a government mandate to cheer everybody up.  Thus, if you believe the M7.3 was a single-throw earthquake, instead of a complex of M6's, then everything after, is an aftershock.  If you realize that this basin is so shattered it couldn't produce a clean M7, then you don't live in NZ.

With every earthquake, that circular basin is going down.  In order to maintain the basin, against the forces of erosion, this is probably a common event, on the order of every 500 years or so.  They say they didn't find any previous fault movement, but would they find any evidence for these earthquakes?  The place is a soup, and it would be difficult to keep a trace of liquefaction for 500 years.

Since the soup is everywhere, they are going to have to build a new city on deep piles, or find some firm ground.  These earthquakes are going to rumble for at least 10 years.  A new city would be a great tourist attraction:  "Come feel the daily earthquakes!"  Every place would be designed like a ship, with ridges on the tables, and latches on all the cupboards.  You could test out the really stupid engineering ideas, like soft-story condos, and base isolation. :)

ps. Dear NZ, I make fun of everybody.  Don't get mad!

Creationists Infiltrate Geology


Oh my!  I'm going to have a serious look under my bed!  If we aren't careful, we'll all turn into Arkansas!  :)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Arkansas lawsuits begin


This could grow into a class-action lawsuit.  The state organizations are now terrified!  They won't say anything, but they won't allow the injection to restart.  They'll probably start pulling out all the seismometers!

'Terraforming' Earthquakes

So, Christchurch had another M6.  This is beginning to look more like the 'Decade of Terror', first coined for the Vancouver earthquake.  These are 'terraforming' earthquakes, and can happen all at once, or over an 'episode'.  For Vancouver, it is not known whether it comes all at once as an M9, or as a 'decade of terror', with M8's every year.

People don't realize that the nice scenery of mountains and plains are formed by earthquakes, in those zones where deformation outruns erosion.  In Japan, the lowlands went down, and the highlands went up, and this is always what happens with the larger earthquakes.  The same thing in California.

Looking at NZ, you can see this big pie-shaped lowland around Christchurch.  What the heck is that?  With all the mountains, you would think it would get filled up pretty fast.  :)   No, this is probably a structure forced by the tectonics.  If you had a large earthquake, you would see it go down.   But it doesn't have to be a single event every 300 years, it could be a 'crumble episode' spread over several years (again, every 300 years).

For crumbling, this rock must be totally shattered, with faults to numerous to map.  That is why, although the regional map screams, there is no 'smoking gun' of obvious faults, a la California.  Once a crumble episode starts, it should be obvious that the lowland is going down.  I have no idea what the satellite radar or the GPS is showing for this region, but I suspect that the whole zone will eventually be populated with M6 and 7's, and at the end of it, the existing topography will be sharpened.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Corporate social networking not for all


It's funny, but when I was with the old company, I started this, but it got quickly smashed down as soon as it was realized information would drift out of the hierarchy.

Middle son has joined the provincial conservatives, and I really am all for 'new nuclear'.  But how to stop it drowning in incompetence?  The most important reason that the big company keeps a ruthless hold on all interactions is that it doesn't want any of its boo-boos to leak out, and believe me, there are a lot of them!  It is most important to appear like a competent stone wall, just like the Japanese!

But how can Hudak crack this?  Do we really need the janitors of the big company designing new nuclear?  Is there something else we can do?  Any time he wants to talk to me, I'm here!

Life gets complicated


This is a most excellent find.  It is the time when creatures started to put together mineral structures.  My teeth buzz with excitement looking at this!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Apple Becomes Microsoft


Ok, all you article picker-uppers!  This is not geology or science.  This is technology, and an interesting example on how Apple has become a giant blob picking up everything into its operating system, without compensation.  You have to go to the loonies in east Texas to fight them.  Since their operating system is closed, you'll never know what they sucked in, and since you have to submit the source code for the app store, they have the greatest candy shop ever!

Thickness of paper is the new standard of scientific proof


This is cute.  I wonder if the pages are blank.  They certainly are for the minister.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Climate change hates geologists


Well, with all that acid, I'm totally staying out of 'climate change'.  This is a religious argument with no measurements.

Climate has changed wildly in the past?  -- Obvious proof of climate change.

It's getting colder?  -- Obvious proof of climate change.

Today's carbon dioxide level is nothing?  -- Obvious proof of climate change.

So no matter what new evidence shows up, it proves that co2 is causing bad things and has to be reduced.  It's a great position to be in - somewhat like engineers and seismic analysis.  At least earthquakes are honest when they hit.  :)

Standard Earthquake Advice


Here we are between earthquakes, and I've got nothing to write.  Lots of people accuse me of being an 'earthquake ghoul' who can't wait for another disaster.  Far from it!  Look, I put up this link to be ready.  :)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Middle son graduation

Yeah!  Middle son had his graduation today at Queens.  Like I said before, what the heck can he do now?

So, wife, me, and dfh (daughterfromhell) went to Kingston.  These things are so long and I screwed up on the final video.  Oh, well.  No great earthquake news.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Nice buildings that aren't seismic death traps?


All the major earthquake cities have them -- beautiful heritage buildings that are seismic death traps.  Can we have a nice city without them?  Should we just keep the facades?  When a rare earthquake strikes the next city, we will once again have a significant death toll because nobody can address this issue.

Dilly-Dallying with seismic studies


Federal regulators have granted a PG&E request to delay the licensing renewal of Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant until seismic studies of the area have been completed.
In a letter Tuesday, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission agreed to modify Diablo Canyon's licensing renewal timeline, effectively postponing a final decision pending the completion of seismic studies around the plant.
"We asked the NRC to delay the final processing until we could complete and evaluate new seismic studies," said Blair Jones, spokesman for PG&E.
PG&E requested the licensing delay in April in response to public concerns after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, which caused a massive nuclear accident at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant.

