Arctic Sea Ice : Forum

AGW in general => Science => Topic started by: GeoffBeacon on May 06, 2013, 05:10:46 PM

Title: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: GeoffBeacon on May 06, 2013, 05:10:46 PM
In the blurb about Bill McGuire's book it says

Quote
An astonishing transformation over the last 20,000 years has seen our planet flip from a frigid wasteland into the temperate world upon which our civilisation has grown and thrived. This most dynamic episode in Earth history saw the crust bouncing and bending in response to the melting of the great ice sheets and the filling of the ocean basins; triggering earthquakes, spawning tsunamis and provoking a lively response from the world’s volcanoes. Now there are signs that human-induced climate change is encouraging the sleeping giant beneath our feet to stir once again.
Waking the Giant: How a changing climate triggers earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanoes
http://www.billmcguire.co.uk/books/waking-the-giant.html (http://www.billmcguire.co.uk/books/waking-the-giant.html)

What do we think? Will unloading the polar regions of hundreds of billions of tonnes of ice each year have much of an effect on the Earth's crust soon?
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: Lewis C on May 07, 2013, 05:46:51 PM
Geoff - a couple of points worth mentioning -

Beside his teaching work, Prof McGuire is the director of Aeon Benfield Hazard Research Centre, and his expertise is of a caliber that he runs the vulcanism risk assessment desk for Munich Re, which is one of the largest global re-insurance corporations (who provide insurance to insurers).

Munich Re has built a unique global data-base of 'natural' catastrophes since the early '70s which very clearly shows the rising trend of severe earthquake and volcano events. That trend is not as steep as those for meteorological impacts over the period, but it is very significant.

The continued melting and uneven redistribution of over a trillion tonnes of land-ice per year would thus have consequences that our architecture simply was not built to face.

Regards,

Lewis
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: Laurent on November 30, 2013, 11:35:35 AM
I don't know you but I have a bad feeling, it seems to me we have an increase in tectonic activity around the globe. Not sure if it is normal or not !
We can use this unuse thread to collect the informations on tectonic activity
Recently there was :
A new island near Pakistan
A new island near Fukushima
Etna is growing in intensity
Yellow stone activity is increasing
Some volanoes in Antartica also ...
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: wili on November 30, 2013, 12:03:54 PM
A clever fellow that goes by "prokaryotes" is more or less obsessed with the idea that for various reasons GW may trigger increased tectonic activity. I can't recall whether he is on these threads, but he frequents RC and has his own very good blog (which is mostly about climate science in general--a very impressive collection of sources, that):http://climatestate.com/

I'll see if I can track down one of his posts on this issue in particular.

It seems to me that SLR, in particular, must have some effect on pressure on tectonic plates at some point.

ETA: Here is the particular part of his site where he has collected some relevant videos: http://climatestate.com/category/climate-science/geosphere/geomorphology/ (http://climatestate.com/category/climate-science/geosphere/geomorphology/)

(He used to have a lot of links to actual research papers, but I can't seem to find those on his site anymore.)

(By the way, do you have a link for "A new island near Fukushima"? Do you mean the 'island' of floating debris??)
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: Laurent on November 30, 2013, 12:53:09 PM
I like the posts of Prokaryotes on the blog !
My concern is not only the sea level rise but the building of energy in the oceans !
The climat is a balance between the sun energy and the earth energy, if we put a blanket over the earth the heat will certainly accumulate inside the earth because it cannot escape anymore as it did ! It should take time thought !
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthvideo/10464479/Volcano-raises-new-island-off-coast-of-Japan.html (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthvideo/10464479/Volcano-raises-new-island-off-coast-of-Japan.html)
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: Shared Humanity on November 30, 2013, 04:02:45 PM
I have to believe that the melting ice sheets (Greenland and Antarctic) and the subsequent lifting of the earth's crust underneath would trigger a great deal of tectonic activity.
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: ccgwebmaster on November 30, 2013, 04:42:18 PM
I have to believe that the melting ice sheets (Greenland and Antarctic) and the subsequent lifting of the earth's crust underneath would trigger a great deal of tectonic activity.

Or at least some - if memory serves not yet a dominant effect (but it struck me it could potentially effectively fast-forward a certain amount of activity that was in the pipeline anyway). I seem to recall the Wikipedia article was pretty good:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-glacial_rebound (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-glacial_rebound)

And a little bit in the media - Bill McGuide in the Guardian:

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2012/feb/26/why-climate-change-shake-earth (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2012/feb/26/why-climate-change-shake-earth)

This one I recall reading - more of the same but has a bit of a stab at a number:

http://www.theguardian.com/science/2007/aug/07/disasters (http://www.theguardian.com/science/2007/aug/07/disasters)

Quote
The link was most obvious following the retreat of the glaciers around 18,000 years ago, after which sea levels jumped back up to where they are today, triggering a 300% increase in explosive volcanic activity in the Mediterranean in doing so.

With apologies if I duplicated any of those links, I have a vague recollection of posting one or two things about this somewhere back in the distant mists of a year or so ago...
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: Laurent on January 08, 2014, 10:37:09 AM
Scientists find records of rare 'earthquake lights'
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/01/02/earthquake-lights-rare-phenomenon/4255097/ (http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/01/02/earthquake-lights-rare-phenomenon/4255097/)
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: AbruptSLR on January 08, 2014, 03:01:28 PM
I like the following quote from Bill McGuire's book:

"Twenty thousand years ago, Iceland was entirely covered by a layer of ice that averaged close to a kilometer in thickness.  Around 15-16,000 year ago, planetary warming triggered rapid melting of the glaciers, reducing the load acting on the volcanoes beneath and on the underlying asthenosphere.  By 12,000 years ago unloading was sufficiently advanced to trigger a spectacular response.  Over a period of 1500 years or so, the volcanic eruption rate jumped by between 30 and 50 times, before falling back to today's level.  This volcanic rejuvenation was in part a reflection of the release of magma held ready and waiting, within and beneath the volcanoes themselves, but mainly testament to a huge increase in the supply of fresh magma from deeper within the Earth.  Such was the load reduction due to the rapid loss of ice mass, that the depressed lithosphere quickly bounced back by as much as half a kilometer, dramatically reducing the pressures in the asthenosphere and triggering a 30-fold jump in magma production."

If such behavior were to occur in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, WAIS, (where there are numerous volcanoes and faults and a very thin crust), then the world would experience a significant increase in the rate of SLR.
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: Laurent on January 18, 2014, 02:14:58 PM
Volcanic mayhem drove major burst of evolution
http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22129522.600-volcanic-mayhem-drove-major-burst-of-evolution.html?cmpid=RSS (http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22129522.600-volcanic-mayhem-drove-major-burst-of-evolution.html?cmpid=RSS)|NSNS|2012-GLOBAL|environment#.Utp9CaFKHUJ
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: Laurent on May 01, 2014, 09:11:53 AM
Prehistoric North Sea 'Atlantis' hit by 5m tsunami
http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-27224243 (http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-27224243)
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: Haldir on May 10, 2014, 03:23:39 AM
Quote
I don't know you but I have a bad feeling, it seems to me we have an increase in tectonic activity around the globe. Not sure if it is normal or not !

I recently did an analysis on this because we had had several 7+ quakes in April 2014. I concluded, as I have in the past, that no matter how you slice the data there has been no increase in quakes. I can try to post some data/charts if there is an interest. I think we just hear about more of them now due to the Internet, 24/7 media, etc.
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: Laurent on August 24, 2014, 04:54:23 PM
California Hit With Earthquake Of 6.0 Magnitude
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/24/california-earthquake_n_5703959.html (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/24/california-earthquake_n_5703959.html)

That one doesn't seem to be linked to an earthquake...
Mysterious, Giant Half-Mile-Long Crack Splits Ground In Mexico
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/22/giant-crack-in-mexico-video_n_5699362.html (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/22/giant-crack-in-mexico-video_n_5699362.html)
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: Laurent on August 29, 2014, 10:32:36 PM
Earth's tectonic plates have doubled their speed
http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22329843.000-earths-tectonic-plates-have-doubled-their-speed.html?cmpid=RSS (http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22329843.000-earths-tectonic-plates-have-doubled-their-speed.html?cmpid=RSS)|NSNS|2012-GLOBAL|environment#.VADi-FFJzlc

will that have an effect on climat (more water in the crust than thought) ? Don't know !
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: Laurent on September 01, 2014, 12:03:04 AM
Magnitude-6 Earthquake Hits Northern Pakistan
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/31/northern-pakistan-earthquake_n_5743866.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/31/northern-pakistan-earthquake_n_5743866.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green)
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: F.Tnioli on September 01, 2014, 04:12:40 PM
Quote
I don't know you but I have a bad feeling, it seems to me we have an increase in tectonic activity around the globe. Not sure if it is normal or not !

