Posts Tagged ‘solar cycle 24’

What Sparked Today’s Surprise Solar Storm?

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

Today’s solar storm apparently arrived out of the blue, accompanied by Arkansas’ most powerful earthquake since 1969 and a number of other notable temblors around the US, including a mag-4.5 just 75 miles north of San Francisco.

Hours later I’ve not found a single reference to the cause of today’s unexpected stormy space weather.  Apparently the talking heads are being tight-lipped – or they simply don’t know the source of the storm. Neither scenario is preferable.

Take a look at the depiction of the rather angry-looking auroral oval posted on’s website this morning:

The source of the storm remains an enigma.  Other than a powerful M-class solar flare that erupted just a few days ago and which was downplayed in possible misinterpretation at the time (“…Earth was little affected. Plasma clouds produced by the blast did not come our way…”), clues about the source of today’s surprise, big geomagnetic disturbance and the accompanying remarkable quake activity haven’t surfaced.

While I’m busily working on upcoming articles about remote viewing and synchronistic crop circle alignments, I welcome your thoughts about the source of today’s mysterious solar storm.


Quick Start to 2011’s Strong Earthquakes

Thursday, January 13th, 2011

With five mag 7+ earthquakes in less than a month, here’s another look at correlations between an active Sun and seismicity here on Earth:

The current auroral oval is bright and lopsided.  Image from Spaceweather.

Large earthquakes of magnitude 7 and above have been increasing dramatically since the Haiti quake of 12 January 2010, with three occurring in just the first couple of weeks of 2011.  While I don’t believe these large quakes will continue at the current rate, early indications suggest we could be on target to see record numbers as the year progresses.

(Update 18 January 2011:  Today’s quake in Pakistan, which again just precedes the incoming solar wind due to arrive on the 19th or 20th, brings us to 4 mag 7+ quakes in 2011, and 6 in less than a month. )

A list of yearly magnitude-7+ earthquakes since the last solar minimum in 1996 can be found in the article More Links Among the Sun, Earthquakes, and Mine Explosions.  As predicted in that article, published 17 June, we were on target to see more than 20 quakes in excess of mag 7 by the end of the year.  In fact, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), 22 mag 7+ quakes were recorded during 2010.

Today’s quake in the Loyalty Islands, variously reported at between mag 7 and 7.3, directly precedes the solar wind that is set to hit Earth in the next day or so.  I’ve noted before that that incoming solar wind effects geomagnetic changes, often resulting in earthquakes, when it impacts our planet’s magnetosphere just prior to the wind’s actual arrival on Earth.

Each earthquake is different and may be precipitated by any number of factors aside from solar activity; however, evidence for a causal relationship between the Sun and some seismic activity continues to emerge.  Aside from large coronal holes and solar eruptions, other indicators I monitor at the Spaceweather website include:  1) solar wind, which tends toward high speed and low density just before and during many seismically-active days, and 2) the auroral oval, which is often thick and strongly-lopsided on approach of solar wind and CMEs, predicting geomagnetic disturbances.


NOTE:  Depictions of the auroral oval from several key earthquake dates in 2010 are currently missing, for unknown reasons, from the Spaceweather archives.

Sun’s Link to Earthquake Risk Grows Stronger

Monday, October 25th, 2010

Active Sunspot Group 1117.  Image: Solar Dynamics Observatory.

Several prior posts here at IIC have explored the correlation between solar activity and earthquakes.  Although evidence for the link continues to build, some mainstream denial remains.  I feel that if the link is more than mere coincidence, we should do whatever we can right now to address the risks of increased seismic and tectonic activity as we approach 2012 – the expected peak of the coming solar maximum.

On 17 June, I posted an article here detailing the number of magnitude 7+ earthquakes each year since the lowest point of the last solar minimum of the last century.  Between 1996 and 2010, from 10 to 18 such large earthquakes occurred in a given year, averaging about 13 magnitude 7+ quakes annually.  My prediction that we were on target to exceed 20 mag 7+ quakes this year remains sound, as we just hit 20 with the 7.7 quake that struck Indonesia today.

Remember, many of the largest quakes of 2010 have occurred just prior to Earth entering a solar wind stream.  Charged solar particles bombarding the magnetosphere seem to be perpetuating radical planetary changes such as the creation or activation of new fault lines, as we’ve seen this year in both the southern United States and in Haiti.  With this trend in mind, we should be mindful of the possibility of larger and more frequent earthquakes and increased volcanic activity.


More Links Among the Sun, Earthquakes, and Mine Explosions

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

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.




