When told a 7.0 quake had been foreseen for -- NOW! -- U.C. Santa Cruz professor of seismology Emily Brodsky laughed. "How lovely!"
claims the "main method we use to make our earthquake forecasts is
based on thermal temperature changes caused by kinetic frictional
heating of the tectonic plates." He also utilizes "Moon phases; Animal
behaviour (sic); Human behaviour (sic); Satellite earthquake clouds;
Water temperature changes; and other arcane studies.
these, Brodsky says, have been considered by real scholars. "But none of
them have shown to be robust. If we knew how to predict earthquakes,
I'd be pretty excited. Unfortunately, it's not something we know how to
do at this stage."
Some or all of Thomas' listed criteria sound scientific,and
some may even play a role in earthquake generation -- but none impart
the ability to, say, declare the 98-percent certainty of a major quake
Take "moon phases," for example. In very rare circumstances, notes Brodsky, tidal movement can have an affect on coastline faults, as the movement of the ocean results in millions of tons weighing down or being released from oceanside faults.
this phenomena is particularly inapplicable to California's faults: The
state's tides are puny and its faults are are inland. It also warrants
mentioning that while lunar phases move trillions of gallons around, the
force they exert on land is infinitesimal. Per calculations from U.C.
Berkeley astronomy professor Alex Filippenko:
The tidal forces exerted by the Moon upon a
one-meter-tall vine or wine barrel are actually around 60,000 times
weaker than the tidal forces emanating from a 175-pound man standing one
meter away. Incidentally, if a two-pound bunny were to scurry beneath
the vine or barrel, it would be exerting 750 to 1,000 times the tidal
force of the Moon.
vast, Australian-style herd of bunnies could exert enough tidal force to
trigger an earthquake? "There is a 98-percent chance that I am not