Monday, March 28, 2016

PLANETARY TREMORS: USGS' New Federal Hazard Map Includes MAN-MADE QUAKES For The First Time - Agency Says Tremors From Oil And Gas Drilling Put MILLIONS At Risk, Making States Like Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas, Colorado, New Mexico And Arkansas As QUAKE-PRONE As Naturally High-Hazard Areas Of California! [VIDEO]


March 28, 2016 - UNITED STATES - A new federal hazard map includes man-made quakes for the first time.

A new federal map released Monday shows parts of Oklahoma are now as seismic as parts of California and Alaska, long the nation’s leaders in earthquakes, and for the first time includes man-made earthquakes.


WATCH: How Oil Drilling Created An Earthquake Crisis.





The U.S. Geological Survey’s new earthquakes hazard map, which helps states and government officials determine insurance rates and building codes, is in part a reaction to the historic increase in seismic activity in Oklahoma.

Last year the state experienced almost 900 3-plus magnitude earthquakes; in 2007, it recorded just one. On earlier USGS maps, Oklahoma was a seismic afterthought.Scientists say Oklahoma’s surge in quakes is due to the injection of billions of barrels of salty wastewater that have come to the surface during oil and natural gas exploration. The water’s injection back into the earth has put pressure on the state’s fault lines, leading to quakes that have damaged homes, schools and other structures.




Oklahoma has thousands of disposal wells, including a heavy concentration in the state’s northwestern and central regions, where most of the earthquakes are occurring. Ten of the state’s 12 most powerful quakes have struck since 2011.

For years, state officials refused to acknowledge a link between the quakes and the energy industry. However in recent months, the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, the industry’s regulator, has issued a series of orders to oil and gas companies to limit wastewater volumes in the most seismic parts of the state. Several ongoing lawsuits are also seeking to stop disposal well activity.

The USGS has traditionally released an updated hazard map every six years based on 50-year forecasts. But USGS officials say that due in part to the spike in earthquakes in Oklahoma, they now plan to issue a new map every year based on one-year projections. - TIME.





 

SIGNS IN THE HEAVENS: Weather Phenomenon - Baffling MACKEREL SKY PHENOMENA Surprises Many Skywatchers In Mexico; Spectacular Mammatus Clouds Turns York, UK Into A POST-APOCALYTIC Scenery; FIERY RED SUNSET Lights Up The Sky Of Brazil; And MONSTER Shelf Cloud Engulfs Florida! [PHOTOS + VIDEOS]


March 28, 2016 - EARTH - Here are more extraordinary cloud formations, as magnetic polar migration creates symptomatic evidence of Earth's monumental transformation.

Baffling mackerel sky phenomenon surprises many skywatchers in Mexico

This baffling mackerel sky surprised many residents of Ixtapa Zihuatanejo, Guerrero, Mexico on March 26, 2016.

And guess how it is created?

A mackerel sky is a common term for a sky with rows of cirrocumulus or altocumulus clouds displaying an undulating, rippling pattern similar in appearance to fish scales.

This is caused by high altitude atmospheric waves. Cirrocumulus appears almost exclusively with cirrus some way ahead of a warm front and is a reliable forecaster that the weather is about to change.







When these high clouds progressively invade the sky and the barometric pressure begins to fall, precipitation associated with the disturbance is likely about 6 to 12 hours away. A thickening and lowering of cirrocumulus into middle-étage altostratus or altocumulus is a good sign the warm front or low has moved closer and it may start raining within less than six hours.

The old rhymes “Mackerel sky, not twenty-four hours dry” and “Mares’ tails and mackerel scales make lofty ships to carry low sails” both refer to this long-recognized phenomenon.

Other phrases in weather lore take mackerel skies as a sign of changeable weather. Examples include “Mackerel sky, mackerel sky. Never long wet and never long dry”, and “A dappled sky, like a painted woman, soon changes its face”.


Spectacular mammatus clouds over York, UK

These spectacular mammatus clouds swept across the sky over York on March 27, 2016 transforming the city into a post-apocalyptical scenery.

The distinctive Mammatus clouds are believed to have been caused by turbulence in the cloud base due to a change of weather.

The Met Office says Mammatus clouds are among the more unusual and distinctive formations.


via York Press

via York Press

via York Press

Jason ‏@palengreda

Jason ‏@palengreda

Will Jenkyns ‏@jenkywill

via VK

Simon Taylor via Twitter

via VK

Simon Taylor via Twitter

via VK

They usually form with large cumulonimbus clouds, particular when they are forming large thunderstorms.

Storm Katie has seen gusts of up to 105mph battering England and Wales, with several flights diverted from airports and major bridges shut.

In York, the rain is expected to have petered out by this afternoon with wind speeds dropping as the day goes on.

