Earthquakes cause fault lines, not vice versa
TUESDAY FEBRUARY 22, 2011
Do earthquakes create fault lines?
The powerful earthquake that smashed buildings, cracked roads and twisted rail lines in Christchurch also ripped a new 3.5m-wide fault line in the Earth’s surface. Canterbury University geology professor Mark Quigley said “a new fault” had ripped across the globe and pushed surface areas up. He said the quake was caused by the collision of the Pacific and Australian tectonic plates. “One side of the Earth has lurched to the right - up to 11 feet (3.5m) and in some places been thrust up,” Mr Quigley said. New Zealand sits above an area of the Earth’s crust where two tectonic plates collide. The country records more than 14,000 earthquakes a year, but only about 150 are powerful enough to be felt above land, about 3 'felt' jolts per week on average. New Zealand’s last major earthquake registered 7.8 on the Richter scale and hit the South Island’s Fiordland region on July 16, 2009 (just before new moon+closest perigee), moving the southern tip of the country 30cm closer to Australia.
The devastating earthquake that rocked Haiti in January was also supposedly unleashed by a previously undetected fault line - not the well-known one scientists initially blamed, according to an analysis of new data. Eric Calais, a professor of geophysics at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind. said the analysis shows that most, if not all, of the geologic movement that caused January's magnitude-7.0 earthquake occurred along this newly uncovered fault, not the well-documented Enriquillo fault. Stein noted that even in California, whose many faults have been closely studied, about half of all moderate or stronger quakes occur on previously unknown faults.
Perhaps these "newly discovered" faults were unknown because they weren't actually there before the earthquakes occurred. The islands of New Zealand sit across what are now called the Australian and Pacific Plates, which for most of their shared boundary interact. To the south, the Australian Plate slides beneath the Pacific Plate, while further north the opposite applies. This plate boundary is part of what is known as the 'Ring of Fire'. Between these sections for some 400km between Milford Sound and Hokitika, the edges of the two massive sections of the Earth’s crustal plates "collide" head on. But do they collide or were they once one piece that got broken into two by an event?
Do the tectonic plates grind, rotate and square off against each other, the immense forces building until every 250 to 300 years or so a sudden movement releases the pent-up pressures? This, it is claimed, is the Alpine Fault, which last moved significantly in 1717. So we do not have the notion of vibrations emanating from deep beneath the earth at all, or we have a dual origin; from plates and/or from something deeper. According to current science it is the heat generated from rocks in the land crust on top of the molten mantle, rubbing together that causes the molten lava in volcanoes. So what of the forces deep beneath the earth. Is that another system? How and when does that get out? Why do some earthquakes occur at a depth of 300kms, when the land crust is less than 50kms deep?
I question that a fault line was there first, before an earthquake decided to burst through it. It is more likely that one comes through wherever it wants to, and this creates a weak section in the crust, through which later eruptions or earthquakes may follow if stresses occur in the immediate vicinity. Saying the Alps caused the Alpine Fault line which then goes on to cause more earthquakes within 500kms of it is a bit like saying a sunburnt arm would cause the sun to increase in heat. It does not mean earthquakes may not still occur around the same area of known fault lines. Seeing a fault line host a new earthquake does not mean the fault line caused it. It may mean the earthquake is opening up a new old wound because of internal machinations deep in the molten core directly under that old wound. Any new earthquake affects a wide area, which would invariably include an old scar in the countryside.
The 4 September earthquake happened 12kms underground. Current geology wants us to believe that a mighty loose cannon of a 650 kiloton ball of energy, from 12kms away, hurtling surfacewards, has some sort of steering mechanism that seeks out old fault lines to surface through. Imagine an H-bomb the size of that which destroyed Hiroshima, heading towards Christchurch from 12kms away. Now imagine 43 such bombs in one explosive package of energy and you have the size of the 4 September earthquake. Would a 650 kiloton monster earthquake have bothered to set itself within the confines of a previously carved faultline? It is a little hard to imagine why it should be so respectful. Earthquakes can and do go where they choose. If there is a fault line there already, then a shake may shake that too and an observer will say the fault line was active. If there is no fault line the earthquake will make one.
And scientists now do agree that the 7.1mag earthquake created a new fault line that either they didn't know was there or that actually wasn't there. It cannot both be that earthquakes get caused by old fault lines and at the same time earthquakes may choose to ignore them preferring to create new cracks in the countryside in totally different places to those previously used. For plates to rub together means the plates would have to be already separated (you have to have two parts to rub together). But there may be a tide within the earth that brings earthquakes, eruptions and volcanos at particular times, and that these times may coincide with what other known tides are doing. The answers are perhaps not looking down at the drums, the horses there have all bolted. The answers may be upwards, at colossal movements in the heavens that cause tides deep within the earth. Why else would the Te Anau earthquake have been on new moon/closest perigee, the Christchurch 7.1mag.on new moon+second closest perigee, the Napier earthquake on full moon/fourth closest perigee etc etc?