I recently did an analysis on this because we had had several 7+ quakes in April 2014. I concluded, as I have in the past, that no matter how you slice the data there has been no increase in quakes. I can try to post some data/charts if there is an interest. I think we just hear about more of them now due to the Internet, 24/7 media, etc.
There is interest. I have it. Please post data, and please briefly define your conclusions from it.

No offense, but a person who did just a single post expressing disagreement - often gets an extra bit of doubt. But the main reason to ask is, of course, that i am definitely interested in tectonics in the world which has - as being reported in this here topic, - has its continental plates moving twice faster than before. And i thank you in advance for any data you would possibly present, too.

edit: 1 week later, no response to the above... Accordingly, my doubts grow to the point of discarding Haldir's opinion. Sad. :(
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: Laurent on December 17, 2014, 04:47:42 PM
Sentinel radar satellite tracks continued Napa slip after quake
http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-30510268 (http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-30510268)
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: Laurent on February 04, 2015, 10:35:26 AM
Maps: Oklahoma’s earthquake problem is getting worse
http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/02/03/maps-oklahomas-earthquake-problem-is-getting-worse/ (http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/02/03/maps-oklahomas-earthquake-problem-is-getting-worse/)
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: ghoti on February 04, 2015, 05:53:35 PM
Also note that the quakes have been "moving" north and there are now frequent quakes in Kansas just north of the Oklahoma border or close enough to the border that the closest town used by the USGS to report them is in Kansas. I'd bet you could follow the spread of wells northward to match this.
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: dorlomin on February 07, 2015, 01:28:50 PM
"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence"
A quote from a book is rather ordinary evidence. The vast bulk of the worlds seismic zones are very far from ice sheets. 
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: GeoffBeacon on February 07, 2015, 04:45:34 PM
Dolormin

I haven't seen any work (but I haven't been looking) that shows a reliable increase in global seismic activity yet but why use the "extraordinary claims" epithet here.  More seismic activity is expected as the changing loads from ice and water squeeze the Earth round the equator and relax it at the poles.

And what was your point in saying "The vast bulk of the worlds seismic zones are very far from ice sheets"? ccgwebmaster posted this link earlier http://www.theguardian.com/science/2007/aug/07/disasters (http://www.theguardian.com/science/2007/aug/07/disasters)

Quote
The link was most obvious following the retreat of the glaciers around 18,000 years ago, after which sea levels jumped back up to where they are today, triggering a 300% increase in explosive volcanic activity in the Mediterranean in doing so.
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: solartim27 on February 11, 2015, 07:04:38 AM
http://earthsky.org/earth/undersea-volcanic-pulses-might-trigger-climate-swings (http://earthsky.org/earth/undersea-volcanic-pulses-might-trigger-climate-swings)
Snippet from the article:

Some scientists think volcanoes might act in concert with the well-known Milankovitch cycles – repeating changes in the shape of Earth’s solar orbit, and the tilt and direction of our world’s axis — to produce suddenly seesawing hot and cold periods. The major one is a 100,000-year cycle in which the planet’s orbit around the sun changes from more or less an annual circle into an ellipse that annually brings it closer or farther from the sun.

Recent ice ages seem to build up through most of this 100,000-year cycle; but then things suddenly warm back up near the orbit’s peak eccentricity. The causes are not clear.

Enter volcanoes. Researchers have suggested that as icecaps build on land, pressure on underlying volcanoes also builds, and eruptions are suppressed. But when warming somehow starts and the ice begins melting, pressure lets up, and eruptions surge. They belch CO2 that produces more warming, which melts more ice, which creates a self-feeding effect that tips the planet suddenly into a warm period.
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: Gray-Wolf on February 11, 2015, 09:34:00 AM
Surely there is some kind of 'balance' in this system? While ice sheets are forming mega tonnages of sea water are placed onto land so reducing pressure over ocean volcanic peaks/ridges in the ocean basins ( whilst increasing pressure over land based systems?) so the suppression on land is balanced by increases in activity in the ocean basins?
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: Laurent on April 16, 2015, 10:15:17 PM
If Earth never had life, continents would be smaller
http://news.sciencemag.org/earth/2015/04/if-earth-never-had-life-continents-would-be-smaller (http://news.sciencemag.org/earth/2015/04/if-earth-never-had-life-continents-would-be-smaller)

Quote
VIENNA—It may seem counterintuitive, but life on Earth, even with all the messy erosion it creates, keeps continents growing. Presenting here this week at the annual meeting of the European Geosciences Union, researchers say it's the erosion itself that makes the difference in continental size. Plant life, for example, can root its way through rock, breaking rocks into sediment. The sediments, like milk-dunked cookies, carry liquid water in their pores, which allows more water to be recycled back into Earth’s mantle. If not enough water is present in the mantle about 100 to 200 km deep to keep things flowing, continental production decreases. The authors built a planetary evolution model to show how these processes relate and found that if continental weathering and erosion rates decreased, at first the continents would remain large. But over time, if life never evolved on Earth, not enough water would make its way to the mantle to help produce more continental crust, and whatever continents there were would then shrink. Now, continents cover 40% of the planet. Without life, that coverage would shrink to 30%. In a more extreme case, if life never existed, the continents might only cover 10% of Earth. When it comes to a habitable planet, life even plays a role in building the habitats.

Climate change will certainly change that...
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: foolhardycougar on April 17, 2015, 10:09:48 AM
There are some deadliest earthquake hit the ground in the past here are some
1 Shensi, China, Jan. 23, 1556
Magnitude about 8, about 830,000 deaths.
2 Tangshan, China, July 27, 1976 Magnitude 7.5
3  Aleppo, Syria, Aug. 9, 1138
Magnitude not known, about 230,000 deaths
4  Sumatra, Indonesia, Dec. 26, 2004
Magnitude 9.1, 227,898 deaths
5 Haiti, Jan 12, 2010
Magnitude 7.0 222,570 people killed
And many more the researchers found one thing in common is that these are not just earthquakes they also have change atmospheric temperature to a certain point. The reason would be the change in Tectonic plate architecture and driving changes in earths elliptical movements around the sun.
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: folke_kelm on April 17, 2015, 04:44:57 PM
I did read through the whole thread now and i have to say, that there are many many misunderstandings and wrongconclusions here.
Please folks, ask geologists about earthquakes and volcanism.
Now it is coincidental that i am geologist, so i am able to provide some facts here.

1. You have to collect the facts about the number of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
There are certainly NOT more earthquakes now than for several decades ago. There are very slightly more volcanic eruptions than in the 80ies or 90ies, but well within the natural variability, and consider that 80ies and 90ies have been very low in activity.
You will find the statistics at usgs.gov

2. Munich Re has very good statistics about natural disasters. When you analyse these numbers you will see a rise in costs for all hazards, but Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are very well correlated with increasing numbers of humans in the risk zones. For climatic risks there is no such correlation, it is much more random, but rising much steeper.

3. Please consider the pressure difference between release due to melting ice caps. the effect of rising sea level is 1013 hektopascal for each 10 m rise. The effect of melting an ice cap is at least 50 times this amount, dependend of how thick the ice cap is. The effect of melting ice caps is very localized meanwhile the effect of sea level rise is dissipated over the whole ocean. Triggering eruptions at deep sea ridges due to sea level fall is very very unlikely, triggering eruptions due to pressure release from ice cap removal is very possible because melting rocks is a function of temperature and pressure (and chemical composition of the rock and fluids), the warmer it is the more melt, the lower the pressure is the more melt you get.

4 according the movement of crustal plates (posted by Laurent august 29 2014) i have not read anything that could verify this claim. The link Laurent provides compares te movement over a time span of 2 Billion years, this has nothing to do with times that span over the whole ice age and it is only one paper.

5 According the quakes in Oregon, moving northward, has again nothing to do with climate change, these quakes are very likely related to injection of fluids into the upper crust for fracking.

All evidence we have according earth quakes an volcanism shows only one effect which is likely to happen, that is increasing volcanism as fast as the pressure is sufficent low to induce melting in a locally existent magma chamber, so it is a very localised process. You can not take Iceland as a reference because it is a very unique localisation with mantle hot spot directly under two intersecting plate boundaries, one as a mid ocean ridge and under thin ocean crust.
The magnitude of pressure release induced volcanism in iceland will certainly noy happen at any location  in Greenland and Antarctica.
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: crandles on April 17, 2015, 09:42:40 PM
What about

And many more the researchers found one thing in common is that these are not just earthquakes they also have change atmospheric temperature to a certain point. The reason would be the change in Tectonic plate architecture and driving changes in earths elliptical movements around the sun.

