Significant Alaska Earthquake Accompanies Solar Storm Warning

A 7.4 quake struck the Aleutian Islands of Alaska a few hours ago, boosting evidence that links intense solar weather with seismic activity.   It was centered nearly 40 miles below Earth’s surface, and there are no early reports of significant damage or injury.

Having been quiet for weeks, Alaska has been due for a big quake.  Solar wind from a large coronal hole on the Sun and an incoming particle stream from a big CME from the solstice flare on the 21st are both stirring up the magnetosphere, providing a trigger for the unleashing of tectonic stresses.

What other vulnerable spots may be in the line of fire this time - or next?

STACE TUSSEL-COLLIGAN

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17 Responses to “Significant Alaska Earthquake Accompanies Solar Storm Warning”

  1. Steve Strzelinski Says:

    Thanks for the post, I was wondering if that incoming cme was going to have an effect on the earth…is there evidence to link it directly? Were the Aleutian Islands directly inline with the incoming CME at the right time or shortly thereafter or perhaps shortly before the earthquake?

  2. Stace Says:

    I couldn’t find much published research about the connection between solar and seismic activity when I started posting about the connections I was making in January 2010 after one of the world’s deadliest quakes struck Haiti, followed six weeks later by another major solar event which was linked with the devastating 8.8 Chile earthquake of 27 February, 2010, which I posted about here. Widespread interest has developed in the subject, and we may be in the early stages of proving a connection.

    Trends are much easier to predict than single events. In this instance, Alaska hadn’t had any large earthquakes for awhile, and so I saw it as a potential place for activity with this week’s significant and closely-timed solar disturbances. Clearly not every solar wind event and/or CME is linked to a large earthquake, nor does every large earthquake happen in conjunction with a disturbance of our magnetosphere. The eruption on the Sun a few days ago sent an intense stream of solar particles our way, AND this is combining with the arrival of a fast solar wind from an Earth-facing coronal hole. Coincidentally, a mag-7 quake has struck during this time frame.

    I don’t have access to monitoring equipment that may indicate the precise time the magnetosphere experienced a disturbance due to the solar activity, but I don’t feel there’s an instant “cause and effect” to these events either, so exact timing isn’t as critical as noting the correlations. The disturbance, I feel, is geoeffective in that tectonic activity can be set in motion around the time of magnetospheric impact, which is prior to the time of Earth impact. How the resulting tectonic stresses play out is still quite unpredictable.

    The magnetosphere serves as a protective agent for Earth by deflecting solar particles, so it’s unlikely the incoming storm would have so much a direct effect on any one geographical region as it would have a more general effect on Earth. This stands in contrast, however, to the shot of UV and X-ray radiation received by the sunlit side of Earth within minutes of a giant flare, much like the situation in February of this year. Radiation affects the ionosphere, not the magnetosphere, so we would not expect the same link with seismic activity - unless the flare also resulted in an Earth-directed CME. Just days after the February M-class flare, the associated CME brushed the magnetosphere, and coincidentally a 6.6 quake struck offshore Chile.

  3. Bright Garlick Says:

    Hey Stace - you are so on the ball again. I think the ring of fire is going to be very volatile as more head on CME’s hit these parts of the planet in the next 12 months.

    I thought you might be interested in the petition I’v set up here : http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/prepare-the-grid-for-severe-space-weather.html .

    Here’s wishing you and Keith a wonderful relationship together ! Any chance of little footsteps in the near future ?

    Have a great weekend, Bright. ;-)

  4. Steve Strzelinski Says:

    I was just curious if the timing of the CME and the earthquake corresponded for instance if the earthquake struck before the CME then I’d be less likely to believe there was a correlation or more likely to believe if the opposite were true. I don’t know of any sites that track the orientation of the earth with the CME which could then be tied into the time and geographical location of the earthquake. I’ve always believed there was some kind of link and I think others are starting to believe it too. We are on the verge of some interesting research!!! Hope you had a great weekend!