Please do not drive into flood water.



Fiery sunset lights up the sky of Brazil

This fiery sunset lit up the night sky of Umuarama, Paraná, Brazil on March 26, 2016.

As if the sky had turned blood red for a matter a minutes.


Asaff Saab de Souza

Asaff Saab de Souza

Asaff Saab de Souza

Asaff Saab de Souza

Asaff Saab de Souza



Awesome.


Monster shelf cloud engulfs Florida

Look at this insane shelf cloud engulfing the sky of Florida, right now.

Cool anticipating pictures of the monster storm coming ahead.


Clearwater, Florida

Tampa, Florida by Meredyth Censullo

Tampa, Florida by Meredyth Censullo

Tampa

Tampa

Tampa

Tampa

Orlando

Orlando

Orlando

WATCH: Breathtaking cloud formation in Florida.








- Strange Sounds.



 

MASS BIRD DIE-OFFS: Disaster Precursors - Deaths Of Bald Eagles In Delaware, Maryland Baffle Investigators?!

This eagle is one of 13 found dead on a farm in Maryland in mid-February, raising big questions. Photo: Maryland Natural Resources Police

March 28, 2016 - MARYLAND, UNITED STATES - A single bald eagle found dead in southern Delaware last Saturday didn’t raise red flags for state wildlife officials.

But then a few hours later and a mile away, a startling scene unfolded: Eight bald eagles — distressed and disoriented — were discovered on the ground, barely moving on a fallow farm field.

“Seeing one in a field wouldn’t be irregular, but then so many of them — and they weren’t sitting up,” said Sgt. John McDerby of Delaware’s Fish and Wildlife Natural Resources Police. “It was a devastating sight.”

Three of the eagles died, two were rescued and the rest flew away, officials said. The following day, another dead bird was found during a sweep.

The cluster of deaths comes just a month after 13 bald eagles died about 35 miles away on the Eastern Shore of Maryland — the largest single die-off of bald eagles in the state in three decades.

This mystery surrounding the bird species that has soared back from the brink of extinction has investigators and wildlife advocates asking: Is someone poisoning or intentionally harming these national symbols?

At this point, investigators can’t say, but they aren’t ruling out a criminal act.

In Maryland, necropsies indicated the birds did not die from natural causes, meaning diseases such as avian influenza can be ruled out. But they did not pinpoint a cause of death.

Poison is a popular theory since landowners use it to kill rats, foxes and other nuisances that tear up crops. Eagles, in turn, can eat the poisoned carrion.

But Bob Edgell, who owns the Maryland farm where the eagles were found, told NBC News on Friday that he doesn’t use poison on his property and isn’t sure if anyone else in the area does.

“Our investigation is now focused on human causes,” Catherine Hibbard, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Agency, said in an earlier statement.

McDerby said test results of the eagle carcasses in Delaware could be made available early this week. In the meantime, he added, there is no evidence of a serial eagle killer on the prowl or any direct connection between the Delaware and Maryland cases.

The two birds rescued by the nonprofit Tri-State Bird Rescue of Newark, Delaware, are still under the group’s care. Staff declined to provide information about their recovery because the investigation is ongoing, but said that if the creatures fully recuperate, they’ll be released into the wild.

Edgell said he’s not sure what took down the eagles on his land in Maryland. He found no evidence of tracks, after first thinking someone may have dumped the recognizable white-headed birds of prey on purpose.

He also saw no indications they had been shot or had other signs of trauma.

“I was dumbfounded, shocked and everything else,” Edgell said. “I had never seen that many at one time, especially on my property.”


Spelling his female mate, a male Bald Eagle lands on his nest containing two eggs at the U.S. National Arboretum in Washington, DC on March 11, 2016.
Photo: Linda Davidson/The Washington Post/Getty

Anyone convicted of causing the death of the federally protected bald eagle could be fined as much as $100,000 and sentenced to up to a year in prison.

Wildlife groups have banded together with the government to offer a reward for information leading to anyone who contributed to the birds’ deaths.

The Virginia-based American Bird Conservancy added another $5,000 to the pot last week, boosting the total to $30,000.

Mike Parr, vice president and chief conservation officer for the group, said he’s “completely baffled” as to what happened.

“I can’t see any possible explanation of any sort why anyone would deliberately do something like that. It’s outrageous,” Parr said.

The deaths come as bald eagles have made an impressive resurgence in the past five decades. They were nearly killed off after losing habitat and being threatened by the pesticide DDT. Federal protection status as an endangered species in 1967, however, helped to ensure their survival.

Even into the 1970s, bald eagles were shot fairly regularly, said Kevin McGowan, an ornithologist at the Cornell University Lab of Ornithology.