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

Recent Earthquakes Linked to Solar Effects on Earth’s Magnetic Field

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

Beautiful graphic of solar wind impacting the planetary geomagnetic field.  Source: unknown.

Sunday, April 4th of this year, would’ve been like any other day – except that there was an unusual earthquake under West Virginia early that morning.  The next day an explosion rocked the coal mine in the near-quake zone, possibly caused by built-up toxic gasses enriched by the quake.  Twenty-nine miners lost their lives.

As far as blame goes, all eyes are on the mining company.  Yes, Massey Mining carried some violations, and those violations – specifically those related to gas venting – may have played a role in the mine tragedy.  But why no mention in the mainstream media of the earthquake near Gassaway and the Massey mine the day before the explosion?  Is the correspondence between seismic and solar activity being deliberately ignored or downplayed, despite spikes in seismic activity around 4 April 2010, the day of the West Virginia temblor and the Baja California quake?

These notable earthquakes were accompanied by an exceptionally strong solar wind which impacted Earth’s magnetosphere just before daylight hours on the 5th in North America, and “sparked the strongest geomagnetic storm of the year,” according to’s archives.  Might this strong solar wind have precipitated seismic activity by its impact on the planet’s geomagnetic field and kinetic molten magnetic core?

Spaceweather’s auroral oval graphic makes it easy to observe the gyrations of Earth’s fluxing magnetic fields and make connections between Sun and Earth activity.  The northern auroral oval was both inflamed and lopsided around the time of the West Virginia and the Mexicali quakes.  The bright orange stretching equatorward indicates that our planet’s magnetosphere is being pommelled with solar wind.  I suspect Earth’s iron core is spinning more freely due to its recent relative slumber, and reacting more vigourously to the Sun’s magnetic influences than a decade or two ago.

In other words, the planet’s poles have limbered up to the point that humans – among Earth’s most notorious freeloaders – may be thrown from the surface by a sudden worldwide jolt that one-ups recent seismic outbursts.   Readily available numbers give a general feel for what’s going on.   While I’m unsure of the implications of all the information I gather, I’m finding that increased solar wind combined with lower particle density seems to create marked instability in Earth’s crust and correspondingly-increased seismicity.

Now for some technical information, which needs to be understood in a certain context, which I’ll explain briefly: The US Geological Survey posts magnitude 1+ USA quakes for the past week here, and world quakes of 4.5+ (including US quakes 2.5+) on a separate map here.

A few weeks ago, on the morning of 25 March, 2010, there were 850 quakes on the US map, and 212 on the world map.  At the same time, I noticed Yellowstone was acting up again with a minor swarm.  By the 5th – the day after the West Virginia quake associated with the underground explosion at Massey Mine near Gassaway – the US registered a pretty strong 1313, and the world number jumped to 638.

During the last week, with Earth in the path of a strong solar windstream, the number of earthquakes grew remarkably:  2965 in the US and 1269 on the world map, as of 9 PM on Thursday, the 8th of April, 2010.  Friday the 9th I saw there are 3091 earthquakes on the USA map and 1307 on the world map.  While some of these represent aftershocks from the Mexicali 7.2, that’s still a pretty rapid jump.  Numbers continued to grow daily until the past 24 hours or so.

Observing a trend between the intensity and irregularity of the auroral oval, combined with solar activity and Earth’s seismic activity, may lead to better predictive capacities toward what seem to be Earth-based phenomena, but is really the result of a blending solar and planetary energies.  Of what value, however, is the prediction if most people can’t comprehend it, let alone feel compelled to take action? Even if forewarned of the possibility of massive, imminent Earth changes linked with flaring outbursts of 2012-era Sun rhythms, would most people have the capacity to process that information?  Might panic ensue?

A CME impacted Earth a couple of days ago, and the Sun is growing quiet once again.  This evening, Tuesday 13 April 2010, earthquake numbers are gradually receding like the tide from the shore.

As Spaceweather frequently advises, “Monitoring is encouraged.”


Here’s a link to an abstract investigating a possible connection between earthquakes and explosive gas emissions into coal mines.

Did the Sun’s Great Magnetic Filament Spark Chile Earthquake?

Saturday, February 27th, 2010

One of the strongest earthquakes on record, a magnitude 8.8, hit central Chile early today.  Tsunami warnings have been issued all coastal areas in the path of waves radiating from the quake zone.  Numerous aftershocks nearing magnitude 7 have occurred since then and continue at this time, 12 hours after the quake.

The fault along the western side of Chile and under the Pacific ocean apparently slipped dramatically, which is an important consideration in the prediction and observation of waves capable of producing tsunamis.  The strongest earthquake on record ever hit the same area of Chile almost exactly 50 years ago.