  5. Bright Garlick Says:

    Please watch this Stace : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oAzFuX-SaS0&feature=player_embedded#at=75

    Hope all is well, Bright.

  6. Steve Strzelinski Says:

    Hi Stace…all’s quiet on the western front, on the world front for that matter…well, so far anyways. After that large CME, I’ve been watching the news and waiting to see if there was a large quake somewhere. I still believe there’s a connection but there are probably more variables than we can understand at this point. Keep following this line of research and maybe we can make other connections, like phases and cycle of the moon and the position at the time of the CME. Also, the 27th came and went peacefully, I’m happy about that too.

  7. Stace Says:

    No big quakes struck at the approach of the recent outburst of CMEs, for which we can be glad. There’s no way to pinpoint any structural changes to various plates, or when they will slip. I can’t help but keep an eye on EQ maps, though - and I won’t be surprised if a big one strikes in the next few days.

    On that note: I was SO glad that the 27th was uneventful!

    Around that date, though, I had a vivid dream about an earthquake at, of all places, the Suez Canal - in the 9+ magnitude range. I don’t recall any other details from the dream, but those details were etched in my memory, and I told Keith about the dream straightaway on awakening. I’m rather embarrassed to say I wasn’t even sure where the Suez Canal was, nor do I have conscious memory of doing any research on seismicity in the area of Israel. A fairly meager 4.1 struck early today (the 7th of August) in Israel, not far from the Suez Canal. The last time the area experienced a good-sized quake (almost mag 6) was a week after the big X-Flare in February of this year. Once again, I have to hope that my dream was not precognitive in any way - but the randomness combined with the vividness of the dream and the recent activity in the area concern me just a bit. I’ll be keeping an eye on that area in coming weeks.

  8. Steve Strzelinski Says:

    Hey Stace, new US volcano erupting along the ring of fire. Perhaps, triggered by the latest cme’s? There was that X 6.9 class flare just the other day but not necessarily earth directed. Just shows that the ring of fire is still in a state of flux and more can be expected.

  9. Steve Strzelinski Says:

    Read this article on Space.com and I think they are misinterpreting the data. They observing effects in the atmosphere approximately 40 minutes before the quakes and assuming it’s some precursor caused by the impending quake. I think that perhaps it could be the straw that broke the camels back and triggered the quake. I post the link here so you can read it and come to your own conclusions but since there was a strong solar flare before the Japanese quake, it makes one wonder why they don’t see this connection.

    http://www.space.com/13236-japan-quake-struck-atmosphere.html

  10. Stace Says:

    Thanks for bringing this news to my attention, Steve. Heki’s findings could very well be misinterpreted by scientists who adhere to the conviction that solar activity has nothing to do with earthquakes, despite plenty of evidence to the contrary. The news stories even acknowledge that “fluctuations similar to those noted by Heki can also be triggered by solar storms,” but go on to say that “…any earthquake early warning system would have to be designed to rule out such non-earthquake causes.” Are these reports deliberately providing disinformation, or are they merely evidence of selective blindness?

    Heki notes that the anomaly is only associated with earthquakes of magnitude 8.5 and above, which doesn’t give us a statistically-significant sample to work with. In fact, five of the sixteen largest earthquakes in the world since 1900 have occurred in just the last seven years. Prior to the Sumatran 9.1 that struck 26 December 2004, the most recent quake in the largest quakes since 1900 category struck in Alaska in 1965 - almost fifty years ago, and as far as I know, long before electron fluctuations in the ionosphere could be measured. But the Sun’s influence on our planet’s seismicity has been explored in several posts here, including Did the Sun’s Great Magnetic Filament Spark Chile Earthquake?. The Chilean quake is one of the five on the list linked above.

    The articles revealing Heki’s findings conspicuously avoid revealing any hypotheses that may exist to explain how an impending large earthquake could cause the ionospheric anomaly, whereas a growing body of evidence makes an arguable link between space weather impacts on our planetary environment and coincidental earthquakes. So while Heki may be on to something, he may be looking at the data with the same kind of bias that kept many scientists and lay people believing that the Sun revolved around the Earth until relatively recently in human history.

