Skip to comments.Did The Chilean Quake Shift Earth's Axis
Posted on 03/15/2010 7:58:12 PM PDT by ErnstStavroBlofeld
Pictures of widespread devastation leave no doubt: Last month's 8.8 magnitude earthquake in coastal Chile was extremely strong. Indeed, say NASA scientists, it might have shifted the axis of Earth itself. "According to our calculations, the quake moved Earth's figure axis by about 3 inches (8 cm)," says geophysicist Richard Gross of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
If the Earth tilted over 3 inches, you probably think you would have noticed. But that's not how the "figure axis" works. "The figure axis defines not how Earth is tilted, but rather how it is balanced," says Gross.
Consider the following:
Earth is not a perfect sphere. Continents and oceans are distributed unevenly around the planet. There's more land in the north, more water in the south, a great ocean in the west, and so on. As a result of these asymmetries, Earth slowly wobbles as it spins. The figure axis is Earth's axis of mass balance, and the spin axis wobbles around it.
"The Chilean quake shifted enough material to change the mass balance of our entire planet," Gross says.
A shifting figure axis is nothing new. On its own, the figure axis moves about 10 centimeters per year as a result of "Ice Age rebound." After the last great glacial period some 11,000 years ago, many heavy ice sheets disappeared. This unloaded the crust and mantle of the Earth, allowing the planet to relax or "rebound" back into a more spherical shape. The rebounding process is still underway and so the figure axis naturally moves.
(Excerpt) Read more at terradaily.com ...
So basically the Chile quake perturbed the globe just a smidgen more than it would have perturbed itself in a year sans earthquakes.
What impact will this have on globull warming?
Yeah, but whose FAULT is it??? /s
It may not seem like much, if even true, but I read somewhere that it may affect GPS signals and space craft communications, as these things rely on very precise measurements.
Does this mean we’ll have palm trees growing in the northern Wisconsin forests?
That explains the horseshoe crabs and seagulls in my front yard.
We will now experience GW for sure. Just ask Algore. Expect the BS to start all over again.
It’s like the Obama hellcare — you shall and you must accept it even if the congresscritters themselves have their own preferred healthcare plan.
I'm surprised Algore hadnt had this term stricken from the scientific lexicon. Unless it can be spun and interpreted as another way to 'splain globull warming.
6.7 aftershock less than an hour ago.
And shortened days by 1.26 milliseconds from now until...
"A great disturbance in the force, there is....."
The wife and I shift the earth’s axis every night...
“it is still important to understand how the rotation of the planet changes. “It helps us figure out where a spacecraft is and to navigate it for a precise pinpoint [extraterrestrial] landing,” he said, noting JPL conducted a similar study following 2004s 9.1-magnitude earthquake in Indonesia.”
It's comin' !!!
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