Coinciding with this huge earthquake today we are possibly in the path of ejecta from a huge filament on the Sun that stretched over a million kilometres long and which erupted on the 24 February.  At the moment the geomagnetic effects of this filament’s activity and a possible (as yet unreported) Hyder flare are unknown. reports in their archive for 25 February 2010 that “…The ‘Great Magnetic Filament’ on the sun that we’ve been tracking for the past week finally erupted yesterday… The event did not produce a bright solar flare, as sometimes happens when filaments erupt, but there was a coronal mass ejection (CME). SOHO coronagraphs observed at least one and possibly as many as three clouds billowing away from the sun… If any of this material is heading for Earth – a big unknown! – it would arrive on Feb. 27th or 28th.”  (italics added)

As the Sun continues to “rub its eyes” upon awakening from a exceptionally deep solar minimum, we should be aware of associated Earth changes.  We are not yet in the throes of solar max, and if current activity is any indication, we should anticipate more severe disruptions of the Earth’s geomagnetic field and tectonic/volcanic activity, which in turn impacts the surface temperature of Earth as well as her oceans, thus cascading effects on weather and climate.

We are all going to be affected by these changes in our planetary and immediate environment.  The alignment of our Solar System with ecliptic of the Milky Way, combined with unpredictable and intensifying solar activity, I feel is key to the permanent transformation of Earth and her inhabitants.  A cycle which we cannot control is taking over, so we had best hang on for the ride of our lives!

While some changes are devastating, it’s important to remember that others may prove to be helpful.  Now is the time to focus conscious intent on maximising recent DNA upgrades that may have accompanied the recent intense bombardment of Earth by cosmic rays, along with which lifeforms of all types seem to be developing new high-level abilities.

Perhaps through accelerated evolutionary changes in our DNA, which seems to be been programmed for general “improvement,” life is preparing to leave this planet and move on to other places – even other dimensions entirely – in order to survive a catastrophic demise of most or all life on Earth.  The 2012 era is upon us, and perhaps sooner rather than later we will learn the implications of that fact.


Mid-Continent US Earthquakes Increasing Since Haiti Quake

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010



Seismograph, 2005. Courtesy

Is Increased Seismic Activity Related to Solar Cycle 24???

The Denver Post reported yesterday that “Yellowstone National Park has been rattled by more than 250 earthquakes in the past two days following a period of 11 months of quiet seismic activity in the park. The quakes have been gaining strength, with a magnitude 3.1 tremor recorded at 11:03 a.m…. Prof. Robert B. Smith, a geophysicist at the University of Utah and one of the leading experts on earthquake and volcanic activity at Yellowstone, said that the activity is a ‘notable swarm.'” Read more.

As I’ve been writing this article today, I’ve noticed that most recently a new Post article has come out that relays information easily obtained on the USGS website, indicating two new, stronger tremors just this afternoon that seem to be creeping toward the 4.0 mark  – see here.

Certainly Yellowstone sees its share of mild earthquakes during these occasional swarms, but as the Denver Post pointed out, this surge of recent and increasing activity follows a relatively-quiet period, so I’m monitoring the USGS earthquake activity site, which shows today that a stronger earthquake hit Yellowstone early this morning, the 19th, registering a 3.4 on the Richter Scale.

I’ve actually been writing this article all day during lulls at work today, and I’ve just learned that a couple hours ago, at about 3 PM Mountain Time (Tuesday the 29th), there were two more temblors at Yellowstone, each bigger than before, both registering a more interesting magnitude 3.6.

If I were scheduled for a Yellowstone vacation, you can bet I’d be postponing it as of today!

We may be the beginning of a somewhat disturbing trend….

In summary: the current Yellowstone swarm intensified yesterday – the same day that northern New Mexico recorded an unusually strong temblor of magnitude 4.1 (or thereabout).   And just three days prior to that, on the 15th, Oklahoma recorded its strongest quake in over 10 years, a magnitude 4.0.

This activity highlights a cluster of increased-magnitude quakes over the central United States, coinciding with the horrific Haiti earthquake on the 12th.

“There is absolutely no connection between what is occurring in Yellowstone and the magnitude 7.0 earthquake in Haiti,” reported the Denver Post. “They are completely different systems,” doctoral student Jamie Farrell told the Post. “They are not related.”

Farrell’s assertion that the earthquakes are not related because they “are completely different systems,” indicates that he’s referring to a the absence of a clear tectonic plate link.  I suspect that a different link exists between the devastating Haitian quake and the subsequent increased activity in the west-central United States during the past week, having less to do with a crustal continuity of fault lines and much more with other correlating factors which are ultimately much more difficult, if not impossible, to dismiss.  (See my post just prior to this one.)