Change atmospheric temperature? Certainly, but the reason would be sulphates thrown up into stratosphere reflecting incoming sunlight.

"change in Tectonic plate architecture and driving changes in earths elliptical movements around the sun" seems unlikely to me. Toba estimated at 2800 km^3 of eruptive material sounds like a lot but when you compare to 4/3*pi*6371^3 km^3 is it enough to change any sort of wobble in Earth's movements to a measurable amount? Perhaps a tiny fraction of a second change in length of day but even if you change speed of rotation this will affect length of daytime and length of nighttime so that over a year you still get the same ratio (marginally more daytime as sun is bigger than earth). I am less clear about size of any effect on eccentricity, axial tilt, and precession but would presume that any effects on climate would be similarly minuscule such that it would be impossible to detect.
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: wili on April 28, 2015, 05:23:05 PM
More Fatal Earthquakes to Come, Warn Climate Change Scientists

http://www.newsweek.com/nepal-earthquake-could-have-been-manmade-disaster-climate-change-brings-326017.html (http://www.newsweek.com/nepal-earthquake-could-have-been-manmade-disaster-climate-change-brings-326017.html)

Quote
“There’s a volcano in Alaska, Pavlov, that only erupts during the autumn and winter. The 10cm or 15cm rise in sea level during the winter months, when low pressure comes over, is enough to bend the crust and squeeze magma out. That’s an example of how tiny a change you need,” he said.

Meanwhile, geologists modelling the effect of retreating ice sheets in the northern hemisphere predict more volcanic activity as pressure is released on fault lines. McGuire points to three eruptions in five years in Iceland – “You can’t say that’s statistical proof but … it makes you think.”
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: folke_kelm on April 29, 2015, 10:20:54 AM
Wili,

the article you provided in your link is a good example for really really bad journalism.
it is full of factual mistakes, wrong conclusions and sensational overdrifts. A reader with knowledge about Geology will clearly notice, that the author does not have the slightest clue abut what he is writing about and that Bill McGuire did not correct the mistakes preprint.

We have to be cautious about attributing climate change to every disaster in the world, especially in regard to this earthquake in the Himalaya. Every Geologist know, that the region is prone to big Earthquakes and this one really was awaited. Climate change is not at all necessary for it to happen.

Regarding the volcano Pawlow, it is McGuires own private hypothesis that a rise of sea level of 10cm will result in eruption. The change is due to change in atmospheric pressure and he does not account to the weight of the atmosphere.
The most important mechanism to trigger eruptions is not increase in pressure to "squeeze out" Magma, but pressure release to induce melt and generating of magma.

Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: wili on April 29, 2015, 04:31:15 PM
Thanks for the feedback. So what does explain the pattern of eruptions at Pawlow?

Also, if I can pester you a bit further: It would be helpful if you could point me to a source that would show that influence of CC on seismic activity is unlikely so I could use it elsewhere to point out erroneous beliefs.
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: folke_kelm on April 30, 2015, 10:38:28 AM
Mt Pavlov, 22 eruptions since 1950. Eruptions only during autumn and winter is simply a lie. Look here for example: http://www.volcanodiscovery.com/alaska/pavlov/ (http://www.volcanodiscovery.com/alaska/pavlov/)

regarding influence of climate change to seismicity, it is clearly shown, that huge pressure differences due to removal of ice shields trigger seismic events and volcanism. I will dig a little into the litterature, but be aware of, that there is very little available with "there is no effect". You will have to find rebuttals of papers which show an effect.

Regarding triggering of earthquakes due to increased rainfall it is much more likely that this effect depends on groundwater invading into deeper layers and lubricating these faultlines, if at all. This effect is shown to work if you look at the earthquakes due to fracking in USA.
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: ritter on April 30, 2015, 07:56:40 PM
Regarding triggering of earthquakes due to increased rainfall it is much more likely that this effect depends on groundwater invading into deeper layers and lubricating these faultlines, if at all. This effect is shown to work if you look at the earthquakes due to fracking in USA.

Or injecting water into steam fields to generate geothermal power.
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: AbruptSLR on May 06, 2015, 03:46:27 AM
The linked article discusses the link between increased seismic activity and increasing climate change:

http://www.newsweek.com/nepal-earthquake-could-have-been-manmade-disaster-climate-change-brings-326017.html (http://www.newsweek.com/nepal-earthquake-could-have-been-manmade-disaster-climate-change-brings-326017.html)
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: folke_kelm on May 06, 2015, 12:15:15 PM
ASLR,

This article is shown already some posts earlier in this thread and i wrote some comments about it. IN simple words, this is absolutely bullsh......
many factual errors and some sorry, there is no other word for it...lies.
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: AbruptSLR on May 06, 2015, 04:34:42 PM
ASLR,

This article is shown already some posts earlier in this thread and i wrote some comments about it. IN simple words, this is absolutely bullsh......
many factual errors and some sorry, there is no other word for it...lies.

"There are none so blind as those who refuse to see."
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: sidd on May 06, 2015, 08:31:20 PM
I agree with Mr. folke_kelm : the evidence for climate caused seismic destabilization in the Nepal earthquake is weak at best.
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: AbruptSLR on May 06, 2015, 10:11:05 PM
I agree with Mr. folke_kelm : the evidence for climate caused seismic destabilization in the Nepal earthquake is weak at best.

I concur that not currently credible to point to any particular seismic event (and maybe in particular to the Nepal earthquake) and to say that it is clearly related to climate change.  Also, I concur that the Newsweek article that I linked to contains numerous examples of poor journalism and is clearly not a peer reviewed technical paper.  Nevertheless, if one wishes to focus on the trees, one will remain blind to the forest; and it appears clear to me that climate change related changes in SLR, groundwater levels, de-glaciation, and probably precipitation events, will gradually increase seismic activity with continued global warming.  I have read McGuires' work and he findings (in their original bodies of work and not in a popular news article) are scientifically sound (with appropriate disclaimers & acknowledgement of uncertainties).

Thus will I am not prepared to sift through the misconceptions from the reasonable projections on this topic; in general terms it is clear to me that the topic of this thread is merited.
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: sidd on May 07, 2015, 06:13:24 AM
Another important point is pointed out by Mr. folke_kelm:
"The most important mechanism to trigger eruptions is not increase in pressure to "squeeze out" Magma, but pressure release to induce melt and generating of magma."

To first approximation, SLR loads the crust globally, but deglaciation unloads locally, thus look for this effect under the major ice sheets. We already see Austfonna rumble in Iceland, i wonder about Erebus down south. That is a sulfur generating thing, i seem to remember.
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: folke_kelm on May 07, 2015, 09:02:50 AM
ASLR,

" the topic of this thread is merited. "

Yes it is, but one has to be very carefull not to attribute climate change to processes where we know that there are other much more obvious reasons.
Every volcanic eruption and every earthquake has its own reasons and its own conditions and we have to think twice before we attribute climate change to it.
The role of fluids to geodynamic process is known and in parts we understand it. It is clearly not as simple as it is described in this tread. Fluids as water may increase seismicity as you see in Oregon, but they are able to decrease it too, it depends on local circumstances wether they generate quakes or wether they induce aseismic slip on faults, thus PREVENTING earthquakes or diminishing it.
Articles like this one give a very oversimplified (wrong) picture and discredit science. They create distrust in science and this makes me sad if not to say angry.
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: Tor Bejnar on May 07, 2015, 04:37:57 PM
Most of the 3+ earthquakes in Oklahoma (and many in other fracking localities) can be credited with an anthropomorphic global warming association (and many of the smaller ones, too). The pumped fluids that cause the earthquakes are waste from (mostly) oil and gas extraction processes, and those petroleum products are mostly burned (some escapes into the air, some are used as lubricants or asphalt, etc.), increasing atmospheric CO2. Increasing atmospheric CO2, or course, is the driving force for global warming (http://www.agu.org/meetings/fm09/lectures/lecture_videos/A23A.shtml) (the current bout, and every previous one, too, only previous bouts weren't anthropomorphic in nature).

There are little earthquakes associated with rockfalls and icefalls.  Climate change has an influence on these, too.

