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New Map Fingers Future Hot Spots For U.S. Earthquakes

samzenpus posted about two weeks ago | from the whole-lot-of-shaking-going-on dept.

United States 49

sciencehabit writes Earthquake risk assessments can seem pretty abstract at first glance, with their "percent probabilities" and "peak ground accelerations." But the U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS's) national hazard maps, updated periodically, pack a powerful punch: Insurance companies and city planners rely heavily on the maps, which influence billions of dollars in construction every year. Today, USGS scientists released the most recent earthquake hazard assessments for the country. Although the picture hasn't changed much on a national scale since the last report in 2008, the devil is in the details, the report's authors say—and some areas in the country are now considered to be at higher risk for powerful quakes than once thought.

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Protip (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47479203)

California

Re:Protip (4, Funny)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about two weeks ago | (#47479313)

Apple knows this. You think their new building is shaped like a spaceship for no particular reason?

Apple Fingered my Girlfriend (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47479911)

I was jacking off to tentacle hentai called Goa Tse, so my girlfriend fingered herself with an Apple.

Re:Apple Fingered my Girlfriend (1)

creimer (824291) | about two weeks ago | (#47479929)

An iPhone going where no personal communicator has gone before.

BETA SUCKS. I MEAN BESTIALITY IS AWESOME. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47479925)

It's shaped like my girlfriend's goatse-shaped vibrator which is a giant gaping hole with a giant gaping couple of hands with a wedding ring. A wedding ring! And I haven't even proposed yet.

Re:Protip (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47483525)

Silly, me. I thought they were just perpetuating that rounded corner thing.

Re:Protip (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47479323)

At some point, The Big One is going to hit California. And it'll likely hit somewhere around San Francisco.

While I think that the infrastructure will survive the quake surprisingly well, I don't think that society will.

The Bay Area has become a very rotten area lately. Out of all of the major cities in the US, San Francisco has the highest proportion of homeless and mentally incapable. It has long been the haven for those who have been rejected elsewhere. Then we have Oakland, which still suffers from high levels of crime. And we can't forget nearby Silicon Valley, which has driven out the true industrialists, scientists, and engineers in favor of advertisers, marketeers and hipsters.

It's a rotten area filled with rotten people. When faced with real adversity, like that brought on by The Big One, this rotten society will collapse. These people will be out to get one another without any limit. The hipsters and wealthy will likely be eaten alive by those who have had more experience living in the real world.

Would this be bad for the Internet, and the software industry in general? To be honest, I don't think so. I think we'd see things return to a time where advertising and the mass collection of private data isn't what drives "innovation". We'd return to an age of useful computers, rather than ones that track us while getting continuously worse user interfaces.

So while it may be bad for some people, I think the net benefit could be quite great for the rest of American, and even Western, society.

Re:Protip (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47479351)

I can think of another state which would benefit the rest of American, and even Western, society. It's initials are D.C.

Re:Protip (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47479387)

I'll take politicians over hipsters any day.

At least it's understandable what drives politicans: an unquenchable thirst for power and control. I can understand that, to some extent.

But hipsters? Nobody really understands them. Hipsters truly are freaks of nature. I mean, why the fuck would anyone wear glasses that don't have any lenses, like hipsters do? Why the fuck would somebody voluntarily choose to use JavaScript, like hipsters do? Why the fuck would anyone think that Firefox's god-awful Aurora UI is a good design, like hipsters do? Why the fuck would somebody constantly wear a fedora hat, even when it's totally unacceptable or looks idiotic, like hipsters do? And why the fuck would somebody spend hundreds of dollars on useless electronic gadgets that just happen to have the correct fruit-shaped logo on them, like hipsters do?

Oklahoma: new land of the earthquakes (1)

jmcbain (1233044) | about two weeks ago | (#47479377)

Oklahoma has recently had a spate of earthquakes. From the LA Times [latimes.com] :

The state had 109 temblors measuring 3.0 or greater in 2013 — more than 5,000% above normal. There have already been more than 200 earthquakes this year, Holland said.

There is controversy in that the quakes have occurred after the start of fracking (and the disposal of wastewater), and the oil companies refuse to acknowledge the connection. However, I find this stance akin to the cigarette companies refusing to acknowledge a direction connection between smoking and lung cancer.

Re:Oklahoma: new land of the earthquakes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47479481)

Reminds me of the line from "Thank you for smoking":

And this is , he could prove that the sky wasn't blue or that the sun rose in the north if we asked him to.