“The decrease in shooting was part of the reason the eagles have recovered so spectacularly (but just one part),” McGowan said in an email. “Populations are probably at a 100-year high. Growth of the eastern population over the last 20 years alone has been impressive.”

Nationwide, the birds went from fewer than 500 breeding pairs in the Lower 48 in 1963 to over 11,000 pairs in 2007, when they were taken off the endangered species list, federal figures show.

Now, bald eagles — beloved as a national symbol of the United States — are celebrated. A pair of babies born at the National Arboretum in Washington, D.C., took the Internet by storm this month thanks to a live cam.

But the sudden loss of so many under strange circumstances should serve as a warning that the magnificent birds still need protection, experts say.

“This is a significantly bad and unusual event,” McGowan said. - MSNBC.





 

PLANETARY TREMORS: Notable Magnitude 3.6 Earthquake Hits Central Region Of Jamaica - USGS! [MAPS + TECTONIC SUMMARY]

USGS earthquake location.

March 28, 2016 - JAMAICA - A magnitude 3.6 earthquake was recorded moments ago, seven kilometres west-north-west of Kellits, Clarendon by the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

According to USGS data, the epicentre was also determined to be 15 kilometres or 9.3 miles below the Earth’s surface.

The quake is considered to be the same tremor that has been felt in sections of the parish – to as far west as Malvern, St Elizabeth and as far east as Spanish Town, St Catherine.


USGS shakemap intensity.

Not a powerful earthquake by geological standards, a magnitude 3.6 quake (classified as minor) has the potential to cause damage – but are among some of the most frequently-felt of the six-tier system.

Reports of a strong earthquake, rocking sections of Malvern in St Elizabeth, trickled into Loop News late Sunday evening. - Loop Jamaica.

Seismotectonics of the Caribbean Region and Vicinity

Extensive diversity and complexity of tectonic regimes characterizes the perimeter of the Caribbean plate, involving no fewer than four major plates (North America, South America, Nazca, and Cocos). Inclined zones of deep earthquakes (Wadati-Benioff zones), ocean trenches, and arcs of volcanoes clearly indicate subduction of oceanic lithosphere along the Central American and Atlantic Ocean margins of the Caribbean plate, while crustal seismicity in Guatemala, northern Venezuela, and the Cayman Ridge and Cayman Trench indicate transform fault and pull-apart basin tectonics.

Along the northern margin of the Caribbean plate, the North America plate moves westwards with respect to the Caribbean plate at a velocity of approximately 20 mm/yr. Motion is accommodated along several major transform faults that extend eastward from Isla de Roatan to Haiti, including the Swan Island Fault and the Oriente Fault. These faults represent the southern and northern boundaries of the Cayman Trench. Further east, from the Dominican Republic to the Island of Barbuda, relative motion between the North America plate and the Caribbean plate becomes increasingly complex and is partially accommodated by nearly arc-parallel subduction of the North America plate beneath the Caribbean plate. This results in the formation of the deep Puerto Rico Trench and a zone of intermediate focus earthquakes (70-300 km depth) within the subducted slab. Although the Puerto Rico subduction zone is thought to be capable of generating a megathrust earthquake, there have been no such events in the past century. The last probable interplate (thrust fault) event here occurred on May 2, 1787 and was widely felt throughout the island with documented destruction across the entire northern coast, including Arecibo and San Juan. Since 1900, the two largest earthquakes to occur in this region were the August 4, 1946 M8.0 Samana earthquake in northeastern Hispaniola and the July 29, 1943 M7.6 Mona Passage earthquake, both of which were shallow thrust fault earthquakes. A significant portion of the motion between the North America plate and the Caribbean plate in this region is accommodated by a series of left-lateral strike-slip faults that bisect the island of Hispaniola, notably the Septentrional Fault in the north and the Enriquillo-Plantain Garden Fault in the south. Activity adjacent to the Enriquillo-Plantain Garden Fault system is best documented by the devastating January 12, 2010 M7.0 Haiti strike-slip earthquake, its associated aftershocks and a comparable earthquake in 1770.


USGS plate tectonics for the region.

Moving east and south, the plate boundary curves around Puerto Rico and the northern Lesser Antilles where the plate motion vector of the Caribbean plate relative to the North and South America plates is less oblique, resulting in active island-arc tectonics. Here, the North and South America plates subduct towards the west beneath the Caribbean plate along the Lesser Antilles Trench at rates of approximately 20 mm/yr. As a result of this subduction, there exists both intermediate focus earthquakes within the subducted plates and a chain of active volcanoes along the island arc. Although the Lesser Antilles is considered one of the most seismically active regions in the Caribbean, few of these events have been greater than M7.0 over the past century. The island of Guadeloupe was the site of one of the largest megathrust earthquakes to occur in this region on February 8, 1843, with a suggested magnitude greater than 8.0. The largest recent intermediate-depth earthquake to occur along the Lesser Antilles arc was the November 29, 2007 M7.4 Martinique earthquake northwest of Fort-De-France.