Most of this thread, of course, has to do with processes that change crustal stresses that inhibit or support fault movements and volcanic eruptions. 
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: AbruptSLR on May 07, 2015, 05:07:23 PM
ASLR,

" the topic of this thread is merited. "

Yes it is, but one has to be very carefull not to attribute climate change to processes where we know that there are other much more obvious reasons.
Every volcanic eruption and every earthquake has its own reasons and its own conditions and we have to think twice before we attribute climate change to it.
The role of fluids to geodynamic process is known and in parts we understand it. It is clearly not as simple as it is described in this tread. Fluids as water may increase seismicity as you see in Oregon, but they are able to decrease it too, it depends on local circumstances wether they generate quakes or wether they induce aseismic slip on faults, thus PREVENTING earthquakes or diminishing it.
Articles like this one give a very oversimplified (wrong) picture and discredit science. They create distrust in science and this makes me sad if not to say angry.

folke_kelm,

While I concur with your points, and it would be nice if everyone on Earth was more rigorous & responsible; they are not (which to a large degree explains the underpinning of anthropogenic climate change).  Nevertheless, the Earth Systems are going to do what they are going to do, in response to the forcing that mankind is subjecting it to, even if you manage to prove that some articles are partly wrong and contain some unnecessary alarmism.

I suspect that your sadness/anger has more to do with the social competition between different social groups for control over the common pursue, an the various inaccuracies of different articles.  As I doubt that any policymakers are going to change any of their actions based on any concern whatsoever about increasing seismic activity associated with increasing climate change; I suspect that if you wait patiently, policymakers won't spend any more money than if you are upset; & I am sure that the truth about Earthquakes & climate change will evenly become more obvious to everyone.

Best,
ASLR
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: AbruptSLR on May 07, 2015, 09:59:09 PM
The following links lead to some older articles about the link between seismic activity & climate change:

http://www.worldwatch.org/node/4388 (http://www.worldwatch.org/node/4388)

http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2012/06/can-climate-change-cause-earthquakes/ (http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2012/06/can-climate-change-cause-earthquakes/)

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2012/feb/26/why-climate-change-shake-earth (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2012/feb/26/why-climate-change-shake-earth)
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: Timothy Astin on May 08, 2015, 10:54:33 AM
ASLR

The Carbon Brief article you link is a balanced piece. It essentially supports folke_kelm's arguments.

The link between earthquakes and volcanic eruptions and climate change is via localised land-ice sheet removal over Greenland and parts of Antarctica.

The link is by pressure release, which can a) locally favour increased magma generation, and by b) isostatic uplift locally increasing earthquakes, almost all of which will be small.

It also draws out how much Prof Bill McGuire overhyped his book on the links, and when challenged retreated to geological othodoxy.


Geological othodoxy is that the incidence of very large earthquakes will continue to be caused overwhelmingly by earth tectonic motions independent of climate change.  The Nepal earthquake is a good example of this.  The epicentre was at about 15km depth. Somew geologists called this "shallow" but only when considering a crustal thickness locally of about 70km. The epicentre was far too deep to be affected by hydrology. And there has been a geological insignificant change in ice-loading in the region in the last 200 years to be a significant contributory factor.  Even if (when?) all the regional Himalayan mountain glaciers disappear, the decrease in ice-loading will be a very small factor for earthquakes compared to the lateral plate tectonic motions in the region.

Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: folke_kelm on May 08, 2015, 03:14:36 PM
15 km is indeed a shallow quake, there are quakes generated in the mantle layer more than 100 km deep.
McGuire has his own hypotheses about climate change and geological phenomena like earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and landslides, reaching much longer than the links we do know well.
Climate change does create landslides. It is very much able to cause melt of hot rock, it is able to generate quakes due to unloading and isostatic rebound. All that is well known and monitored in places where it is dangerous for people. If you look at places like Sweden (where i live), Norway (ok, prone to landslides) or Finland you will not see much of this McGuire predictes, and remember, the past is our window into the future.
McGuire does not reach long in the geological society, he is not taken serious in this case (In other cases he is much well renowned as serious scientist). Because of this he writes a book. This strategy is not unknown for scientists with strong ego (other examples are Henrik Svensmark or Ian Plimer (geologist too).
I ordered his book in the library and did a first reading. My conclusions are, that he attributes climate change to phenomena where it is not suitable. It is a reading about catastrophes which would have occured anyway, which always have occured in earth history. Submarine landslides like the storegga landslide in Norway will happen, climate change or not, simply because the continental shelf is unstable, it has ever been and will ever be. The history of sedimentology is full of turbidity currents witnessing about it.
We do not need sensationalistic books or newspaperarticles, we need facts and backup in the scientific litterature. We all are called to educate, especially if we have scientific education and access to papers. We have to get the facts right, to sort the wheat from the chaff.
There is so much more to be concerned about in the field of climate change than these tiny parts McGuire writes about. It is a pity that they make it to the newspapers and bookshelfs. They do it only because the story sells.
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: AbruptSLR on May 08, 2015, 04:12:18 PM
Timothy Astin & folke_kelm,

Unfortunately, I do not have time to parse the questions of what is appropriate behavior for well qualified scientists like James Hansen & Bill McGuire, when writing in the non-peer reviewed literature about the possible risks associated with the "fat-tailed" pdf for climate change.  Thus I will only briefly touch on the following extract from the 2012 Carbon Brief article, which confirms that at that time Bill McGuire was stating his opinion that sea level rise, SLR, by 2100 would be in the 1 to 2m range, while the high end IPCC AR4 SLR projection was on the order of 0.65 to 0.7m.  Since 2012 the IPCC increased their SLR projections by about 50% to now have a high range of about 0.98m; however, the US NOAA Dec 2012 SLR guidance advises that design for a coastal power plant should use 2m of SLR by 2100.  In this regards, it appears to me that Bill McGuire's opinion about possible anthropogenic driven SLR levels by 2100 were much more realistic than the AR4 scientists who choose (intentionally) to err on the side of least drama to the extent as to endanger the general public.  It will be interesting to see how much AR6 increases its SLR rise projections above the AR5 projections.

Both of your posts seem to down play the significance of SLR on future tectonic activity; however, I assure you that 2m of SLR by 2100 is a massive weight redistribution around the world and will definitely impact entire tectonic plate action.

Furthermore, regarding the Nepal event; while it is true that it is currently not feasible to say whether any individual seismic event was or was not influence by anthropogenic behavior, the attached figure shows the GRACE satellite mass change observations from 2003 to 2010; which shows over 3cm of equivalent water height mass differences over the entire Indian Subcontinent in this timeframe alone (& I assure you that the indicated tend has accelerated since 2010), and Nepal is in-between the Northern Plains of India where the groundwater levels have been severely decreased due to extensive pumping (water mining), while some portions of the Tibet have received unusually high snowfall while other portions have experience unusually high de-glaciation.  All of this change in water mass distribution around Nepal has a strong probability of being related to anthropogenic activity and by theory should have an impact on seismic activity in Nepal.

Extract from the 2012 Carbon Brief Article: "McGuire told us in an email:

"We are currently on a high-end emissions scenario track and prospects for getting off this any time soon look pretty bleak [...]. These scenarios are Met Office Hadley Centre scenarios that build in carbon feedbacks, and are - in my opinion - very realistic. In relation to sea level, the consensus now is that a 1 - 2m rise is most likely by 2100."

McGuire is also clearly coming from a particular viewpoint:

"The language used in scientific papers is always careful, but released from the constraints of peer-reviewed journals we are able to express our thoughts in a more personal manner - as James Hansen in the US has done so effectively. My personal opinion is that climate change will be catastrophic - even without any geological response."

Perhaps it's not that surprising that book authors will try and make their work sound exciting. But there are no end of newspapers willing to pounce on catastrophic visions of the future in order to perpetuate the 'it's an apocalypse/it isn't happening' see-saw that makes up the worst end of climate reporting.

McGuire is not shying away from discussing high-end scenarios, which is fair enough. But in our view he should make clear that this is what he is doing, and also more carefully communicate the uncertainty in his work. After all, it appears to be decidedly early days for this research."

While I do concur that most seismic activity is still natural in origin, and the influence of climate change is still on the "fat right-tail" end of the seismic hazard pdf; nevertheless, I believe that it is a mistake to think that society is safe from the potential impacts of abrupt climate change.

Best,
ASLR
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: folke_kelm on May 08, 2015, 05:39:48 PM
ASLR

I think we agree at least in your conclusion: " I believe that it is a mistake to think that society is safe from the potential impacts of abrupt climate change."

But i advise you to do your own calculations. What pressure difference will a sea level change or change of ground water level of 3 cm, 50cm or 1m, 10m create at the depth of shallow or medium deep earthquakes and could these pressuere differences possibly have some influence on the stress field in subductions zones or transform faults?
When you do this calculation you will see it is a very very tiny effect.
Then do the same calculation for an ice shield of 1000 m thickness. This is a totally different story.