Company say it's Been Proved (1)

Anna Merikin (529843) | about two weeks ago | (#47479519)

Cuadrilla drilling company in UK has admitted publicly the link between fracking and earthquakes. The said this in 2011

"It is highly probable that the hydraulic fracturing of Cuadrilla's Preese Hall-1 well did trigger a number of minor seismic events

This, according to a Reuters report here: http://www.reuters.com/article... [reuters.com]

Other articles have reported various studies connecting fracking in Oklahoma with the new earthquakes flurries there and elsewhere in the US. Like Ohio: .http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/11/ohio-earthquakes-fracking_n_5136110.html

And here http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/... [www.cbc.ca]

Re:Company say it's Been Proved (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about two weeks ago | (#47479687)

Contrary to the premise that areas engaging in the most fracking are in danger of the greatest number of future earthquakes, West and South Texas are home to great numbers of frackers and low incidence of future geological events.

Although i am under no illusion that mining hydrocarbons for energy is without consequence and repercussion, it is worth noting that any production of energy comes with an environmental or social cost.

If we spent half the money on renewable energy development that we spend on waste, war, and surveillance, there would be no profit in releasing sequestered carbon.

Re:Company say it's Been Proved (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47480089)

The new maps do show that they exclude some quakes as manmade in regions associated with the Haynesville-Bossier play in east Texas, Barnett play in central Texas, Eagle-Ford play in south Texas, and the Bend play in northwest Texas. The only major play that doesn't seem to have a region marked as such is in the Barnett-Woodford play in southwest Texas.

Re:Company say it's Been Proved (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47480125)

There isn't enough "renewable" to go around, regardless of investment, to sustain the planet's population (keep in mind many subsidized supposedly-renewables are actually a net loss, e.g. corn ethanol and most wind farms (due to mfg/maintenance/transport energy/environment costs for the big-ass turbines). We can't avoid releasing sequestered carbon without killing off most of the world's population via starvation first to reduce our headcount below the sustainable non-hydrocarbon level. Either that or we get busy with practical fusion reactors. *That's* where the money should be going.

Re:Company say it's Been Proved (1)

dywolf (2673597) | about two weeks ago | (#47481513)

There isn't enough "renewable" to go around

B.S.
More solar energy lands on the planet in one hour than the entire world uses in a year.
As such the amount we actually need to capture and store is miniscule.
A solar array 158 miles square could power the ENTIRE WORLD.
We're talking 0.03% of the area of north africa.
Obviously it's more practical to spread the array out, to save on transmission cable...
and you REALLY need a smart grid for it to work most practically (our patchwork system is a mess)...
But even so, it's possible we could turn just one county in Arizona into a massive solar array, the US would be energy independent for all time.
We could spread arrays around the globe to provide continuous power at all times...or we could just make every home and building energy independent.

Point is the future of planetbound humanity is solar.
And that STILL leaves room for wind (a solar derivitive), tidal, etc. We could eliminate most hydropower, restoring river ecosystems.

Someday fusion may be practical...but it isn't yet (and no, the lack of funding doesn't help), and won't be for some time.
But solar is here. Today. Now.

We could do it, NOW

Point is, the notion that there isn't enough to go around, is pure stupidity.

Re:Strawman says it's Been Proved (1)

hoboroadie (1726896) | about two weeks ago | (#47481669)

Your information is false.

Re:Oklahoma: new land of the earthquakes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47479553)

Wait until Oklahoma falls off into the ocean and all the neighboring states become prime beach front. Neighboring states owned by big oil I might add.

Happened in Colorado also in the 1960s (1)

cruff (171569) | about two weeks ago | (#47479991)

A deep waste injection well was drilled at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal NE of Denver in 1961 as a test for the disposal of toxic wastes. A test was run injecting water, and earthquakes resulted. I experienced a magnitude 3 or 4 quake myself as a result of this test. A report by David Evans documented this in 1966.

new Colorado quakes due to injection (1)

peter303 (12292) | about two weeks ago | (#47482935)

1) near Rifle due to injecting irrigation waste water (too salty for river)
2) near Trinadad, mine waters
3) near Greeley, oil drilling waste.

Re:Oklahoma: new land of the earthquakes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47480831)

where's the problem? mag3 or mag4 earthquakes are harmless with no real danger for neither man nor property.