The southern Caribbean plate boundary with the South America plate strikes east-west across Trinidad and western Venezuela at a relative rate of approximately 20 mm/yr. This boundary is characterized by major transform faults, including the Central Range Fault and the Boconó-San Sebastian-El Pilar Faults, and shallow seismicity. Since 1900, the largest earthquakes to occur in this region were the October 29, 1900 M7.7 Caracas earthquake, and the July 29, 1967 M6.5 earthquake near this same region. Further to the west, a broad zone of compressive deformation trends southwestward across western Venezuela and central Colombia. The plate boundary is not well defined across northwestern South America, but deformation transitions from being dominated by Caribbean/South America convergence in the east to Nazca/South America convergence in the west. The transition zone between subduction on the eastern and western margins of the Caribbean plate is characterized by diffuse seismicity involving low- to intermediate-magnitude (Magnitude less than 6.0) earthquakes of shallow to intermediate depth.

The plate boundary offshore of Colombia is also characterized by convergence, where the Nazca plate subducts beneath South America towards the east at a rate of approximately 65 mm/yr. The January 31, 1906 M8.5 earthquake occurred on the shallowly dipping megathrust interface of this plate boundary segment. Along the western coast of Central America, the Cocos plate subducts towards the east beneath the Caribbean plate at the Middle America Trench. Convergence rates vary between 72-81 mm/yr, decreasing towards the north. This subduction results in relatively high rates of seismicity and a chain of numerous active volcanoes; intermediate-focus earthquakes occur within the subducted Cocos plate to depths of nearly 300 km. Since 1900, there have been many moderately sized intermediate-depth earthquakes in this region, including the September 7, 1915 M7.4 El Salvador and the October 5, 1950 M7.8 Costa Rica events.

The boundary between the Cocos and Nazca plates is characterized by a series of north-south trending transform faults and east-west trending spreading centers. The largest and most seismically active of these transform boundaries is the Panama Fracture Zone. The Panama Fracture Zone terminates in the south at the Galapagos rift zone and in the north at the Middle America trench, where it forms part of the Cocos-Nazca-Caribbean triple junction. Earthquakes along the Panama Fracture Zone are generally shallow, low- to intermediate in magnitude (Magnitude less than 7.2) and are characteristically right-lateral strike-slip faulting earthquakes. Since 1900, the largest earthquake to occur along the Panama Fracture Zone was the July 26, 1962 M7.2 earthquake.

References for the Panama Fracture Zone:
Molnar, P., and Sykes, L. R., 1969, Tectonics of the Caribbean and Middle America Regions from Focal Mechanisms and Seismicity: Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 80, p. 1639-1684.

- USGS.





 

EXTREME WEATHER: Storm Katie's 168kph Winds Brings Chaos To UK - Flights And Trains Cancelled; Flying Trampolines Cause Mayhem; 26 Flood Warnings And 141 Flood Alerts! [PHOTOS]

© hellygraham / Instagram

March 28, 2016 - UNITED KINGDOM - Storm Katie continues to cause damage and travel disruption across England and Wales as she batters the region with gusts of up to 168kph (105mph).

A number of flights due to arrive in London’s Gatwick and Heathrow airports today have been cancelled while other flights were diverted.











Airport officials are also advising passengers to take extra time to get to the airport due to road disruptions in the area.

A number of roads and bridges have been closed to traffic, according to Highways England.

Train services have also been disrupted with delays and amended routes in Southern England.















An amber wind warning has been issued by the Met Office for London and south-east England, with a yellow alert in place for the east and south west, along with south Wales.

The highest gusts so far in Storm Katie have been recorded at the Needles off the Isle of Wight, with winds there reaching 105mph.

Although 26 flood warnings and 141 flood alerts remain in place by the Environmental Agency, meteorologists say winds are easing and clearing east.








While it has led to damaged property, travel disruptions and power cuts, for some people the greatest challenge Storm Katie has served up is runaway trampolines.

The rogue trampolines have even careered onto streets and roads, causing major disruption.

 












One home in the town of Oxted in Surrey was greeted with a trampoline smashing a window at the side of the house in the early hours of Monday morning.

Many others took to social media to share photos of their flying trampolines and warn people to tie them down.

Meanwhile, UK Power Networks are working to restore power to parts of the South East network.

- RT.






 

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Alaska's Pavlof Volcano Erupts - Spewing Ash Plume 20,000 Feet High; Alert Warning Remain In Effect; And Aviation Warning Color Code At Red, Its Highest Level! [VIDEOS]

Volcano in Alaska sends ash spewing 20,000 feet high.