I do not downplay any risk of climate change and every time, when i discuss climate change and sea level rise with my colleagues i tend to ask, what we missed, because Paleo sea level shows us, that there must be a missing factor (This is Hansens point of view and i am convinced he is right on this point, we have a huge risk to have 2m at 2100). However i oppose strongly genarealisations.
Risks for slides, quakes and eruptions are strongly located risks with very local factors to have influence on them. I strongly disagree with McGuire about the general seismic risk of sea level rise, i do nat at all disagree with him about the sea level rise itself.
If someone is able to show me a convincing model how sea level rise may contribute to a general risk of seismicity, not only at points where ice sheets are removed, then i will clearly change my mind, but so long no one has provided a mechanism, so long all is pure speculation.
Please understand me right, there are colleagues who are working with risk assessment of landslides in the Alps due to climate change. There is a well understood mechanism and there have already been slides due to warming. But, this is local and well understood.
Every location with risks has its own preconditions where climate change might or might not play a role. Generalisation here might be fatal in this respect that it disqualifies one in the perception of the people we have to target with our arguments.
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: AbruptSLR on May 08, 2015, 07:25:30 PM
ASLR

I think we agree at least in your conclusion: " I believe that it is a mistake to think that society is safe from the potential impacts of abrupt climate change."

But i advise you to do your own calculations. What pressure difference will a sea level change or change of ground water level of 3 cm, 50cm or 1m, 10m create at the depth of shallow or medium deep earthquakes and could these pressuere differences possibly have some influence on the stress field in subductions zones or transform faults?
When you do this calculation you will see it is a very very tiny effect.
Then do the same calculation for an ice shield of 1000 m thickness. This is a totally different story.

I do not downplay any risk of climate change and every time, when i discuss climate change and sea level rise with my colleagues i tend to ask, what we missed, because Paleo sea level shows us, that there must be a missing factor (This is Hansens point of view and i am convinced he is right on this point, we have a huge risk to have 2m at 2100). However i oppose strongly genarealisations.
Risks for slides, quakes and eruptions are strongly located risks with very local factors to have influence on them. I strongly disagree with McGuire about the general seismic risk of sea level rise, i do nat at all disagree with him about the sea level rise itself.
If someone is able to show me a convincing model how sea level rise may contribute to a general risk of seismicity, not only at points where ice sheets are removed, then i will clearly change my mind, but so long no one has provided a mechanism, so long all is pure speculation.
Please understand me right, there are colleagues who are working with risk assessment of landslides in the Alps due to climate change. There is a well understood mechanism and there have already been slides due to warming. But, this is local and well understood.
Every location with risks has its own preconditions where climate change might or might not play a role. Generalisation here might be fatal in this respect that it disqualifies one in the perception of the people we have to target with our arguments.

First, I would like to note that the figure of the Indian Subcontinent mass changes, in my last post, did not show changes in ground water elevation, but rather the water head change of equivalent ponded water height per year.  While this weight change may still be relatively small, it is still good to be accurate.  Also note that the groundwater table is down hundreds of feet in these worse areas (not just 10m).

Second, McGuire's book presents a clear example of the influence of the weight of the increase water (due to SLR) offshore of Los Angeles, California, to pry-open (ie to reduce the compressive stress normal to the fault) the strike-slip fault running through the LA basin; thereby increasing the risk of an earthquake due to the SLR (as you check the book out of the library take a look).  While this is only one location, there must be other comparable cases around the world, where seismic risk will increase due to SLR.

Third, do not forget that a 2m SLR by 2100 would redistribute weight around the world to the extent that the rotational axis of the Earth will tilt; which when combined with the current rapid change of the Earth's magnetic poles; could combine to temporarily cause increased tectonic activity between now and 2100.

Hopefully, Earth System Models will advance sufficiently in the next ten to twenty years to gain a clearer understanding of the implications of such considerations.

ASLR
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: wili on May 08, 2015, 07:38:00 PM
Yeah, I don't see how one can completely rule out such effects playing a role at some point.

But I'm mostly interested in the seismic effects on the lands under the major ice sheets (GIS, WAIS, EAIS) as these sheets loose more and more mass. Are those areas just not susceptible to earthquakes, or could we see increases in seismic activity there that could accelerate the destruction of those sheets--a sort of feedback?
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: AbruptSLR on May 08, 2015, 11:21:17 PM
wili,

Some of the considerations that you are interested in are addressed in the "Antarctic Tectonics" at the following link:

http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,393.0.html (http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,393.0.html)

Furthermore, Reply #97 of the "Surge of WAIS Ice Mass Loss" thread at the following link discusses the Chen et al 2013 paper (see the linked free pdf) about how rapid glacial ice melting is driving Earth's rotational pole to the East (see the first three attached images); which, when coupled with the Moon's gravity results in changes to gravitational stresses on tectonic plates.

http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,21.50.html (http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,21.50.html)

Chen, J.L., C.R. Wilson, J.C. Ries, B.D. Tapley, Rapid ice melting drives Earth's pole to the east, Geophys. Res. Lett., Vol. 40, 1-6, DOI: 10.1002/grl.50552, 2013

ftp://ftp.csr.utexas.edu/pub/ggfc/papers/grl50552.pdf (http://ftp://ftp.csr.utexas.edu/pub/ggfc/papers/grl50552.pdf)

Also, the following paper by Chen et al 2014 shows that the yearly change in the groundwater depletion in Northwest India amounts to many gigatonnes per year (see the linked free pdf).

Chen, J.L., J. Li, Z.Z. Zhang, S.N. Ni, Long-Term Groundwater Variations in Northwest India From Satellite Gravity Measurements, Global and Planetary Change, Vol. 116, 130-138, doi: 10.1016/j.gloplacha.2014.02.007, 2014.

ftp://ftp.csr.utexas.edu/pub/ggfc/papers/2014GPC_NWI_Groundwater.pdf (http://ftp://ftp.csr.utexas.edu/pub/ggfc/papers/2014GPC_NWI_Groundwater.pdf)

See also:

http://www.csr.utexas.edu/personal/chen/publication.html (http://www.csr.utexas.edu/personal/chen/publication.html)

Best,
ASLR
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: AbruptSLR on May 09, 2015, 12:17:36 AM
Yeah, I don't see how one can completely rule out such effects playing a role at some point.

But I'm mostly interested in the seismic effects on the lands under the major ice sheets (GIS, WAIS, EAIS) as these sheets loose more and more mass. Are those areas just not susceptible to earthquakes, or could we see increases in seismic activity there that could accelerate the destruction of those sheets--a sort of feedback?

wili,

Especially see Reply #69 of the "Antarctic Tectonics" thread

http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,393.50.html (http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,393.50.html)

The linked reference (and associated attached image) provides the first evident that remote earthquakes (i.e. Chile) can trigger icequakes in Anatarctica:


Zhigang Peng, Jacob I. Walter, Richard C. Aster, Andrew Nyblade, Douglas A. Wiens & Sridhar Anandakrishnan, (2014), "Antarctic icequakes triggered by the 2010 Maule earthquake in Chile", Nature Geoscience, doi:10.1038/ngeo2212


http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ngeo2212.html (http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ngeo2212.html)


Abstract: "Seismic waves from distant, large earthquakes can almost instantaneously trigger shallow micro-earthquakes and deep tectonic tremor as they pass through Earth’s crust. Such remotely triggered seismic activity mostly occurs in tectonically active regions. Triggered seismicity is generally considered to reflect shear failure on critically stressed fault planes and is thought to be driven by dynamic stress perturbations from both Love and Rayleigh types of surface seismic wave. Here we analyse seismic data from Antarctica in the six hours leading up to and following the 2010 Mw 8.8 Maule earthquake in Chile. We identify many high-frequency seismic signals during the passage of the Rayleigh waves generated by the Maule earthquake, and interpret them as small icequakes triggered by the Rayleigh waves. The source locations of these triggered icequakes are difficult to determine owing to sparse seismic network coverage, but the triggered events generate surface waves, so are probably formed by near-surface sources. Our observations are consistent with tensile fracturing of near-surface ice or other brittle fracture events caused by changes in volumetric strain as the high-amplitude Rayleigh waves passed through. We conclude that cryospheric systems can be sensitive to large distant earthquakes."

