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Thread: this is interesting (earthquake related)

  1. #1

    Default this is interesting (earthquake related)

    I help maintain a network of stream gages and groundwater wells for the Commonwealth of VA and the USGS... While looking through our data today, I came across this:



    It's from a groundwater well in Christiansburg, VA. As you can see, there's a pretty substantial jump in the ground water level that seems to coincide with the magnitude 9.0 earthquake in Sumatra. There is also a smaller blip on the 23rd that seems to coincide with the magnitude 8.1 earthquake reported near Australia. We've detected local earthquakes before, but nothing this far away. A few of our other groundwater wells also had blips or jumps at the same time as the Sumatra quake, but only in 10ths of a foot, not several feet like this!

    Are there any geologists here? I'm wondering how an earthquake on the other side of the world had such an effect on groundwater levels here. Also, would the seismic waves travel around the Earth, or through it?

  2. #2
    *Flashaholic* PlayboyJoeShmoe's Avatar
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    Default Re: this is interesting (earthquake related)

    The thing moved an island!

    I wonder if the rotation of the earth got a bit tweaked as it has been mentioned?

    My goodness, what a DISASTER!

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    *Retired* The_LED_Museum's Avatar
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    Default Re: this is interesting (earthquake related)

    I heard on the news this morning that the earth's rotation was altered in some fashion, but I do not know the details.

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    Default Re: this is interesting (earthquake related)

    I found this seizmic scan on another site.

    http://www.onetontomato.net/pics/endtimes.jpg

    Edit: Oversized image replaced by a link, in order to stop scrolling. Incidentally, hotlinking to another site's images isn't permitted. - Empath

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    *Flashaholic* Rothrandir's Avatar
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    Default Re: this is interesting (earthquake related)

    would it be possible that part of the something that caused the waves over in asia also had caused some effect in your area?

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    Default Re: this is interesting (earthquake related)

    the shock wave went through the entire earth.

    it didn't move the water level 1.5 feet in Virginia, the equipment just reacted to a pressure wave.

  7. #7

    Default Re: this is interesting (earthquake related)

    [ QUOTE ]
    watt4 said:
    it didn't move the water level 1.5 feet in Virginia, the equipment just reacted to a pressure wave.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Yeah, this is something I've been trying to figure out... I'll have to check tomorrow to find out what equipment we have in that particular well, and if it could be fooled by a pressure wave like that. That makes more sense than a change in the water level.

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    Default Re: this is interesting (earthquake related)

    As one who listens to art bell, I am surprised no one brought it up. THey say several days before an earthquake pets go missing.

    I too wonder about the water levels varying like that, if they did. Man.

    Oh a side note, anyone pay any attention to what is going on at ole yellow stone park? I hear from truck drivers they got that area roped off and they have plenty of trucks around it measuring stuff.

  9. #9

    Default Re: this is interesting (earthquake related)

    Well I did some checking today, and verfied that the groundwater level at this location was actually moving up and down. According to the USGS this isn't unusual. Pretty crazy, isn't it?

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    *Flashaholic* Rothrandir's Avatar
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    Default Re: this is interesting (earthquake related)

    cobb, i've heard a bit about that too.

    that one goes and half the continent.........

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    Default Re: this is interesting (earthquake related)

    [ QUOTE ]
    cobb said:

    Oh a side note, anyone pay any attention to what is going on at ole yellow stone park? I hear from truck drivers they got that area roped off and they have plenty of trucks around it measuring stuff.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I guess they are worried that the recent quake might trigger the supervolcano that lies underneath most of the park.

    http://www.solcomhouse.com/yellowstone.htm

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    Default Re: this is interesting (earthquake related)

    I think its a giant volcano under Yellowstone seems there was a show about it a few weeks ago on discovery channel.
    Topper

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    Default Re: this is interesting (earthquake related)

    The long-awaited-overdue Parkfield, CA quake is being watched for intently. Among the instrumentation is a bunch of ground water level instruments. Some observations have sort of shown that a sudden ground water level change may may be a precursor to a quake. I've heard they're watching pets too. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/icon15.gif[/img]

    Larry

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    *Flashaholic* Rothrandir's Avatar
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    Default Re: this is interesting (earthquake related)

    clack, there have been indications since long before the recent quake that suggest that yellowstone isn't exactly innactive. reports of bad sulpher smells and bulging areas were reported by many, as well as animal migration and other things.