March 28, 2016 - ALASKA - A volcanic eruption in Alaska sent ash 20,000 feet up in the air and prompted flight warnings, according to authorities.

The Pavlof Volcano, located on the Aleutian Islands, began "erupting abruptly" Sunday afternoon, according to the Alaska Volcano Observatory.



© avo.alaska.edu


A volcano alert warning remained in effect early Monday morning, and the aviation warning color code remains red, its highest level.

Ash was reportedly moving north after the eruption, according to the volcano observatory.

Seismic activity was also reported after the quake.










The volcano last erupted in November 2014.

A few planes appeared to be flying nearby early Monday morning Eastern Time, according to Flightaware.com.


WATCH: Alaska volcano spews ash 20,000 feet high.





- CNN.






 

EXTREME WEATHER: More Signs Of Increasing Magnetic Polar Migration - Lightning Bolt Kills Three Students In Bangladesh!

© A Bola

March 28, 2016 - BANGLADESH - Three madrasah students were killed as a streak of lightning struck them at Ghagra in Purbadhala upazila of Netrakona district on Sunday night.

The deceased were identified as Masum, 15, a resident of Agia village, Rafat, 15, of Giriasha village, and Masum, 15, of Ghagra Charpara village.

All of them are students of Ghagra Chourasta Fazil Madrasah, according to a news agency report.

Abdur Rahman, officer-in-charge of Purbadhala Police Station, said the trio was struck by the thunderbolt around 9:00pm as they went out of the dormitory of their madrasah to respond to the call of nature, leaving them dead on the spot. - Financial Express.




 

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Increased Activity At Mexico's Popocatepetl Volcano - Spews 2,000-Metre High Ash Cloud! [VIDEOS]


March 28, 2016 - MEXICO - Mexico's Popocateptl volcano came to life Sunday morning, spewing a roughly 2,000 metre- high column of gas and ash in central Mexico. The eruption occurred at (1661 GMT).

Local officials have encouraged locals to cover their noses and mouths with a moist towel. A (7.5 mile-) security ring around the volcano has been mandated, preventing passage close to the crater.

Popocatepetl's last major eruption was 2000, when more than 40,000 people had to evacuate.

Mexico contains over 3,000 volcanos but only 14 are considered active.

Popocateptl Volcano is located some (43 miles) southeast of Mexico City.


WATCH: Popocatepetl erupts again.






- Standart News.




 

PLANETARY TREMORS: Magnitude 3.8 Earthquake Rocks South-Central Alaska - On Anniversary Of 1964 Quake!

USGS earthquake location.

March 28, 2016 - ALASKA - A magnitude-.3.8 earthquake struck east of Anchorage on Sunday -- which just happened to coincide with the 52nd anniversary of the devastating magnitude-9.2 earthquake that reshaped the Southcentral Alaska landscape.

According to information from the Alaska Earthquake Center, Sunday's brief temblor was centered just 7 miles southeast of Eagle River and 17 miles east of Anchorage, at a depth of 16.7 miles.

It occurred at 8:18 p.m. The center initially assessed the magnitude at 4.0, but later revised the estimate downward.

USGS shakemap intensity.


It could be felt in Alaska's largest city.

Sunday's earthquake just happened to fall on March 27, the same day as the magnitude-9.2 Good Friday earthquake that struck 52 years earlier.

That quake was the second-strongest ever recorded. - Alaska Dispatch News.


Seismotectonics of Alaska

The Aleutian arc extends approximately 3,000 km from the Gulf of Alaska in the east to the Kamchatka Peninsula in the west. It marks the region where the Pacific plate subducts into the mantle beneath the North America plate. This subduction is responsible for the generation of the Aleutian Islands and the deep offshore Aleutian Trench.

The curvature of the arc results in a westward transition of relative plate motion from trench-normal (i.e., compressional) in the east to trench-parallel (i.e., translational) in the west, accompanied by westward variations in seismic activity, volcanism, and overriding plate composition. The Aleutian arc is generally divided into three regions: the western, central, and eastern Aleutians. Relative to a fixed North America plate, the Pacific plate is moving northwest at a rate that increases from roughly 60 mm/yr at the arc's eastern edge to 76 mm/yr near its western terminus. The eastern Aleutian arc extends from the Alaskan Peninsula in the east to the Fox Islands in the west. Motion along this section of the arc is characterized by arc-perpendicular convergence and Pacific plate subduction beneath thick continental lithosphere. This region exhibits intense volcanic activity and has a history of megathrust earthquakes.


USGS plate tectonics for the region.


The central Aleutian arc extends from the Andreanof Islands in the east to the Rat Islands in the west. Here, motion is characterized by westward-increasing oblique convergence and Pacific plate subduction beneath thin oceanic lithosphere. Along this portion of the arc, the Wadati-Benioff zone is well defined to depths of approximately 200 km. Despite the obliquity of convergence, active volcanism and megathrust earthquakes are also present along this margin.

