Monday, March 14, 2011

Earth Shifted on it's Axis?

Dan just brought some new data concerning Friday's earthquake in Japan. First off, according to Eryn Brown of the LA Times, the quake has been upgraded to a mind numbing magnitude 9.0 by the Japan Meteorological Agency! Plus according to Richard Gross, a geophysicist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the quake probably shifted the position of Earth's axis about 6.5 inches, causing the Earth to rotate somewhat faster, shortening the length of the day by about 1.8 microseconds! Just as amazing is data that shows that that the temblor's force moved parts of eastern Japan as much as 12 feet closer to North America


Blizno said...

I've been reading conflicting reports of the global effect of the earthquake.
I hadn't yet read that Japan had shifted as much as twelve feet. That's mind boggling.

I am sobbing for the thousands of people swallowed by this disaster and for the millions who will have to rebuild their lives.

Beam Me Up said...

I know, and I really don't want to give the impression that I was in any way ignoring that horror. I was watching live and I could see houses, trucks, cars and people just swept away all the while listening to a brain dead desk reporter trying to come to grips with just the wave. I saw so much that morning that still makes no sense and now trying to wrap my head around the mind boggling death toll.

And then to see that it's a disaster of unprecedented scale in human and geological terms is so mind incomprehensible.......

Blizno said...

It may not be over. I've been reading about the nuclear plants.

Apparently getting water into the right places to keep the fissile material from getting so hot that it melts through the containment vessels is the big problem. I read of helicopters trying to drop seawater but that's not working.
This sounds like a job for a large, tracked remote-control robot capable of rolling over rubble and breaking through obstructions. If it could drag a firehose into the building and direct it where needed it could save the day.
What a mess.

BMU, I didn't mean to imply that your story was unfeeling. I was only trying to add another dimension to the amazing geological events that you wrote about.