  11. Steve Strzelinski Says:

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who looked at it and said, “Hey, this could be the opposite of what they are saying.” Nice to know there is somebody else out there who thinks like me!

  12. Steve Strzelinski Says:

    Hi Stace…found this article and I couldn’t help but think of you. Another discovery that could point the way to uncovering a link between the sun and the earth’s core. Check it out and let me know what you think.

    http://www.sott.net/articles/show/240863-Strange-Sounds-in-Sky-Explained-by-Scientists

  13. Stace Says:

    Interesting link, Steve. While Khalilov’s credentials are impressive, no references are provided for the many assertions he makes; nonetheless, the article is a good starting point for continuing research.

    I’ve been considering that the strange sky sounds being heard around the world could somehow be related to planetary interactions with the Sun. What is the connecting thread? Astronomical influence seems at least as plausible as a human-based technology like HAARP, and certainly far outweighs mass misidentification or hoaxing as a possible source for so many reports.

  14. Steve Strzelinski Says:

    Some of the videos on the web were hoaxes unfortunately…but that’s to be expected. They had matched up some of the sounds to a few movies. I remember War of the Worlds was one of them. However, many of the reports had multiple witnesses and were investigated by local authorities which lends credence to their authenticity. I’m curious as to what kind of natural explanation will come forth, but I believe it will be natural rather than supernatural or paranormal. I’m under the impression that this guy might be on the right track, as my gut instinct is that the sounds are originating in the earth and reverberating to the surface. Who knows, it’s a great mystery and I love a great mystery.

  15. Steve Strzelinski Says:

    Interesting news this morning. A swarm of 86 earthquakes overnight around the ring of fire however scientists say it’s a coincidence and they aren’t linked to that massive underwater Indonesian earthquake. Do they even hear what’s coming out of their mouths? They are so eager to dismiss that earthquakes can be triggered by other earthquakes around the world, even around the ring of fire, that they dismiss it out of hand without even pondering the possibility. Unfortunately, these didn’t come on the heels of a large CME however there was a small CME that brushed past Earth’s magnetic field this past week. So what does all this mean? I guess it means there are more factors responsible for earthquakes than geologists care to admit. I will be keeping my eyes open and see what else shakes out today.

  16. Stace Says:

    Good to hear from you, Steve. I would say it’s quite notable that we had a spike in earthquakes yesterday after the mag-8s in Indonesia. Just look at the string of relatively-large quakes that stacked up all along the western edge of North America following the Indonesian quakes. Note that today we have 4s in Utah and off the Maine coast.

    A quick look at current solar data indicates we’re inside a solar wind stream, one that’s likely going to intensify over the next couple of days. Here’s a quote from the spaceweather.com website from yesterday regarding some brilliant auroras the night before: “The source of the display was the IMF (interplanetary magnetic field), which tipped south on April 9th, opening a crack in Earth’s magnetosphere. Solar wind poured in and fueled the auroras.”

    So again we can see associations with many major earthquakes and disturbances in Earth’s magnetic field linked to space weather, but it’s equally critical to remember that not every solar event is going to spur a quake, nor is every quake spurred by space weather. With that said, academic elitism and a refusal to think outside the box can stifle critical thinking and problem-solving. I believe the best way to approach the challenge of quake prediction and preparation - in general time frames and probabilities, of course - is to draw insights from various branches of science (e.g., geology and astronomy, to name just two that are pertinent).

  17. Steve Strzelinski Says:

    Great reply…I’m surprised I missed that. I never miss a day at Spaceweather.com. I think they only way they will admit a link between the sun, the earth’s magnetic field and earthquakes is after a statistical analysis of a long term study turns up evidence that there is some kind of connection. Perhaps your article will motivate a student to do a thesis on the subject and maybe trigger a study. Wishful thinking? Maybe, but we can always hope. And I’m sure there are scientists out there investigating this phenomenon but are having trouble getting their peers to take it seriously. Why is the scientific establishment so close-minded?

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