I really can't figure this one out.  What are their seismic studies going to prove?  There's a new fault, and they may find half a dozen more.  California has this idea that faults are magical and they cause earthquakes, but all their recent earthquakes have been on 'undisovered' faults.  That's because the whole place is broken to ratshit, and no decent earthquake is going to pay attention to any mapped fault.

My best conclusion is that they want to delay the politics until the heat dies down from Japan.  They also want to deflect attention away from the glass fragility of nuclear plants cause by bad engineering analysis.  This is a win-win for everybody!  :)

Monday, June 6, 2011

A Town without earthquakes

Middle son had an Lsat test in London, Ontario.  I had to drive him there and wait for 5 hours.  I walked all around the place, and it reminded me of Calgary in 1976 - yuck, I hated that place!  Yes, L. is a cow town designed by a dentist.  I liked their new library and all the under-employed people, who maybe actually have homes there.

I'm only writing this because they are putting on a big advertising push to get people to locate there.  I think the bright people just leave, but I wish them luck.  At least this is the most non-earthquake town in southern Ontario, and it  has always been my theory that earthquake hazard always spices up a place.  :)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Wind turbines become an Ontario election issue


Went to the cottage and back and didn't see one wind turbine!  They're doing lots of work on the 407 extension, so driving along #7 is a mess.  Can't wait until they have that done!

Saturday was a washout, but Sunday was really nice.  The ravens on the cliff have 4 baby birds this year!  They are already bigger than the mommy bird.  Man are they noisy!  Cottages near the cliff say the birds come to visit them when they have the bbq up, and those birds are so big.  I expect them to terrorize the whole shore soon, since their two older siblings from 2 years ago are still always around and squawking

Back to wind turbines, they really should pay for a study with our seismometers in the region.  I'm sure we must get periodic coherent waves out of these things.  

Friday, June 3, 2011

Geophysics Finds Kimberlites


Now, I'm not mentioning the company.  As you know, these desperate outfits list on the penny exchange, and tout their 'potential'.  Only the bravest should buy.  Nevertheless, companies such as this do the most interesting geophysics, and these people are finding Kimberlites by the dozen!  There are many northern diamond mines in Canada, and I suppose there will be many more.  With all these gem-quality mines coming on-stream, I wonder if old whats-its-name can keep propping up the price of diamonds.  In fact, that is the greatest danger to these companies, that the price will fall on its face!

Geophysics was my first love, so I bring up these articles.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Arkansas still denies link -- injection --> earthquakes


In Arkansas, the state’s oil and gas commission and the Arkansas Geological Survey said they have found no evidence that drilling or hydraulic fracturing caused a series of earthquakes there this spring.
But they have not ruled out a link to the companies’ practice of reinjecting wastewater into the geological structures.
“We see no correlation” between the drilling and fracking and the earthquake activity, AGS director Bekki White said in a telephone interview Wednesday. “As far as whether it is related to injection of fluids, we still have not determined whether it is or whether it is naturally occurring.”

I always like it when an institution says "We see no evidence of night following day."  Then you have to wonder what would be required for them to 'see' something.  Anyway, the earthquakes totally stopped (almost) when they stopped injecting, so it remains to see if the blind institutions are brave enough to start injection again. It is almost certain that they will not properly instrument the area, since this helps in their 'stupidity defence'.

Personally, I would want them to start injecting again.  I really want to see the second shear wing develop with a good M5.  Then, if they keep injecting we can have a pool going, on when the M6 will show up.  All the time, they will be bleating "See no evil!".  :)

Yuk-yuk Mountain Comedy


Wow, Yucca Mountain comes back to life as a right-wing favourite, right next to enslaving young women to have children.  As we can see from the picture, it is a big mountain of rock rubble, with the only advantages of being thoroughly contaminated, and dry as a bone.  As such, it is better than Bruce!

They go on and on about earthquakes, but no earthquake can damage a reinforced tunnel in a pile of rubble -- it is physically impossible.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Happy Birthday Indonesian Mud Volcano


Still going strong after 5 years.

GPS sensors on volcanoes


“In the first two days this sensor moved 50 centimeters towards the center of the crater and 25 centimeters down,” geophysicist Sigrún Hreinsdóttir told

I have great faith that more gps sensors around periodic volcanoes will prove my rock mechanics thoughts on volcanic activation.  Basically, these things blow and then create a chamber.  Volcanologists forget about the rock holding up the chamber, and only think that some magical input starts the magma flowing again.

In reality, if you believe in 'Magic Inflation', the gps sensors should always show up and away motion.  If the surrounding rock finally collapses, you'd expect motion towards and down.  This squeezes up the magma like toothpaste!  Really, this hot magma is much less dense than heavy cold rock, so if the rock had no strength (no rock mechanics!), then everything would squeeze out in one go.

If I were King of the Hill, I would put in more of these sensors, and look for the subtle signs that the rock chamber was losing its strength.  This would be a slow motion down and in, which showed it was reaching a critical displacement.  Thus, volcanoes are no different from earthquakes!

With lots of sensors, we would expect an outer ring to go down and in, and the zone very close to the magma pipe to go up and out.

Latest Seismic News from Wawa


I, of course, love a chance to connect Wawa with seismic.  It's sort of like the scream that comes from a fault when it is jacked apart by shale-gas drilling.  :)

Still, this giant rift is neat, and is a left-over from the great split before our Ontario Precambrian mountain range came into being.