Monday, March 14, 2011

The Japan Earthquake and tsunami of March 11th, 2011

( Blog for website at )

Doing the moving ( ..and making Tsunamis.. )

Fig.1 Doing the moving. Earthquake distribution clearly shows the preponderance of earthquakes on the continents compared to the oceans, and therefore that it is the continental crust that is doing the moving, not the oceanic 'plate'. (Earthquakes are for the period 2006-2010.)

Consider the essential difference between Plate Tectonics and Earth expansion in the figure. In Plate Tectonics the action is said to be from the oceanward side as (it is said) "plates move". Yet eastwards beyond the 'subduction zone' (bright colours), where the oceanic crust is relatively thick (and cold) (and brittle) there are virtually no earthquakes until we get to the spreading ridges where (it is said) hot material is rising and the crust is thin (about 10km).

What? ..earthquakes occur at spreading ridges where there shouldn't be (because hot material rises and the crust is thin and supposedly more ductile)? .. but there are none towards the subduction zone where there should be (because the crust is much thicker, cold and brittle).  The ocean floors (we are told) get colder thicker (and therefore more prone to earthquakes) as they move away from the ridge, and yet there are no earthquakes in this direction?  Clearly a case for more research into yet another of Plate Tectonics' tantalising conundrums.

The ocean floors are simply not moving in the way Plate tectonics says.  As Figure 1 shows, it is the continental side that is doing the moving; the Earthquakes at the spreading ridges simply represent brittle adjustment to upwards growth (shown by the spreading ridges being longer than the continental margins where they were initiated - a fact that is ignored in Plate Tectonics).  Strange, ..  that they all occur at a regulation 10km depth, which is right at the base of the crust where it is least brittle, and least prone to Earthquakes.  (So, ..what?  Earthquakes are the mark of brittleness, yet ocean floors have most where it is least brittle, and least where it is most brittle.  No end to these Tantalising coundrums needing "more research" ...)

The Big White Arrows of Plate Movement ?
Fig.2. For the guidance of the faithful, ..White arrows showing plate movement according to Plate Tectonics.. Japan on the left, ..Kamchatka just peeping in on the right - with north to the right. White line is the subduction zone.
"What's going on is that the plate going down drags along with it the upper plate as strain is stored in between earthquakes," he explained. (google any string for a source )

Well, with no earthquakes in it, the oceanic plate is not going anywhere.  The Tsunami is generated simply when the crust on the left collapses over /into the mantle.  Like the wave that happens when a piece spalls off an ice-berg.  Put your outstretched hand in the bath and wiggle is around sideways and see nothing much happens in the way of water movement.  Pump it up and down and see the difference.  It's the collapsing down (and the rebound) that generates the tsunami wave.

The part he is *omitting* to explain here (because it is inconvenient to do so)  is that according to Plate Tectonics it is the other side, that is *pushing* the ocean floor down in the first place.  So Japan is pushing the ocean floor down, and then the ocean floor is dragging Japan down with it?  Well, if this were true then Japan can dispense with its nuclear reactors altogether, for this is better than a runaway perpetual motion machine - a veritable treasure trove of free energy.   So no, no, nooOoo, there *is* no dragging down, it's just Japan pushing down - or falling down that does it. 

Check the classic section across the Nankai trough.

Fig.3.  The weasel words of Plate Movement.  "Relative to the plate across the boundary" ?? Like the train being still and the countryside zipping past?   Again, check the earthquake distribution in Fig.1 for which side is doing the moving. The line marks the subduction zone of the Japan Trench. Asian plate on the left. Big White Arrows are for those willing to believe Plate Tectonics' story of plate movement (BWAaaa!!)