Additionally minor quakes can release energy that would have made a larger magnitude event with real danger at a later date. Sure, it might have been hundreds of years in the future, but eventually... (OK, *some* of these quakes are *only* because of the pumping, but these are small magnitudes and non-noticeable).

Ideally we'd trigger earthquakes at the major fault lines once every few years (or even every few months), so that events with mag7 and above never occur (or only once at the first time we trigger them). Unfortunately it's impossible (for now?) to trigger reliably and to not be responsible for every minor damage that occurs during these low-mag triggered events (a mag8 quake is "an act of god", a triggered mag5 every year would be "manmade", at least for populace and courts)

Re:Oklahoma: new land of the earthquakes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47481443)

Local newspaper (The Oklahoman) is owned by an oil/gas billionaire. He also owns a paper in Colorado.

After nearly every earthquake they predictably run yet another editorial saying "it's not fracking!"...while simultaneously running a news article saying "scientists believe the dramatic increase may be due to fracking". They also very reliably trash global warming, say there is no science to support it, and other typical RWBS.

Sadly, most locals believe and agree with the editorials, and if you read the letters to the editor, they're even dumber than the editorials.

Re:Protip (2)

riverat1 (1048260) | about two weeks ago | (#47479725)

California

California has some pretty big earthquakes but for the really big quakes you need a subduction zone like the Cascadia [wikipedia.org] that covers from just south of the Oregon border up to southern British Columbia or the Aleutian Megathrust zone [wikipedia.org] off of southern Alaska. Those produce magnitude 9+ quakes like the one off of Indonesia a few years ago. Fortunately they don't happen that often.

Re:Protip (1)

jrumney (197329) | about two weeks ago | (#47479939)

Alaska gets 8+ earthquakes fairly frequently. The luck is more that noone lives up there than the earthquake frequency (though a 9+ would no doubt cause some major damage down the coast)

Re:Protip (1)

riverat1 (1048260) | about two weeks ago | (#47480059)

The 1964 Alaska earthquake [wikipedia.org] was magnitude 9.2. I remember when it happened because the resulting tsunami killed 4 kids on the Oregon coast and 12 people in Crescent City, CA.

I Love Getting Fingered (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47479295)

Especially by new maps...

Re:I Love Getting Fingered (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47479731)

Sup, Future Hot Spots, it's New Maps.

What you up to?

What say we get outta here and shake up America?

Next big one: Southern Texas or Minnesota. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47479373)

The two blank spots on the map, away from fault zones. Why? Because the only reason Charleston and New Madrid are on the map is because they had big ones in historical time. How much do you want to bet the spots that aren't on the map had big ones in geological time, which is much longer?

God dammit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47479551)

I don't want earthquakes in Colorado.

Re:God dammit (1)

creimer (824291) | about two weeks ago | (#47479921)

With everyone getting stoned on legal pot, I doubt they will notice.

Self-justification (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | about two weeks ago | (#47479663)

If they spent all that money and time making a map which showed that there was LESS likelihood of earthquakes, people would scream boondogle. Now, because of douchebag grant-suckers, innocent people will suddenly have their insurance rates raised.

you're an idiot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47479783)

These maps and projections are essential and the funding is crucial and not up for debate: there's no chasing cash here. These maps and the liquefaction probability maps in places like SF drive further investigation into structures and billions of dollars of investment decisions and prioritization for cities and business in impacted areas. The also drive emergency planning decisions.

There's no game being played here. No person in their right mind wants a repeat of 1906, unnecessary lives lost, or communities shut down for months because they didn't build or plan appropriately.

Re:Self-justification (2)

Carnildo (712617) | about two weeks ago | (#47479953)

Starting on page 12 of the report is a series of maps showing the changes since the 2008 report. Of note:

* The South Carolina seismic zone has been displaced southward by about 50 miles.
* The New Madrid zone has changed shape, with some areas seeing a substantial reduction in estimated earthquake risk.
* The risk zones in California are more sharply defined.
* The risk for the central Rocky Mountains area is higher, but still relatively low.
* The earthquake risk estimate for coastal Oregon has been reduced.
* A new seismic zone is present in Oklahoma, reflecting whatever is causing the massive increase in earthquake rates there.

Re:Self-justification (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47480061)

depending on the truth, or lack there-of

fracking could potentially have a benefit,
MAYBE it isn't causing earthquakes but facilitating/enabling them through lubrication
what i mean is, maybe it's allowing a form of mapping of previously 'blacked-out' fault regions

Re:Self-justification (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47479989)

There are a bunch of places on the map where risk was reduced, especially in some areas around the Carolinas, Pennsylvania, and various places in California, New Madrid fault area, Oregon, western Wyoming. The report has maps specifically to show the change from the 2008 and 2014, using reds for increases and blues for decreases, and there is about a similar amount of both.