The western Aleutians, stretching from the western end of the Rat Islands in the east to the Commander Islands, Russia, in the west, is tectonically different from the central and eastern portions of the arc. The increasing component of transform motion between the Pacific and North America plates is evidenced by diminishing active volcanism; the last active volcano is located on Buldir Island, in the far western portion of the Rat Island chain. Additionally, this portion of the subduction zone has not hosted large earthquakes or megathrust events in recorded history. Instead, the largest earthquakes in this region are generally shallow, predominantly strike-slip events with magnitudes between M5-6. Deeper earthquakes do occur, albeit rather scarcely and with small magnitudes (Magnitude less than 4), down to approximately 50 km.

Most of the seismicity along the Aleutian arc results from thrust faulting that occurs along the interface between the Pacific and North America plates, extending from near the base of the trench to depths of 40 to 60 km. Slip along this interface is responsible for generating devastating earthquakes. Deformation also occurs within the subducting slab in the form of intermediate-depth earthquakes that can reach depths of 250 km. Normal faulting events occur in the outer rise region of the Aleutian arc resulting from the bending of the oceanic Pacific plate as it enters the Aleutian trench. Additionally, deformation of the overriding North America plate generates shallow crustal earthquakes.

The Aleutian arc is a seismically active region, evidenced by the many moderate to large earthquakes occurring each year. Since 1900, this region has hosted twelve large earthquakes (Magnitude greater than 7.5) including the May 7, 1986 M8.0 Andreanof Islands, the June 10, 1996 M7.9 Andreanof Islands, and the November 17, 2003 M7.8 Rat Islands earthquakes. Six of these great earthquakes (M8.3 or larger) have occurred along the Aleutian arc that together have ruptured almost the entire shallow megathrust contact. The first of these major earthquakes occurred on August 17, 1906 near the island of Amchitka (M8.3) in the western Aleutian arc. However, unlike the other megathrust earthquakes along the arc, this event is thought to have been an intraplate event occurring in the shallow slab beneath the subduction zone interface.

The first megathrust event along the arc during the 20th century was the November 10, 1938 M8.6 Shumagin Island earthquake. This event ruptured an approximately 300 km long stretch of the arc from the southern end of Kodiak Island to the northern end of the Shumagin Islands and generated a small tsunami that was recorded as far south as Hawaii.

The April 1, 1946 M8.6 Unimak Island earthquake, located in the central Aleutian arc, was characterized by slow rupture followed by a devastating Pacific-wide tsunami that was observed as far south as the shores of Antarctica. Although damage from earthquake shaking was not severe locally, tsunami run-up heights were recorded as high as 42 m on Unimak Island and tsunami waves in Hilo, Hawaii also resulted in casualties. The slow rupture of this event has made it difficult to constrain the focal mechanism and depth of the earthquake, though it is thought to have been an interplate thrust earthquake.

The next megathrust earthquake occurred along the central portion of the Aleutian arc near the Andreanof Islands on March 9, 1957, with a magnitude of M8.6. The rupture length of this event was approximately 1200 km, making it the longest observed aftershock zone of all the historic Aleutian arc events. Although only limited seismic data from this event are still available, significant damage and tsunamis were observed on the islands of Adak and Unimak with tsunami heights of approximately 13 m.

The easternmost megathrust earthquake was the March 28, 1964 M9.2 Prince William Sound earthquake, currently the second largest recorded earthquake in the world. The event had a rupture length of roughly 700 km extending from Prince William Sound in the northeast to the southern end of Kodiak Island in the southwest. Extensive damage was recorded in Kenai, Moose Pass, and Kodiak but significant shaking was felt over a large region of Alaska, parts of western Yukon Territory, and British Columbia, Canada. Property damage was the largest in Anchorage, as a result of both the main shock shaking and the ensuing landslides. This megathrust earthquake also triggered a devastating tsunami that caused damage along the Gulf of Alaska, the West Coast of the United States, and in Hawaii.

The westernmost Aleutians megathrust earthquake followed a year later on February 4, 1965. This M8.7 Rat Islands earthquake was characterized by roughly 600 km of rupture. Although this event is quite large, damage was low owing to the region's remote and sparsely inhabited location. A relatively small tsunami was recorded throughout the Pacific Ocean with run-up heights up to 10.7 m on Shemya Island and flooding on Amchitka Island.