Also see:

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/distant-earthquake-triggers-icequake-in-antarctica/ (http://www.cbsnews.com/news/distant-earthquake-triggers-icequake-in-antarctica/)

But in the same Antarctic Tectonics folder also see Replies: #18-19, #28-29, #34-40; #48-65 and #69-72

Best,
ASLR
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: andy_t_roo on May 09, 2015, 12:54:45 AM
One problem with earthquakes is that stress continually builds up until released. When the pressure is close to release, even a small cause can trigger the inevitable.

Perhaps a week or month, or year sooner than the pressure build up would of done anyway.
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: AbruptSLR on May 09, 2015, 05:15:52 AM
For those who are wondering whether the water from a 2m SLR by 2091 would be uniformly distributed around the world and its tectonic plates, then you can mentally combine the image in panel (d) for RCP 8.5 from AR5 together with an additional meter of water height from the WAIS distributed according to the fingerprint effect shown in the second attached image.  Clearly, such a water distribution would apply non-uniform stress on different tectonic plates (thus promoting additional future seismic activity).  Also, note that as most of the land surface would not be gaining mass due to such SLR (and in glacial areas would be losing mass); there would be additional differential stress on the tectonic plate margins due to this mass imbalance as well.
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: Laurent on May 09, 2015, 11:48:30 AM
The Nepal earthquake made Mount Everest a tiny bit shorter
http://i100.independent.co.uk/article/the-nepal-earthquake-made-mount-everest-a-tiny-bit-shorter--xy8QUlPceW (http://i100.independent.co.uk/article/the-nepal-earthquake-made-mount-everest-a-tiny-bit-shorter--xy8QUlPceW)

Climate may influence earthquakes (eventually) but earthquake certainly have an effect on climate. The checking of the himalaya glaciers should not be so good for their stability...?

Himalayan 'drop after Nepal quake'
http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-32625431 (http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-32625431)
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: AbruptSLR on May 09, 2015, 02:33:52 PM
As a follow-up to my Replies #44, #46 & #48, while the GRACE image in Reply #44 shows that Eastern portions of the Himalayas have recently (2003-2010) been receiving more than normal snowfall; the following peer reviewed reference indicates that the Western and Central portion of the Tibetan Plateau glaciers have been starved of recent snowfall to the extent the two studied glaciers have sustained annual ice loss rates of more than several hundred millimeters of water equivalent since at least the 1980's (see the two associated images).  Also, we know that worldwide mean surface temperature increases are occurring faster at high mountain elevations, and the Himalayas are no exception.  Therefore, I expect ice mass loss from the Western & Central Tibetan Plateau to accelerate in the coming decades, and the associated mass loss could change local tectonic plate stresses sufficient to trigger more frequent seismic events in this area in this timeframe.

Kang, S. C., Wang, F. Y., Morgenstern, U., Zhang, Y. L., Grigholm, B., Kaspari, S., Schwikowski, M., Ren, J. W., Yao, T. D., Qin, D. H., and Mayewski, P. A.: Decapitation of high-altitude glaciers on the Tibetan Plateau revealed by ice core tritium and mercury records, The Cryosphere Discuss., 9, 417-440, doi:10.5194/tcd-9-417-2015, 2015.


http://www.the-cryosphere-discuss.net/9/417/2015/tcd-9-417-2015.html (http://www.the-cryosphere-discuss.net/9/417/2015/tcd-9-417-2015.html)

http://www.the-cryosphere-discuss.net/9/417/2015/tcd-9-417-2015-print.pdf (http://www.the-cryosphere-discuss.net/9/417/2015/tcd-9-417-2015-print.pdf)


Abstract: "Two ice cores were retrieved from high elevations (~ 5800 m a.s.l.) at Mt. Nyainqentanglha and Mt. Geladaindong in the southern to inland Tibetan Plateau. The combined analysis of tritium (3H), 210Pb, mercury tracers, along with other chemical records, revealed that the two coring sites had not received net ice accumulation since at least the 1950s and 1980s, respectively, implying an annual ice loss rate of more than several hundred millimeter water equivalent over these periods. Both mass balance modeling at the sites and in situ data from nearby glaciers confirmed a continuously negative mass balance (or mass loss) in the region due to the dramatic warming in the last decades. Along with a recent report on Naimona'nyi Glacier in the Himalaya, the findings suggest that glacier decapitation (i.e., the loss of the accumulation zone) is a wide-spread phenomenon from the southern to inland Tibetan Plateau even at the summit regions. This raises concerns over the rapid rate of glacier ice loss and associated changes in surface glacier runoff, water availability, and sea levels."
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: Timothy Astin on May 09, 2015, 05:51:21 PM
Therefore, I expect ice mass loss from the Western & Central Tibetan Plateau to accelerate in the coming decades, and the associated mass loss could change local tectonic plate stresses sufficient to trigger more frequent seismic events in this area in this timeframe.


ASLR provides lots of interesting links about changes in vertical loading which are expected to accelerate. However, in judging their importance for changes to seismicity, there needs to be a quantitative consideration of these loading/unloading effects on vertical stress, how these compare to changes in horizontal stress from plate tectonics, and hence what controls differential stress change on potential fault planes at depth.

The GRACE mass changes quoted by ASLR are a few cm of snow.

The lnk provided by Laurent #52 to the BBC report of vertical changes in elevation following the Nepal earthquake. Almost instantaneous changes in elevation are of the order of 1m to 1.5 m  These elevation changes are two orders of magnitude greater than the unloading effects from ice/snow loss over the last 10 years. These elevation changes are linked to the instantaneous variation in horizontal crustal stresses resulting from the fault plane slip, whcih have orders of magnitude greater variation than changes in vertial stresses through unloading.

Therefore it is the cyclical variation in horizontal stresses resulting from plate tectonic motion which determines the destructive earthquake behaviour in the Nepal region.

I think it is clear that quantiitative considerations show that man-made climatic change is not the dominant factor controlling frequency of occurrence of destructuve seismicity in the Himalayas.


Of course, expected significant changes, consequent on anthropogenic global warming, to Himalayan glaciers and resulting river hydrology have other, potentially very significant detrimental consequences for people living in south and central Asia.



Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: AbruptSLR on May 09, 2015, 06:38:49 PM
I think it is clear that quantiitative considerations show that man-made climatic change is not the dominant factor controlling frequency of occurrence of destructuve seismicity in the Himalayas.

Tim,
I imagine that folke_kelm must be pre-occupied doing something else today; otherwise, with his love of logical rigor I am sure that he (she?) would point-out the numerous portions of your reply that are logical red-herrings.

First, no one that I am aware of in this thread (certainly not myself) have claimed that the influence of climate change dominates tectonic activity, with regard to the Nepal earthquake or anywhere else in the world.  The influence of climate change can be viewed as a possible stress riser added on-top of the otherwise dominant tectonic forces (any other thought is ludicrous and would only be thought by individuals with a poor understanding of science), that indeed vary from site to site and on the local tectonic history and boundary conditions.  In this light, anthropogenic forcing (such as Indian groundwater mining, in Northwest India, to compensate for low rainfall and high population growth) can act as a trigger to increase the frequency and/or magnitude of seismic activity dominated by tectonic forces.  Thus it is a "straw-man" to say that because the influence of anthropogenic forcing does not dominate seismic response that the influence of anthropogenic forcing will not have a systematically growing impact (which will be different in different locations) on seismic activity this century, with continued anthropogenic forcing.

Second, while I am not qualified to run a seismic hind-caste of the Nepal earthquake to determine what influence the mass changes on all sides of Nepal from:

(a) the Northwest Indian groundwater mass shown in the white box of the first attached image; which, resulted in the over 20 cm change in equivalent water height from 2003 to 2012 shown in the second attached image; and which, amounts to a loss of hundreds of gigatonnes of cumulative water mass (over these years) as indicated by the previously posted third attached image.  See the Chen et al 2014 reference at the end of this post.
(b) the accumulation of snowfall in the Eastern Himalayas (shown by the GRACE image in Reply #44), and
(c) the loss of glacial ice in the Western & Central Tibetan Plateau cited by Kang et al 2015 in Reply #53.

… I am confident that their cumulative influence (plus what happened from 2012 to 2015) is not negligible.

Finally, you should not compare the elevation changes of portions of the Himalayas (cited by Laurent) after the Nepal event to the different equivalent water height changes in groundwater, snow and glacial ice; as this is comparing apples to oranges.