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    Default Re: this is interesting (earthquake related)

    It's not a question of if; merely when. Selfishly, I hope it's not on my watch! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/str.gif[/img]

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    Default Re: this is interesting (earthquake related)

    [ QUOTE ]
    Rothrandir said:
    clack, there have been indications since long before the recent quake that suggest that yellowstone isn't exactly innactive. reports of bad sulpher smells and bulging areas were reported by many, as well as animal migration and other things.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I was about a mile away when the Steamboat Geyser went off in May 2000. You would have thought the world was ending. We were sleeping in our car for a couple of hours on a off road after a long drive to get to the park. By time we got our stuff together and drove there the water phase was over and only the steam phase was going. We had some geologist arrive and offer us money to copy our video tape because they thought we had captured the water phase on video.

    We got some pictures of some birds that had been scalded to death.

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    *Flashaholic* James S's Avatar
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    Default Re: this is interesting (earthquake related)

    I have a deep well here, just a couple of miles from the open ocean. I'd love to know what kind of instrumentation you have down your wells in VA vtunderground. Is it just a pressure sensor? I could certainly put something like that on the well head. i already have infrastructure in place for continuous monitoring and graphing of other data here. It might be fun to add this at some point in the future...

  18. #18

    Default Re: this is interesting (earthquake related)

    Our wells use different setups... Some still use an old-school strip chart with a float on the water surface, while some use a pressure transducer. Ben Meadows sells a few loggers that might work for you.

    Interestingly, all of our wells that saw changes in the groundwater level were located in the mountains. The wells in the piedmont and tidewater regions didn't show the earthquake at all.

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    Default Re: this is interesting (earthquake related)

    I'm glad someone mentioned the Yellowstone Super Volcano.

    The horrible loss of life from the Indian Ocean earthquake would PALE at the WORLDWIDE loss of life if the Yellowstone Super Volcano pops. It might even reach an extinction intensity.

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    Default Re: this is interesting (earthquake related)

    It appears that you can see the effect of the lunar tides in your well. If the moon goes away you will be the first person to know about it.

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    Default Re: this is interesting (earthquake related)

    vtunderground,

    I'm a hydrogeologist by trade. The blimp you are seeing on your datalogger in your well, while coincidental, is surely not related to seismic activity in Asia. The entire planet is wired with sonic equipment and siesmic instruments that could probably detect the activity over there which allows the geologic communit to triangulate epicenters of siesmic activity, but your pressure transducer would never have the resolution to see such a minute siesmic signal this far away.

    Since the graph shows a huge postive spike in the groundwater level, followed by a huge negative spike (a change of like.. 3 feet!!!!), follow by a gradual recovery... it appears more like something large had fallen/or was thrown into your well, and then the well naturally recovered and returned to equilibrium.

    We commonly have this problem with kids messing with our monitoring wells, even though they are locked. Kids are pretty creative.

    In addition, the graph does show some routine rises and falls, similar to a tide cycle? (I don't know where that well is located) so if its in a wet area and is a shallow well, it could be indicative of something large thumping the ground next to the well. Maybe a tree falling, heavy equipment moving by, etc.

    Anyway, that's my guess. But I highly highly doubt it has anything more than coincidence with the Asia event.

    Sorry to rain on your parade/thread.

  22. #22

    Default Re: this is interesting (earthquake related)

    Ah, I knew there had to be a hydrogeologist on here somewhere!

    I'd agree that your theory that something was thrown in the well (or fell next to it, etc....), except for two things. First, our equipment only takes readings every 15 minutes. The positive and negative peaks are actually 30 minutes apart. Second, other wells showed a blip at the same time (though nowhere near as significant).

    I believe you're right about the rhythmic rising and falling being related to the moon. This is strange, because this well is in the mountains, and none of our other groundwater wells fluctuate like this. Have you heard of groundwater wells this far inland exhibiting tide cycles before?