Although the Aleutian arc is highly active, seismicity is rather discontinuous, with two regions that have not experienced a large (Magnitude greater than 8.0) earthquake in the past century: the Commander Islands in the western Aleutians and the Shumagin Islands in the east. Due to the dominantly transform motion along the western arc, there is potential that the Commander Islands will rupture in a moderate to large strike-slip earthquake in the future. The Shumagin Islands region may also have high potential for hosting a large rupture in the future, though it has been suggested that little strain is being accumulated along this section of the subduction zone, and thus associated hazards may be reduced.

East of the Aleutian arc along the Gulf of Alaska, crustal earthquakes occur as a result transmitted deformation and stress associated with the northwestward convergence of the Pacific plate that collides a block of oceanic and continental material into the North America plate. In 2002, the Denali Fault ruptured in a sequence of earthquakes that commenced with the October 23 M6.7 Nenana Mountain right-lateral strike-slip earthquake and culminated with the November 3, M7.9 Denali earthquake which started as a thrust earthquake along a then unrecognized fault and continued with a larger right-lateral strike-slip event along the Denali and Totschunda Faults.

More information on regional seismicity and tectonics

For More Information
Additional earthquake information for Alaska

- USGS.




 

EXTREME WEATHER: Military Helicopters Used Against The BIGGEST WILDFIRE In Kansas History - At Least 620 SQUARE MILES Burned! [VIDEO]

Hundreds of firefighters were battling a wildfire this week that spread from Oklahoma to Kansas.© Oklahoma Forestry Services

March 28, 2016 - KANSAS, UNITED STATES - Firefighters trying to snuff out the biggest wildfire in Kansas history were getting help from military helicopters on Saturday - as well as a potential assist from looming rain or snow.

Two UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters from the Kansas national guard were deployed in the efforts to contain the persistent prairie blazes that since Tuesday have charred at least 620 square miles in Oklahoma and southern Kansas.
At least two homes and some livestock have been destroyed. No serious human injuries have been reported.

Each helicopter has a 660-gallon bucket that will be used to dump water from local sources on to the flames, said Ben Bauman, a spokesman for the Kansas adjutant general's office. The national guard also was contributing a fuel tanker truck and another ground support vehicle.


WATCH: Close-up look at Kansas wildfire.




Firefighters focused again on Saturday on Butler County, which is south-west of Wichita and where only 15% of the blaze that has scorched 427 square miles of the county has been contained, said Darcy Golliher, a spokeswoman for the Kansas incident management team.

The National Weather Service said the area where the fire has raged, which borders Oklahoma, may get one-tenth to a quarter of an inch of rain or snow on Saturday night or Sunday morning.

"There's still a bit of uncertainty about how much they could get," said Andy Kleinsasser, a meteorologist with the NWS Wichita office. "Hopefully they can get a decent dousing. Anything is better than nothing." - Guardian.




 

ANIMAL BEHAVIOR: Disaster Precursors - Nearly 2,000 UK Children Savaged By Dogs Every Year As Attacks Double In A Decade; Rottweilers Viciously Attack Man Trying To Calm Them Down; Lovelorn Invasive Frogs Threaten California House Prices; Another Lion Escapes From Kenyan Park, Attacks Man In The Capital?! [VIDEOS]

American Pit Bulls are among the dogs banned in Britain.© Hulton Archive

March 28, 2016 - EARTH - The following constitutes the latest reports of animal attacks on humans.


Nearly 2000 UK children savaged by dogs every year as attacks double in a decade

Nearly 2,000 children a year now need hospital treatment after being savaged by dogs .

The number has hit a record high despite tough new laws against devil-breed owners , after a series of horrific deaths.

Among the mangled ­children rushed to A&E last year were 39 babies, 611 ­toddlers aged one to four and 528 children aged between five and nine.

The 1,733 traumatised kids were among 7,332 dog-attack ­victims needing hospital ­treatment, a Sunday People investigation has discovered.

That is double the amount from a decade ago, according to the Health and Social Care Information Centre.

In one horrific case last June three-week-old Reggie Blacklin was killed by the family's pet Patterdale terrier at his home in Sunderland.

In 2014, 11-month-old Ava-Jayne Corless was mauled to death in her bed at a house in Blackburn, Lancs, by what is believed to be an American pitbull.

And in 2013, 14-year-old Jade Anderson died after suffering terrible injuries from head to toe when she was attacked by two bull ­mastiffs and two Staffordshire bull terriers while alone at a house in Wigan, Lancs.

Following a national outcry over Jade's death, the Dangerous Dogs' Act was extended to include attacks on private property.

It also raised the maximum jail sentence for those in charge of a killer dog from two years to 14. And last week the minimum sentence for a death was raised to six years.

But the number of victims continues to soar. There were 374 kids between 10 and 14 ­attacked last year, 62 aged 15, another 46 aged 16 and 73 17-year-olds.

Experts blame the increase - most not involving banned breeds - on children being ­allowed to treat stressed dogs like ­cuddly teddy bears.