Hey, ..Runaway subduction!! (??)  Anything that sounds this good is probably too good to be true, and, as the arrows show when more closely inspected, so it is. For when we click on them, .. far from depicting plate movement at all, the arrows after all are only intended to show *relative* movement. Obviously a double-headed arrow straddling the white line would of course be more appropriate, but that would detract from the story going around - about plate movement. Which wouldn't do at all, because if traced to its root this would in turn imply the situation is exactly as represented in Fig.1, that it is the continental side that is doing the moving - in this case, Japan, which has moved 4m east, and dropped 2 feet on the landward side, ..i.e., no Plate Tectonics.  'Plate' collision, sure, ..but the colliding is the other way, ..and yes there is a difference between which side it is that's doing the moving.

But the movement is always down, .. as tragically witnessed by the survivors. Except in the mountains, where it always up - another tantalising conundrum for Plate Tectonics to pursue - on your dough.

(Dubble-dudded. -  Earthquakes, tsunamis, ..and pay for scientists getting it wrong.  Or at least refusing to think about getting it right - because of career risk.  It can be a risky business, standing up for what you think is right...  Most prefer the easy chair - and fight over it.)

Fig.4.  Japan doing the moving.  Like a gigantic mudslide creeping easterly across the obstruction of the northerly-striking Marianas Ridge, the Japanese islands are collapsing into the Japan Trench.
The Japanese Islands stretch from southwest to northeast across the image, and are creeping like a giant mudslide across the Marianas Ridge, which forms an obstruction to their passage as they relax out on to the Pacific Plate.  Like a ship grounds on a shoal.  Something similar may also have happened in the recent Christchurch earthquakes.  [2011-04-14: postscript edit: Interesting comparison ?]
Japan earthquakes and the Supermoon factor?

The closest approach of the Moon to the Earth in eighteen years -  may have helped to 'unstick' it, and caused it to collapse down the slope towards the Japan Trench before it otherwise might.  For that indeed is its fate, ..future supermoons or not.
Fig.5.  Japan collapses off the Marianas Ridge into the Japan Trench. (Earthquakes for the seven day period 10th-16th March, 2011)

The Japanese Islands are the leading edge of the 'Asian plate' (diagonal NW-half of the figure) which is sliding out over the combined mantle floor of the Pacific and Phillipines plates (diagonal SE-half of the figure). 

Addendum, Saturday 19th March

"The myth and reality of the Japanese earthquake"

"..BACK in January, Japanese seismologists warned that the tectonic plates colliding beneath the Pacific Ocean off the north-east coast of Japan were poised to slip catastrophically. By their reckoning, there was a 99% chance of an earthquake of magnitude 8.0 occurring off the Miyagi coast, and a 90% chance of one off Ibaraki prefecture, within the next 30 years. They were surprised only by the sheer size of the magnitude 9.0 monster that was unleashed when the plates at last let go on March 11th. .."   < ....  >  Could such a chain of seismic events happen elsewhere in Japan? Many in Tokyo fear that earthquakes may be creeping closer. The Japanese media have drawn attention to a quake of magnitude 6.6 on the far side of the country, between Nagano and Niigata prefectures, and to a quake of magnitude 6.1 in Shizuoka prefecture, both within days of the main quake. But these fairly common events occurred on entirely different tectonic plates. It is hard to imagine how faults on one continental plate might communicate with those on another that is hundreds of kilometres away."

"Both on different plates"?  No they're not.  Japan is on the Asian plate, ..and it's Japan sliding into the trench (Figs. 4 and 5).
"Hard to imagine"?  No it's not.  Not for nothing is  "Hanging by a thread"  a common expression. 

So what was the difference back in January, between thirty years and three months?  SuperMoon-pull? Well, perhaps indeed ..the strongest pull on the crust in eighteen years?  The article makes no mention, either of moonpull, or of Japan's criticality on the Marianas Ridge.  What the article quite correctly maintains is a myth, is that it is a nonsense to suggest that the mentioned precursor earthquakes in Japan could trigger movement of the Pacific plate to cause those earthquakes.  As Fig1 shows, the Pacific floor is seismically dead, it has been since its creation - or at least certainly within the time-frame of geophysical measurements.  Despite the Big White Arrows, it is the *Japanese* side that's doing the moving, .. not the oceanic plate of the Pacific.  And thirty years, or three months, ..on the scale of geological time, (less than the split of a second), there is no difference.