Here’s what I’m noticing:  we’ve got quite a cluster of earthquakes going, their outbursts coinciding with active solar windstorms exerting pressure on the Earth’s fragile crust.  We should not underestimate the strength of the Sun’s awakening and its effects on Earth as a geomagnetic system – literally, to our planet’s very core.  People pay attention to the beautiful affects of solar wind; the northern lights, for instance, have been extraordinarily active in the past couple of days – but is their enchanting display lulling us into the arms of a present danger?

A few of you have probably heard that the Norway Spiral that heralded the beginning of Europe and Asia’s unseasonably snowy and cold winter may have been the result of human tampering (oh my) of the HAARP variety, puncturing the thermosphere and allowing an outflow of heat (thus, Europe’s deep freeze) and creating a window for solar wind to slam into the Earth’s crust.

I’m no scientist, but I’m thinking cosmic geomagnetic interactions between the Sun and the Earth could be impacting the molten core of Earth in ways that we could not have predicted – at the apparent dawning of Solar Cycle 24’s Solar Max.

If the thermosphere has indeed been breached and the inner core of our planet is abuzz with a polar shift accelerated by solar wind, then what possible effects could that have on the core and crust in totality?  Not just fault lines that can be connected like dots on graph paper?  Could Yellowstone’s ancient, restless magma be ready to bust at the seams?  Let’s hope not.

At this writing these mid-continent North American earthquakes are notable in both number and size, and all indications are that they’re growing.  Stay tuned!


PS – For all you armchair seismologists out there, take out your US map.  Put a dot on the map a bit west of Raton, NM and another dot just to the SE of West Yellowstone, MT, where two of the strongest US quakes in the last few days have happened.  Notice that the line runs through Craig, CO – where a good-sized quake made the news last August, 2009.  Hmmm…

Link Between Solar Activity and Earthquakes

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

Current solar activity related to Haiti earthquake?

The Sun is erupting; Earth is reeling.  And we had better brace ourselves.  With the increase in sunspots since December, we’re seeing more earthquakes around the world…and it’s no mere coincidence.

The surge of sunspots over the past month has culminated in the relatively behemoth 1040, actually the remains of sunspot 35, which traversed the Sun’s face about a week ago and was expected to dissipate quickly.  Instead the churning magnetic field made it all the way across the Sun’s backside and, in rare fashion, turned back into a raging sunspot again, stronger and more defined than ever.

And so it appears that the long and rather strange hibernation of the Sun is coming to an end.

Our magnetosphere is being battered by particle-charged streams coming from the Sun as well as galactic cosmic rays being propelled into our solar system.  Earth is like the ball in a cosmic tennis game.  Her crust can bear so much buffeting.  Nebraska and Oklahoma recorded earthquakes in the past month, just two odd spots along shuddering fault lines all over the planet shifting as Earth entrains with the fiery rhythm of the Sun.

In the first two weeks of the year, an active sunspot region and an equatorial, Earth-facing coronal hole have developed and become prominent, if transient, features.  Geomagnetic effects are jarring Earth’s crust and weakening the supports we depend on.  As solar activity grows, as it will, the quantifiable link between solar activity and earthquakes predicts that we’ll see more extremes:  more earthquakes, more floods. Because of the tectonics involved, more active volcanism is likely too.

The devastation might take many by surprise, as it did a few days ago.

On the afternoon of 12 January 2010, Haiti fell, collapsing in an unanticipated snapshot of time.  Port-au-Prince shook and tumbled and cried out from its deepest heart, brought down in seconds by the strongest earthquake the country has borne for two centuries.  My tears are meager offerings at this time.

The Sun was also speaking loudly that day:  a 15% chance of an M-Class flare was predicted (but didn’t occur), and the solar wind’s density was a relatively high 7.2 protons/cm3.  We still haven’t seen an M-Class flare yet in Solar Cycle 24, but the chance is higher now than in recent memory:  at the time of this writing, we face a 1-in-5 chance of experiencing an M-Class flare, and windstream density is currently just 1.6 protons/cm3.

When will the next big flare up occur?  Haiti’s the latest victim, but what other regions on Earth are vulnerable to seismic and volcanic activity?  What can we do to prepare?

All of this activity is conceivably leading up to a truly epic solar maximum, which should peak in the next few years – just in time for 2012.  If so, my friend, we either make peace with leaving or we try to save ourselves.  Therein lies the great question of our time – one we’ll surely ponder as we approach the horizon of an era.


See Also:
article by Alex Ansary
and this isolated abstract.