Owners who let their animal get frustrated by leaving it alone for hours or never walking it are also to blame.

Shockingly, social workers are being forced to take children into care to protect them from their family's dog because the authorities have no power to remove the animal if it is not on the banned list - pit bull terriers, Japanese Tosas and Argentine and Brazilian mastiffs.

The most children were taken into care in Derby, North Yorkshire and Knowsley, Merseyside.

These cases are likely to be the tip of the iceberg as most councils refused our Freedom of Information request on cost grounds.

Claude Knights, chief executive of Kidscape , said: "The safety and well-being of children should be paramount. A dog known to pose a danger within a family home should be ­removed and dealt with by the appropriate authorities."

Karen Goodman, an e­xperienced social worker and spokeswoman for the British Association of Social Workers, said: "We cannot remove the danger whatever it may be, and it is absolutely not our job to remove animals although we can recommend a child is ­removed for their safety.

"Dangerous dogs are also a problem for social workers and I have been bitten by dogs in my job and attended visits while being protected by police dog units."

Both charities, the Dogs Trust and the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) are campaigning to raise awareness of dangerous dogs and educate children on how to behave safely around the animals. - Mirror.


Rottweilers viciously attack man trying to calm them down 

The topsy-turvy relationship between man and his best friend was captured on CCTV this week, as a pack of rottweilers brutally maul a human trying to pet them.

In an attack that lasts over two minutes, the unidentified man is bitten, thrashed, and dragged by the pack before finally escaping.

Another man with a stick comes to his rescue, trying to occupy the dogs so the victim can escape.

But when he finally manages to stand up, he stumbles a few steps before falling to the ground again, where the dogs attempt to grab him by the ankle and drag him back.

He eventually gets up again and walks away, quite calmly considering the mauling he just received.

Canines can turn vicious, especially when they’re ‘on guard’.









- RT.

Lovelorn invasive frogs threaten California house prices

The frogs’ cry is so unusual that people have confused it with other annoying noises, so much that neighbors in Beverly Hills called police because they thought they were listening to a car alarm rather than a tiny frog.

The frogs made it as far as Hawaii in the 1980s and spread across the four main islands. They became a noisy pest known for lowering property values. They deterred prospective homeowners concerned about being kept awake at night.

Studies of house prices in Hawaii found that the presence of the frogs has a “significant negative impact on property values”.


WATCH: Coqui frogs up close and loud.




The frogs are the size of a fingernail when they are born, so scientists believe they can easily hide in fruit and plants being imported from Hawaii, KABC reports.

The amphibians need a wet climate to survive, which brings them to plant nurseries and other places with sprinkler systems.

Torrance, Orange County, and San Diego now have established populations of the loud frogs in some of their nurseries.

Not everyone finds the sound annoying, though, and some people enjoy the coqui frog song.

Unfortunately, the future of the 17 species known collectively as ‘coqui frogs’ are in danger in their native Caribbean habitat. Proyecto Coqui and other groups are trying to defend the amphibians from a steep population decline currently affecting their entire class. - RT.

Another lion escapes from Kenyan park, attacks man in the capital 

A lion escaped from a park and mauled a man in Nairobi -- the latest incident of big cats straying into the bustling Kenyan capital

The man is undergoing treatment for his injuries, according to the Kenya Wildlife Service.

It tweeted Friday that its units have "taken control" of the lion and returned it to the Nairobi National Park.

Video posted on social media showed a black-maned lion sauntering down one of the city's busiest streets.

It later disappears from camera view as motorists honk wildly and shout that it's jumped on a man.





Other lion escapes
This is the fourth time in recent weeks lions have escaped from the park that sits on the edge of Nairobi, Kenyan media reported.

Last month, a pride of lions made its way into residential areas in Nairobi in the dead of the night, leaving officials scrambling to find them. Some animals eventually returned to the park.

Kenya Wildlife Service spokesman Paul Udoto said residents have complicated efforts to recapture the animals. Some try to take selfies with escaped lions in the background, risking their lives for a photo, he said.

"Are you out of your senses?" he asked.

Electric fence
Nairobi National Park is home to leopards, buffaloes, giraffes and other animals grazing in sprawling grasslands -- the city's skyscrapers in the background. It is largely bounded by an electric fence to keep animals inside.

But its south side -- away from the city -- is bordered by a river. It's unclear whether that's the path the lions use to sneak out of the park.

Why are lions escaping?
The Kenya Wildlife Service says it is unsure why there is a surge in escapes, but conservationists cite habitat loss as the central reason.

As one of the fastest growing cities in Africa, property values are increasing in Nairobi, and the park is getting encroached on by lucrative development projects.

The government also started building a highway through a section of the park, agitating the animals with constant noise. - CNN.