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Nature_and_Environment.25

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Earthquakes

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{Nature_and_Environment.25.1}: Glen Marks {wotan} Sun, 29 Aug 2004 22:05:51 CDT (5 lines)

Considering that a recent news item reported that there are 52
nuclear reactors in Japan, is it really wise to build n.r.'s in a
region that seems to be an earthquake zone?:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5841971/

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{Nature_and_Environment.25.2}: Glen Marks {wotan} Wed, 08 Sep 2004 22:06:03 CDT (3 lines)

An earthquake occurs every 5 minutes in Japan:

http://worldnews.orb6.com/stories/nm/20040906/quake_japan_dc.php

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{Nature_and_Environment.25.3}: Glen McBeth {glenbob123} Sun, 10 Apr 2005 19:10:34 CDT (5 lines)

If the reactors and infrastructure for the reactors are built for
it, I see no problem.

They put reactors in ships that continually have a far worse ride
than any earthquake.

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{Nature_and_Environment.25.4}: Suzanne Griffith {sggriffith} Mon, 11 Apr 2005 01:21:18 CDT (3 lines)

I believe submarine design is a completely different type of
engineering from reactors on land. I don't believe the latter are
designed for swimming.

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{Nature_and_Environment.25.5}: David {david1961} Mon, 11 Apr 2005 05:50:47 CDT (4 lines)

I recently read that they're drilling a hole through the earths crust
and I wonder if human activity is connected to the recent spate of
quakes.
http://www.livescience.com/technology/050407_earth_drill.html

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{Nature_and_Environment.25.6}: Tom Elliot {telliot} Mon, 11 Apr 2005 15:20:39 CDT (HTML)

It's highly unlikely, heck virtually impossible, for that to have any connection to the earthquakes. The Sumatran earthquakes are the result of hundreds of years of built up pressure as one tectonic plate forces its way under another. The area at which they meet does not slide easily and pressures build up that get released as the upper plate catches and releases on the lower. That's what caused those earthquakes.

A drilling hole of a few inches in diameter doesn't even rise to the level of a mosquito bite.

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{Nature_and_Environment.25.7}: Suzanne Griffith {sggriffith} Mon, 11 Apr 2005 16:32:09 CDT (2 lines)

If we had that kind of power, we could probably *prevent* earthquakes
by drilling to relieve pressure. But we don't.

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{Nature_and_Environment.25.8}: David {david1961} Tue, 12 Apr 2005 00:02:39 CDT (36 lines)

I don't know if drilling a hole could cause an earthquake but human
activity seems to have caused earthquakes before. Underground nuclear
tests (and who knows the extent of the testing being conducted by
India and other countries) and the construction of dams and resevoirs
has been linked to earthquakes. I don't know if they're blasting but
it seems like they're playing a game of Jengo sometimes.

This article sort of confirms your position Tom in regard to airguns
used in seismic surveys but I don't think we really know what effects
we are having.

"Seismic Surveys and the Asian Tsunami - In the wake of the Christmas
tsunami, speculation spread in cyberspace that seismic surveys taking
place off southern Australia, which some observers blamed for whale
beachings in early December, may have triggered the earthquake that
caused the devastation. Several journalists contacted AEI for our
input, and Executive Director Jim Cummings was quoted in some online
stories. By and large, these stories presented our comments in
context, though none gave our bottom line: it is highly unlikely--as
close to impossible as you can get--that earthquakes are triggered by
airguns. Regarding other research noted in these stories: There is
some evidence that some oil and gas extraction activities (mainly
injecting mass quantities of fluids into depleted fields to increase
their pressure, and perhaps also subsiding of ground over depleted
reservoirs) can cause very small earthquakes (in the 1 to 2 range on
the Riechter scale), but seismic activity has not been seen associated
with airgun blasts. And yes, during WWII some research was done toward
using explosives to trigger tsunamis (great idea, eh?), but this used
the explosive blasts to directly create waves, not to trigger earth
movements. While we will never know everything about the subtle
effects of our actions, or the indirect links along seismic faults,
that doesn't mean we should take the leap to saying "anything's
possible." Jim Cummings, AEI Founder

Note: AEI is the Acoustic Ecology Institute and not the American
Enterprise Institute in this case.

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{Nature_and_Environment.25.9}: Tom Elliot {telliot} Tue, 12 Apr 2005 14:34:53 CDT (HTML)

That's true David, as far as it goes. Changing aquifer levels through water pumping and changing the nature of a valley by damming one end and filling it with water can cause small quakes. However, those quakes are of very low intensity and very close to the surface. So while they technically may be called quakes they are about as similar to the Sumatran earthquakes as a rolling pin is to a steamroller.

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