Sun Moonquakes and Tide
SATURDAY AUGUST 17, 2013
Sun Moonquakes and Tide
No natural event is more frightening than an earthquake. The ground under our feet may seem solid, but it is a mere skin of an apple compared to the immense volume of Earth's interior. This skin, called the outer crust, is an average 32 kms thick under land, but only averaging about 5-6kms thick under oceans. next comes the mantle, some 3000 kms of solid crystalline mass, and finally the core the outer part of which is thought to be liquid and the inner part, the inner core, a solid ball about 80% the size of our moon. Yet earthquakes originate humdreds of kms down.
4.5 billion years ago celestial bodies formed the Earth of which NZ is a small part. The same celestial bodies are still shaping Earth and having impacts on each other. Celestial bodies are Sun and Moon, and whatever influences them, being planets. All planets have quakes, including the Sun.
Earthquakes in Seddon do not just arise underneath Cook Strait.. There are tides in the "solid" crust, displacements of up to 20cms, which like any other tides are governed by the celestial bodies. The whole country rises and falls daily. This is an important clue in what is the timing mechanism of earthquakes. For instance, the high tide at Picton on 16 August was at 3.15pm. The biggest quakes began with a 6.8mag at 2.31pm and came in the few hours following.
Nature warns in advance when a big quake is due to strike. In NZ anyone with a barometer will have noticed there was a gradual drop over the 24 hours from 15 August and sudden drop between noon and 4pm on 16 August. Sudden drops always herald the larger earthquakes because air pressure is linked to the sea level which is linked to the level of the seafloor beneath. The barometer bottomed out in the evening of 16 August and will probably not go lower.
Air pressure remains at a low level and should be coming out of the trough within a day or so. It can be viewed as a big low pressure system in isobaric maps centred over central NZ bringing rain and unsettled conditions to the whole North Island
and with the imminence of a kingtide this coming week and the approach to full moon and perigee and we have the usual formula for a noticeable seismic shift. There was a similar system developing on 21 July.
Sunspots jumped up to 129 on 16 August, up 20% over the day before and at over 700km/sec the earth entered a stream of faster solar wind according to spaceweather.com. Also a coronal hole has formed in the Sun's northern hemisphere, and it is spewing solar wind into space. The solar wind is expected to reach Earth this weekend. The earthquake cluster is therefore a phenomenon wider ranging than just plate jostlings under Cook Strait. We can ascertain this because at the same time, being 3pm our time, above-5mag shakes also popped off in India, Russia, Mexico and Indonesia
When the Moon comes close to earth (perigee) it weakens the solar radiation shield which allows through the solar wind, which then intereacts with Earth. This causes earthquakes to result on earth. Lunar magnetic anomalies have strong influence on the solar wind flow.
The largest Christchurch earthquakes occurred when the Moon was almost the second closest for the year (4 September 2010) and almost the closest for not only that year but also for 19 years (22 February 2011). Moonquakes are over 700kms below the surface and are tidal in origin
The perigee is 2 days away on 19 August, so we can expect this window of possible activity until 21 August which is full moon, just before kingtide. In our August newsletter issued in July this website listed the 17-20 August (give or take a day) as bringing a suggested seismic window for August as being between now and Monday, so this may indicate the extent of this current period of activity.
It is the equivalent to 22 July as was posted in our July newsletter:,
Activity is also expected in Sth Philippines, Nth Japan, Chile, Indonesia and Canada over next 2-3 days. Another big one may occur in Indonesia on perigee day of 18/19 August, and possibly affect NZ. We should stay on alert until the weekend has passed. As perigee day traditionally brings the greatest stress to the inner earth, we should regard Monday as a definite day to take caution.
The poor people of Seddon need help in coping with this setback. The number of earthquakes since yesterday have now reached 200. The average for the whole country is only about 45 per day. Wellington has claimed this earthquake series as its own, but the epicentre is nowhere near Wellington. Wellington will get its turn to be in the limelight. Now south of Wellington, the tendency has been a northward shift of seismic stress since 2011. It has taken two years to reach Marlborough.
It means Christchurch is now relatively safe, Wellington may be safe for now, but equally the lower North Island may become more at risk in a couple of years time. The lesson is the need to prepare now, both structurally and emotionally. These earthquakes, frightening as they are to locals, can be a level-headed wake up call to the rest of the population, not a panic call.
The Alpine Fault is not in danger, nor is there any tsunami risk. Media reports of terrified people fleeing Wellington were untrue and sensationalised. Behind the frenzied TV reporters people could be seen calmly window shopping, with no one running anywhere. An aerial view of clogged highways shown from the news channel’s helicopter merely showed the normal 5pm rush hour, with the thousands of homeward bound city workers gridlocked as they are on any Friday evening of the year.
It is not to say there is not cause for caution, but belief in media or official announcements could be misplaced and/or uninformed. Both seem to be making it up as they go along. Dr Kelvin Berryman, head of GNS, told Mary Wilson at 5pm on National Radio's Checkpoint that the biggest one had already occurred, yet thirty minutes later a larger one struck. It is a pity that local geologists choose to remain blissfully unaware of other events in other countries, and of energy releases that correlate positively to earthquaking, due to quaking on the moon and sun and the positioning of planets that exert gravitational effects on our electromagnetic field.
Planetary midpoint. Jupiter-Mars-Sun, squaring Earth
Questions do need to be asked of GNS by the media, as to why the earthquake seems to have begun as a 6.8mag, got downgraded to a 6.2mag, then allowed up again to 6.6mag. Is it because a 6.8mag might be classed as scaremongering?
Must we resort to searching the internet and overseas sources, for information about what is happening in our own backyard?