Monday, September 12, 2016

New Madrid in our Lifetime Is Guaranteed

You will see the New Madrid fault repeat during your lifetime. You heard it here.

They know it is coming and are trying to cover themselves by warning people to prepare.

In 1812 the 8.0+ quake that struck knocked down a lot of log cabins, depopulated whole colonies and settlements, toppled mountains and turned high altitude cliffs into new waterfalls from subduction. When I was stationed at Fort Riley in the Army I took a great interest in the history of the New Madrid fault and read a lot about it in 1984.

Today a quake of similar proportions would kill several million people and turn many major cities on the fault line into rubble. It would be easily the worst natural disaster in all of recorded American history. The aftermath alone would be barbaric as a quarter of the United States might lose power, heat, drinking water and food for an extended length of time.

The geologists believe that the next one is long, long overdue. This is usually an indication it will be a doozy as stresses build up on that continental plate.

The stresses aren't just building up in Kansas.


Ryan David G said...

Thought of Vault-Co when I saw this timeline going around (of the last 22000 years):

References to sea people, Lascaux caves etc... no mention of Neanderthals though.

Edward said...

So is that timeline pro AGW or against it? I mean it shows it was already pretty warm 5000 years ago, and that obviously wasn't because of the all those evil Egyptians burning fossil fuels, and nor were the subsequent cooler periods caused by any human activity. Obviously natural fluctuations caused far greater temperature changes over far longer periods that make all human activities seem pretty petty in comparison.
That said, it also shows how much effect you can have in just 100-200 years, once you start industrialising manufacturing of consumer appliances and powering transportation by combusting hydrocarbons.
But just as most people didn't even think of owning their own cars just 100 years ago, in another 100 years the idea of using hydrocarbons to fuel your daily transportation to and from some place of employment may be similarly antique. I mean post internet we can mostly 'work from home' via teleconferencing and shared workspaces, and even that is really just an artefact of our current social/financial paradigm. If we could all just jack into a shared immersive virtual space from the comfort of our own home, well the whole idea of everyone having to have a car would vanish just as quickly as it appeared, and the AGW problem would be largely solved as a temporary mistake that only lasted a century or so while we slowly went from steam to oil to nuclear fusion or whatever 'zero-point' thing we eventually figure out in the next couple of decades. It's really just not a big problem compared to the potential impact of a few meteor strikes or supervolcanoes going off, things that the planet still regularly throws at its organic life-forms that are still way beyond our control.