  23. #23
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    Default Re: this is interesting (earthquake related)

    I should have said lunar tidal forces instead of lunar tides. Tides bring to mind the surges of the ocean water but actually the entire earth is stretched along a line between the earth and moon.

    It does surprise me that your equipment would sense this so maybe there is another explanation. It would shed more light on this if we could see a month's worth of data. Because the moon revolves around the earth once a month, there should be 29 of these "daily" double cycles in a 30 day month.

    That's assuming the moon revolves around the earth in the same direction as the earth rotates. I guess it does, but if it goes the other way there would be 30 of these "daily" double cycles in a 29 day month.

    On further thought it would be interesting to know how the peaks and valleys correspond to the high tide and low tide in that area.

  24. #24

    Default Re: this is interesting (earthquake related)

    [ QUOTE ]
    eluminator said:
    It would shed more light on this if we could see a month's worth of data. Because the moon revolves around the earth once a month, there should be 29 of these "twice daily" double cycles in a 30 day month.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    30 days worth of data

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    Default Re: this is interesting (earthquake related)

    Okay, I looked at the data. Not the best graph in the world, but after expanding it by a factor of 5 with paint, its usable.

    I'm betting you are indeed sensing tidal forces. I'll even go out on the limb further and bet you did detect the earthquake. I'm not a geologist, just the village idiot, so take that with a grain of salt.

    To prove it better one would need at least two months of data. The sine waves from the first to the fifth of the month were too weak, so I started on the sixth and went to the 20th when the max occurred at about the same time of day as the sixth. That makes 14 days with 29 cycles. So 28 days would have 29 "double cycles". Close enough for me.

    I also found a "moon calendar" on the internet and noted the neap tides (weakest tides) occurred on Dec 5 and Dec 19 and the spring tides (strongest tides) occurred on Dec 12 and Dec 26. That seems fairly close to your graph.

    The neap tide on Dec 5 helps to explain the weak sine wave from Dec 1 to Dec 5, but not completely. Did you fix your rig on the 5th?

    By the way, if you put more data here I won't necessarily analyze it. Besides it would be good if another independent "scientist" confirmed my findings.


    EDIT EDIT EDIT
    I made a mistake counting cycles. It's actually 27 double cycles in 28 days. Whew, for a minute there I just proved the moon orbited the earth backwards [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img] All's right with the world now though, and my bet still stands.

  26. #26

    Default Re: this is interesting (earthquake related)

    Cool, I agree with your analysis. The whole tidal thing makes more sense than the explanation one of my co-workers gave me... he guessed that the water table was fluctuating up and down because of drinking water wells in the city nearby.

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    *Flashaholic* gadget_lover's Avatar
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    Default Re: this is interesting (earthquake related)

    I can imagine a wide, shallow water table that streaches over a large area being able to act as a super sensitive transducer, especially if it's trapped just right ..... A movement of 1/1000 inch (pushing up) across 10 sq miles = how many inches of rise in a 6 inch pipe if that pipe's the only low resistance opening?

    I understand an earthquake center in New York did register the quake.

    Daniel

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    Default Re: this is interesting (earthquake related)

    If it was humans using water in a nearby city then I would think the double cycle would have a period of 24 hours. But it appears to have a period of almost 25 hours. 27 double cycles in 28 days. This is exactly what would be expected if it was the moon that was doing it. Of course that's what I wanted to find so it's not surprising that I found it. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img] Still I think it is so.

    Further, it's hard to imagine why water consumption would follow a sine wave with a frequency of 2 per day.

    It sure looks like its the moon and not human activity. I am still surprised that your equipment can measure this, but I'm still betting that it is. The underground aquifer thing being part of the mechanism sounds better than anything I can come up with. Well actually I haven't come up with anything.

    To get further confidence that we are seeing the earthquake, the time of occurance would have to be pinned down. Maybe you did this already. We'd have to know what time is on the graph. Local time or GMT (or whatever they're calling world wide time these days).

    I wonder if the USGS is aware of this. If you encounter a scientifically minded person there, it would be interesting to see what he or she thinks. If you need more data analysis I might be persuaded, especially if it looks like we will get a Nobel prize for this [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

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