That's the practical difference between Plate Tectonics and Earth expansion that attention is called to.  It's in the thinking that underpins the analysis when it comes to understanding the dynamics of geological structure generating killer tsunamis.  Groupthink can be dangerous.   Google up the earthquakes for any year(s) and look at the spread of the brown dots.  They're all over Japan and the offshore slump zone at a depth of 10-30km or so.  The other colours (different depth denominations) are deeper, but in zones which are parallel to the main brown distribution and are therefore related.  The main seismicity is contained within 'the zone', ..but the seismically active side generating the movement belongs to Japan, not the Pacific plate.  Where the aggregate earthquake distribution defines the zone, the distribution of the segregate elements within it that relate directly to tsunami generation is far from clear. My small preliminary plots suggest a segregate orientation near-parallel to surface, or even inclined towards the oceanic plate (eastwards) - not dipping west like the subduction zone.  If this is true overall it would not only complicate the story, it would perhaps even (God Forbid!!) negate it.  And I see nothing on the net dealing with segregate versus aggregate analysis.

(reminder - link to Nankai trough slumping.)

Gee, there are a lot of people in that corner.  But with all the paint, ..I guess it's tarted up really nice..
Fig.6.  Check the official version. Arrows indicate along and down movement of Japan as it slides into the trench.

Again, the earthquakes broadly define an interface, which as can be seen in Fig.1, belongs dynamically to the continental side, not the oceanic side. It's the continental crust that's doing the moving (OVERRIDING), not the ocean floor 'plate' (subduction).  The detail would appear to remain arguable, but the overall picture given by consensus through Plate Tectonics is a fallacy built on the failure to acknowledge geological reality, that the Earth's crust has been distended by the extents of the ocean floors,

(Any geologists reading this who support this Plate Tectonics rubbish, ..Get real!   The GEO comes before the PHYSICS. Every time!


Anonymous said...

other than semantics, I'm unclear as to how the Pacific plate sub-ducting under the Asia Plate is ultimately any different from the Asia Plate popping up over the Pacific Plate (like a car jumping a curb).

Other that sub-ducting implies the Pacific plate is be consumed by the mantle.

Whereas popping over a curb would imply that Japan actually gained a bit in elevation?

don findlay said...

The is exactly the crux. It's a question of which side the movement is from. If the movement is from the oceanic side then you have 'Plate movement', suduction and return of the oceanic crust to the deep mantle. It it is just overriding, then you have Pangaean crustal relaxation, and 'skating' of the crust on the mantle. Which is Earth expansion. No Plate Tectonics.

UFO Disclosure said...

What would also be interesting is an estimate as to when Japan will finally fall into the trench.

don findlay said...

We can't take a framework of tens of millions of years and use it as the yardstick for what's going to happen in a hundred. Geologically it's just going to keep collapsing and spreading out. It won't roll over (and under). (So we'll only need snorkels.)

ion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ELF Co-operative said...

Since I live in Japan, I am looking closly at how long Japan has been here "sitting on the edge". From what I have found we have been enjoying this front seat for over 60 million years since we were in direct contact with Northern Australia. I have a piece of 30 million year old Japanese petrified wood sitting in my front yard. I am a licensed scuba diver but I do not expect to see the pacific in my yard any time soon.

don findlay said...

(OoOOhh, .. but a lot of people did, unfortunately.) It's the way it happens when things move down the slope. It will take a while of course, but each time movement will be something like - though hopefully not so catastrophic. But it's a very unique position you have there, off the Marianas ridge. Me? Wouldn't like to be going to bed at night with past experience of that on my mind.

Where'd you get the wood incidentally? off the sea floor? Or, .. ?

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