More Links Among the Sun, Earthquakes, and Mine Explosions

Today we are being bathed in a strong solar wind originating from a large coronal hole on the Sun.  Just before the solar wind hit Earth within the last couple of days, it struck the planet’s magnetosphere, which in turn may have sparked geomagnetic activity before the actual arrival of the solar wind stream on Earth.

The extraordinary series of seismic events that occurred between 3 and 4 AM GMT on 16 June 2010 may have been touched off by the solar wind impact on the outer reaches of the magnetosphere.  The seismically-active “Ring of Fire” bordering the Pacific Ocean was awakened with a start just after 3 AM GMT, striking Indonesia first with a magnitude 7 quake, accompanied by several more strong aftershocks and followed within 45 minutes by two quakes in Alaska of magnitudes 5 and 5.1.  Today, a magnitude 4.2 temblor struck not far from Mount Rainier in Washington state – a place that rarely sees earthquakes in the 4+ range.

Based on the timing, it appears that the Alaskan activity may have been triggered by seismic waves travelling along the Earth’s crust, but I’ve yet to determine the time it would take seismic waves to travel there from Indonesia just yet.  Of greater interest are the several strong quakes that occurred during that one hour, which may have been related to the approaching solar wind stream.

The correlation between solar activity and earthquakes is noteworthy, and has been reported here before.  For instance, a strong solar wind streaming from a coronal hole also impacted the planet’s magnetosphere on about the 12th of January – the same date a devastating quake hit Haiti, causing mass destruction and killing over 200,000 people.  And the monster Chilean quake was preceded by just a few days by the collapse of the largest magnetic filament ever observed on the Sun.

Surface damage isn’t the only side effect of tectonic shifting.  Unfortunately, the dangers of coal mining may be linked in many cases to gasses released in conjunction with earthquake activity.  For instance, the West Virginia mine tragedy in early April of this year was directly preceded by an earthquake centered just under the mine.  Earthquakes are a rare event in West Virginia; the correlation between the quake and the subsequent methane explosion cannot be ignored.

Most recently, the deadly Amaga, Colombia coal mine explosion occurred within 24 hours of the Indonesian and Alaska quakes.  Although no earthquake was registered in the immediate vicinity of the mine at the time, toxic gasses exploded in a giant fireball just before midnight local time on the 16th, trapping and killing an estimated 72 workers.  The accumulation of gas may have been related to slight shifting of the planet’s crust in the northwestern part of Colombia, a seismically-active region in the Ring of Fire.

According to solar physicist David Hathaway of the Marshall Space Flight Center: “When a gust of solar wind hits Earth’s magnetic field, the impact causes the magnetic field to shake (italics mine).  If it shakes hard enough, we call it a geomagnetic storm.”  Power outages and compass anomalies are associated with strong geomagnetic storms – and auroras, while beautiful to see, are indicators of potentially hazardous ionisation in the atmosphere related to solar wind.

So why isn’t every geomagnetic storm associated with a strong earthquake?  One reason may be the release of tectonic pressure associated with relatively-infrequent, large seismic events.  For instance, the earthquakes I’ve just been referencing may well have released pressure, essentially preventing large and devastating quakes immediately following the events.  That’s not to say that the plates haven’t shifted to the point that another significant seismic or volcanic event could surprise us any day now.

The Indonesian quake of a couple of days ago brings the total of magnitude 7+ earthquakes this year to TEN, and we are not yet even halfway through the year.  For reference, I have compiled a list of yearly 7+ quakes yearly going back to the last solar minimum, which was at its lowest in 1996:

1996    15
1997    16
1998    12
1999    18
2000    15
2001    16
2002    13
2003    15
2004    16
2005    11
2006    11
2007    18
2008    12
2009    17
2010    10  (through 16 June)

Clearly, if this rate continues, we’re on track to exceed 20 earthquakes of mag 7+ this year.  Worse, we don’t know where the next one will strike; all we have are clues, such as the swarm – the second largest on record – in Yellowstone earlier this year.  With seismic activity picking up around the Pacific northwest, home to several active volcanoes and a heavily-populated coastline that could face a deadly tsunami with little to no warning, we would be wise to watch the trends in solar activity and associated geomagnetic affects.

STACE TUSSEL

References:

NASA

Also see this new article predicting extreme solar storms and power grid outages, etc., accompanying the upcoming peak of solar maximum in 2013: Telegraph.co.uk

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8 Responses to “More Links Among the Sun, Earthquakes, and Mine Explosions”

  1. Nice Job,

    I am glad to see more people are recognizing this relationship. I am going to place your site on my original posting.

    Thanks
    Aaron Guerami
    http://aaronsreality.blogspot.com

  2. Absolutely terrifying I felt it in st.catharines

    [Note from Stace: Reader appears to be referring to the magnitude 5.5 earthquake that struck near Ottawa, Ontario just a couple of hours ago. Earthquakes in this region of Canada are relatively rare, and I think that this one may have been triggered by an approaching solar wind streaming from a large coronal hole on the Sun, estimated to hit Earth in the next few days, and therefore possibly already impacting our magnetosphere at this time. More details as they become known.]

  3. Mike says:

    Hi Stace,
    Did you go dowsing at all today at any native/ancient sites and notice any changes, you know the Eclipse took place today, I tried dowsing at 17.30 hours UK time and could not pick up anything(Stonehenge or Avebury).Its now 23.55 hours and I can JUST pick up these forces, could the Eclipse have disturbed the planets forces enough to reduce them so much…This would mean world wide at times of a Eclipse the dowsing of sacred sites and energy lines have to be affected enough to remove these, it might need a collective report from a number of dowsers world wide at the next Eclipse to confirm this, are you interested ? Mike UK.

  4. Hi Stace : Hope you are well and that life is good. Did you hear about this – http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2010/16jul_ilws/ ?

    About bloody time I reckon !

    Be happy and be well, Bright.

  5. Stace says:

    Bright – Thank you very much for the interesting link! Great info. Stace

  6. Stace says:

    Three mag 7+ in the Philippines in the past couple of days have brought us the 14 for the year, as of late July. Five months to go. Keep tabs on “large and deadly” earthquakes at http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eqarchives/year/mag7.php.

  7. Kim says:

    it’s now 15th April 2012 Wonder what the author of this page thinks of the seismic activity of the last few days

  8. Stace says:

    Thanks, Kim. After the two mag-8 Indonesian quakes on the 11th, an unusually-high number of mag-6 earthquakes occurred all around the world, so I find that there’s a likely “domino effect” correlation. There was even one researcher who went out on a limb to say something to the effect that the planet is “cracking up.” While we did see an increase in bigger quakes in more areas of the world not necessarily accustomed to feeling the Earth shake, I do NOT think the planet is literally cracking up.

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