Chen, J.L., J. Li, Z.Z. Zhang, S.N. Ni, Long-Term Groundwater Variations in Northwest India From Satellite Gravity Measurements, Global and Planetary Change, Vol. 116, 130-138, doi: 10.1016/j.gloplacha.2014.02.007, 2014.

ftp://ftp.csr.utexas.edu/pub/ggfc/papers/2014GPC_NWI_Groundwater.pdf
ASLR
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: Timothy Astin on May 10, 2015, 02:42:30 AM

First, no one that I am aware of in this thread (certainly not myself) have claimed that the influence of climate change dominates tectonic activity, with regard to the Nepal earthquake or anywhere else in the world.  The influence of climate change can be viewed as a possible stress riser added on-top of the otherwise dominant tectonic forces.


I am glad we agree that tectonic activity is the dominant control on frequency and magnitude of earthquakes globally.  I use the example of the recent Nepal earthquake to show that the "stress riser" from climate changes referred to is insignificant for magnitude and frequency of large earthquakes in this part of the world.

I also agree with previous posts that where there is localised, rapid, very large-scale unloading from disintegration of ice-sheets, then local seismic activity will normally increase.


Finally, you should not compare the elevation changes of portions of the Himalayas (cited by Laurent) after the Nepal event to the different equivalent water height changes in groundwater, snow and glacial ice; as this is comparing apples to oranges.



One common property of apples and oranges is that they both transmit a vertical stress to the surface they are sitting on in proportion to their mass.

It is entirely fair to compare the vertical stress resulting from 1m of rock of density approx 2600 kg.m-3,  with that of 3 cm of ice/water of density approx. 1000 kg.m-3., or with 20cm of groundwater in rocks of average porosity of, say, 15% also with density of approx 1000 kg.m-3.  Vertical stress changes from the loss of groundwater or of ice/snow over 10 to 20 years is roughly two orders of magnitude smaller than the instantaneous vertical stress change revealed by the topographic change caused by the earthquake.

(And for simplicity sake, I had not explored the linkage between the observed change in vertical stress above the fault plane and the inferred change in horizontal stress below the fault plane.  Because of the resolution of forces across the fault plane, the change in horizontal stress associated with the earthquake is much larger than the resulting change in vertical stress observed above the fault plane.)







Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: AbruptSLR on May 10, 2015, 02:56:13 PM
Tim,

The points that you make about the dominance of tectonic forces have no more meaning than saying that climate still dominates climate change.  The Earth does not care what climatic, or tectonic, state that it is in; it is modern human society that is poorly prepared to deal both with change to the climate and to changes in the magnitude and frequency of seismic activity triggered by anthropogenic forcing.

The Nepal earthquake was the largest modern history; which may, or may not, be a coincidence; and which may, or may not, be due to the fact that the hundreds of gigatonnes of anthropogenically changed water mass distribution around Nepal helped to release more of the "dominate" tectonic force than would have been released without the anthropogenic intervention.  The fact that structures in Nepal that had withstood hundreds of years of past seismic events, but which failed in the recent event, raises the question of where all of the design criteria for mankind's infrastructure needs to be increased in order to account for the influence of anthropogenic forcing increasing the "design event" associated with a given return period (whether due to increased frequency/magnitude of weather events or increased frequency/magnitude of seismic events).  While it is true that seismic events build-up tectonic energy gradually; which can be reduced by any given event; nevertheless, there is already so much seismic energy already built-up in the tectonic plate system; that climate change could trigger a temporarily accelerated frequency/magnitude of seismic events for hundreds of years before any new equilibrium condition could be established

Charles Darwin once said: "It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change."  Furthermore, the Bible points out that: "Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth."  In light of such received wisdom, it seems to me that society would do well to stop focusing on the "dominance" of climate compared to current climate change, or the "dominance" of tectonic force compared to associated anthropogenic forcing; and instead focus on how poorly prepared its own systems (economic, technological, institutional, governmental, etc) are for address all of the numerous "stress risers" associated with anthropogenic forcing, including the accelerating pace of changes to the frequency/magnitude of tectonic activity associate with anthropogenic activity.

ASLR
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: AbruptSLR on May 10, 2015, 04:48:45 PM
The linked article discussing the case that fracking maybe causing swarms of small earthquakes in Texas (see the extract below).  This thread cites numerous other cases associating swarms of small earthquakes in North America associated with fracking, and it should be noted that fracking operations are still ramping-up in many other areas of the world (North America just had a head start on the rest of the world).

Many people will think: "What's the problem with swarms of small earthquakes?  People are adaptable, and having the locals suffer such small earthquakes is a small price to pay for the market (and me) to gain access to these valuable fossil fuels."  Unfortunately, besides the accelerated groundwater contamination and the GHG emissions; such swarms of such small local earthquakes can accumulate tectonic stresses in the rock of adjoining areas.  Therefore, as fracking operations spread around the world, tectonic stresses will be accumulated in the rock of adjoining areas at multiple locations around the world.  Therefore in the future, large earthquakes (dominated by natural tectonic action) may likely trigger moderate sized aftershocks in these adjoining areas with accumulated tectonic stresses, which may be large enough to cause structural damage and loss of life.
 
Furthermore, in the future climate change associated damage may have overtaxed to insurance industry to the point that it makes earthquake insurance premiums so high that they are unaffordable to the general public, and if so the public may need face the consequences of future seismic damage will much less societal assistance then they are currently used to believing that they are entitled to.  Also, I note that when the international insurance industry gets over-stresses they pass of higher premiums to everyone in the modern society, including to people living far away from places subjected to high risks (whether from more frequent strong earthquakes, or more frequent flooding, etc.).

http://edition.cnn.com/2015/05/09/us/texas-earthquakes-fracking-studies/ (http://edition.cnn.com/2015/05/09/us/texas-earthquakes-fracking-studies/)

Extract: "What do scientists say?
The problem isn't solely the drilling, some scientists argue. It's the disposal of a wastewater byproduct of the drilling.
The way most companies dispose of this byproduct is to push it thousands of feet underground. The mixture of millions of gallons of water and potentially harmful chemicals are pumped into the earth's crust, and the liquid lubricates the faults, causing the earth to shake, or so the theory goes.
A key point in SMU's preliminary report is about the depth of these earthquakes, which have been 3 to 4 miles deep. This places most of them "in the shallow crystalline basement (granites) below the sedimentary rocks (sandstone, shale, limestone, etc.) that comprise the Fort Worth Basin."
An injection of wastewater that reaches the granite basement can agitate an existing -- or previously unknown -- branch of a large fault, resulting in the ground shaking."
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: Tor Bejnar on May 11, 2015, 03:16:21 PM
Steve Drury's Earth Pages (http://earth-pages.co.uk/2015/05/10/earthquake-hazard-news/) has an article on Earthquake hazard news that focuses on petroleum industry fluid injection wells. 
Quote
The main worry is that waste water disposal might trigger movements with magnitudes up to 7.0: in 2011 a magnitude 5.6 earthquake hit a town in oil-producing Oklahoma and damaged many buildings.
The article ends with
Quote
None of these areas are likely to experience the horrors of the 25 April 2015 magnitude 7.8 earthquake in Nepal. However, it also occurred in an area expected to be relatively stable compared with the rest of the Himalayan region. The only previous major tremor there was recorded in the 14th century. This supposedly ‘low-risk’ area overlies a zone in which small tremors or microearthquakes occur all the time. Such zones – and this one extends along much of the length of the Himalaya – seem to mark where fault depths are large enough for displacements to take place continually by plastic flow, thereby relieving stresses. Most of the large earthquakes have taken place south of the microseismic zone where the shallow parts of the Indian plate are brittle and have become locked. The recent event is raising concerns that it is a precursor of further large earthquakes in Nepal. Its capital Kathmandu is especially susceptible as it is partly founded on lake sediments that easily liquefy.
In general there might be a connection between ground water depletion and a region becoming less 'plastic' (allowing for fewer but larger earthquakes).  I don't think this happened in Nepal though:  groundwater depletion happens in the upper 1 or 2 kilometers of the crust whereas the decreased plasticity (if that is what happened in Nepal last month) happened about 15 km down.