Yadda yadda yadda... (1)

creimer (824291) | about two weeks ago | (#47479909)

I've been waiting for the Great Earthquake to hit California for the last 30 years. Zzz...

Obama's Penis A Shifter Indeed (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47480155)

USGS, NOAA and NSF Scientists attest that Pres. Barak Obama's Penis is a shape shifter on the Heat Map.

Using NEW SuperDuper technology, the Scientists can map the whereabouts of Barak's Penis down to a 1-meter-square area per second in time !

WOOO.

The Scientist's further claim they can identify the 1-to-3 year old babies that Barak has sex with on an hourly basis along the Texas-Mexico border.

WYYYYY

Now that is Super Sex Technology in the "White House" !

Is that safe? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47480837)

I mean, fingering an earthquake hot spot?! At the very least you could lose your fingers!

I'll stay here in the northeast (2)

kilodelta (843627) | about two weeks ago | (#47481731)

Why - we had our seismic events millions of years ago. That's why. Big old mountains to my north and the city I live in is comprised of many hills.

On occasion we do get little 2-4 range tremblors though. Back in 2011 or so we were in the office and all felt a swaying sensation. We all noticed but after noticing just went back to what we were doing.

NE is high seismic risk (1)

peter303 (12292) | about two weeks ago | (#47482965)

M7 off Cape Ann in 1755 caused damage to young Boston.
Several alrge faults in NYC area.
The Saint Lawrence Seaway is a large fault and has quakes periodically.

Re:I'll stay here in the northeast (1)

Solandri (704621) | about two weeks ago | (#47483167)

That's actually why I avoid big cities in the Northeast. New York has had a quake of magnitude 5 in the recent past (1884 if I remember). While a 5 is not big, it is serious enough to do damage to unreinforced structures like brick. And the huge number of brick buildings in New York are about as unreinforced as they come. (Brick construction has no lateral strength, and topples over with just slight sideways shaking. One of the few fatalities in the 5.9 Whittier Narrows quake [wikipedia.org] was a man who pulled his car off the road to ride out the quake, and the free-standing brick wall he parked next to fell on top of him.

This map just shows you the likelihood of a big quake, not the potential for damage from a quake. To get the damage potential, you need to come up with a maps of how lenient the local building codes are, then multiply the two. The areas of highest risk are actually those where big or even moderate quakes are infrequent, leading to complacency among the residents and lax building codes.

This is why a 5.7 in Morocco kills 12,000 [wikipedia.org] , while a 6.9 just outside San Francisco [wikipedia.org] only kills a few score. Residents of the former city never thought a quake would hit there. Residents of the latter knew a big quake was coming and built appropriately. You couldn't pay me to live in St. Louis, South Carolina, east Tennessee, or New York City. All have the potential for moderate to huge quakes, but they're so rare the building codes don't take them into account.

I'm happy here in North Carolina (1)

dak664 (1992350) | about two weeks ago | (#47482685)

where the state legislature is not afraid to make suh environmental dangers illegal.

eastern Tennessee a mystery (1)

peter303 (12292) | about two weeks ago | (#47482983)

No historic large quake there, but lots of microseismicity.
Western Tennesee is in the New Madrid tectonic zone with a large 1811 quake. But that is a dfferent tectonic zone.

not new (1)

peter303 (12292) | about two weeks ago | (#47483033)

1) Very similar to previous USGS hazard maps.
2) Nearly every high risk zone has an associated large historic earthquake and continuing microseismicity. Seattle's 1700 M9 is just outside of historic memory. Eastern Tennesse has not had a quake.

3) Few seismic building laws in Eastern US, despite sizeable risk.

Re:not new (1)

nightsky30 (3348843) | about two weeks ago | (#47486461)

3) Few seismic building laws in Eastern US, despite sizeable risk.

In the historic parts of Charleston you can see where they incorporated "earthquake bolts". I'm not sure how much they help. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1... [wikipedia.org] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S... [wikipedia.org]

Baby, it's cold outside. (1)

Jannie Ogg (1207912) | about two weeks ago | (#47484149)

At long last there is a good reason to live in Minnesota.

Oh noes!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47486287)

Missouri's ding-a-ling is in trouble!!!
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