(Oklahoman earthquakes tend to be around 3-5 km deep, as are the waste water injection wells.)
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: AbruptSLR on May 11, 2015, 04:47:14 PM
Steve Drury's Earth Pages (http://earth-pages.co.uk/2015/05/10/earthquake-hazard-news/) has an article on Earthquake hazard news that focuses on petroleum industry fluid injection wells. 
Quote
The main worry is that waste water disposal might trigger movements with magnitudes up to 7.0: in 2011 a magnitude 5.6 earthquake hit a town in oil-producing Oklahoma and damaged many buildings.
The article ends with
Quote
None of these areas are likely to experience the horrors of the 25 April 2015 magnitude 7.8 earthquake in Nepal. However, it also occurred in an area expected to be relatively stable compared with the rest of the Himalayan region. The only previous major tremor there was recorded in the 14th century. This supposedly ‘low-risk’ area overlies a zone in which small tremors or microearthquakes occur all the time. Such zones – and this one extends along much of the length of the Himalaya – seem to mark where fault depths are large enough for displacements to take place continually by plastic flow, thereby relieving stresses. Most of the large earthquakes have taken place south of the microseismic zone where the shallow parts of the Indian plate are brittle and have become locked. The recent event is raising concerns that it is a precursor of further large earthquakes in Nepal. Its capital Kathmandu is especially susceptible as it is partly founded on lake sediments that easily liquefy.
In general there might be a connection between ground water depletion and a region becoming less 'plastic' (allowing for fewer but larger earthquakes).  I don't think this happened in Nepal though:  groundwater depletion happens in the upper 1 or 2 kilometers of the crust whereas the decreased plasticity (if that is what happened in Nepal last month) happened about 15 km down.

(Oklahoman earthquakes tend to be around 3-5 km deep, as are the waste water injection wells.)

I note that lower plasticity can also be a function of higher rate of loading; and as the change in groundwater elevation in Northwest India was not directly above Nepal's 2015 epicenter; it makes much more sense to talk about the rapid change in hundreds of gigatonnes of water weight on the Indian tectonic plate rapidly changing the stress in the fault beneath Nepal rather than talking about changes in groundwater at the fault (which likely did not happen).

Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: AbruptSLR on May 11, 2015, 06:00:54 PM
To state the obvious, most scientists have become highly specialized in our current reality; but with regard to the possible impacts of climate change on tectonic activity, there currently is no entity that I am aware of that takes responsibility to integrate all of the various risks associated with different mechanisms into an integrated whole synergistic projection; in a similar manner as GCMs or ESMs do for oceanic, atmospheric and other associated Earth Systems.  This leaves the risks associated with anthropogenic changes to this tectonic activity relatively poorly evaluated.
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: AbruptSLR on May 11, 2015, 06:33:25 PM
I thought that I would re-post the following abstract (from the Antarctic Folder); which indicates that after GIA correction the Amundsen Sea sector is probably contributing more (up to 40% more) to SLR than previously projected.  This emphasizes both the importance, and uncertainties associated with the Glacial Isostatic Adjustment (GIA); which, can have a significant impact on both associated SLR and associated seismic activity projections:

An investigation of Glacial Isostatic Adjustment over the Amundsen Sea sector, West Antarctica
by: A. Groh; H. Ewert, M. Scheinert, M. Fritsche, A. Rülke, A. Richter, R. Rosenau, R. Dietrich
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gloplacha.2012.08.001 (http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gloplacha.2012.08.001)

Abstract
The present study focuses on the Amundsen Sea sector which is the most dynamical region of the Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS). Based on basin estimates of mass changes observed by the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) and volume changes observed by the Ice, Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite (ICESat), the mean mass change induced by Glacial Isostatic Adjustment (GIA) is derived. This mean GIA-induced mass change is found to be 34.1 ± 11.9 Gt/yr, which is significantly larger than the predictions of current GIA models. We show that the corresponding mean elevation change of 23.3 ± 7.7 mm/yr in the Amundsen Sea sector is in good agreement with the uplift rates obtained from observations at three GPS sites. Utilising ICESat observations, the observed uplift rates were corrected for elastic deformations due to present-day ice-mass changes. Based on the GRACE-derived mass change estimate and the inferred GIA correction, we inferred a present-day ice-mass loss of − 98.9 ± 13.7 Gt/yr for the Amundsen Sea sector. This is equivalent to a global eustatic sea-level rise of 0.27 ± 0.04 mm/yr. Compared to the results relying on GIA model predictions, this corresponds to an increase of the ice-mass loss or sea-level rise, respectively, of about 40%.

The first accompanying figure shows an overview of the Amundsen Sea sector, West Antarctica. The red line defines the generalised drainage basins of Pine Island Glacier, Thwaites Glacier and Smith Glacier (PITS). Locations of three GPS campaign sites are marked by red triangles.

The second figures shows the GRACE data from 2003 to 2009 which the papers says needs to be corrected to indicate about 40% more ice mass loss than previously reported
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: AbruptSLR on May 11, 2015, 06:45:39 PM
For those who are not clear about the implications of the information that I posted in Reply #62, the GRACE satellite only measure mass change, so if ice mass is leaving the Amundsen Sea Embayment, ASE, but magma is flowing back-in underneath the lithosphere, then the uncorrected GRACE measurements may be underestimating the true amount of ice mass loss.  Unfortunately, it is not well understood how quickly the magma is flowing back underneath the ASE, so there currently is a monitoring effort going on to try to reduce the uncertainties associated with this mechanism.  If a lot of magma is flowing in to the ASE area, then not only are the current SLR projections erring on the side of least drama, but so to are the current seismicity projections for this ASE area.
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: Laurent on May 11, 2015, 08:21:55 PM
That flow of magma should be measurable by sismic devices ? Do we know the records of these devices in the area ?
I have heard that some scientists in Yellow stone use a special technic to assess the flow of magma...may be that can help us to assess what is going in Antarctic ?
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: AbruptSLR on May 11, 2015, 08:33:45 PM
That flow of magma should be measurable by sismic devices ? Do we know the records of these devices in the area ?
I have heard that some scientists in Yellow stone use a special technic to assess the flow of magma...may be that can help us to assess what is going in Antarctic ?

Laurent,

The is a lot more information on the topic you ask about in the Antarctic Tectonics thread; however, I re-post the following as one of my more recent posts on this topic:

Re-post: "The following abstract comes from the International Glacial Society Proceeding 65 at the following link:

http://www.igsoc.org/symposia/2014/chamonix/proceedings/procsfiles/procabstracts_65.htm (http://www.igsoc.org/symposia/2014/chamonix/proceedings/procsfiles/procabstracts_65.htm)

It is particularly interesting that Wilson et al 2014 indicate that the magma beneath Marie Byrd Land has very low viscosity:

70A1149
The POLENET-ANET integrated GPS and seismology approach to understanding glacial isostatic adjustment and ice mass change in Antarctica

Terry WILSON, Michael BEVIS, Stephanie KONFAL, Richard ASTER, Julien CHAPUT, David HEESZEL, Douglas WIENS, Sridhar ANANDAKRISHNAN, Ian DALZIEL, Audrey HUERTA, Eric KENDRICK
Corresponding author: Terry Wilson
Corresponding author e-mail: wilson.43@osu.edu

Abstract: "The POLENET-ANET project is simultaneously resolving crustal motions, measured by GPS, and Earth structure and rheological properties, mapped by seismology. Measured vertical and horizontal crustal motion patterns are not explained by extant glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) models. These models have ice histories dominated by ice loss following the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) and rely on 1-D Earth models, with rheological properties varying only radially. Seismological results from POLENET-ANET are revealing significant complexity in lateral variation in Earth properties. For example, crustal thickness variations occur not only across the East-West Antarctic boundary, but also between crustal blocks within West Antarctica. Modeling of mantle viscosity based on shear wave velocities shows a sharp lateral gradient from high to low viscosity in the Ross Embayment, a much more gradual gradient in the Weddell Embayment, and very low viscosities below Marie Byrd Land and the Amundsen Sea Embayment (ASE). Remarkable vertical and horizontal bedrock crustal motion velocity magnitudes, directions and patterns correlate spatially, in many aspects, with Earth property variations mapped by seismology. Within the ASE, extremely high upward velocities are flanked by subsiding regions – neither predicted by GIA models. Given the thin crust and low mantle viscosity, it is likely that this is not an LGM signal, which would have already relaxed, and uplift due to the elastic response to modern ice mass change clearly is important. As in other regions where rapid GIA-induced uplift has been measured, the crustal velocities in the Amundsen Embayment may also record a viscoelastic response to ice loss on decadal–centennial timescales. Along the East-West Antarctic boundary in the Ross Embayment, GIA-induced horizontal crustal motions are toward rather than away from the principal ice load center, correlating spatially with the strong lateral gradient in mantle viscosity. In the Weddell Embayment region, where crustal thickness is intermediate between East and West Antarctica and mantle viscosity values are moderate, crustal motions show the best match with predictions of GIA models. It is clear that lateral variations in Earth properties fundamentally control the isostatic response to ice mass changes in Antarctica. Ongoing integrated seismic-GPS studies are critical to developing the next generation of GIA models.""

Furthermore, geothermal activity is another good indicator of this magma as discuss at the following  Reporting Climate Science web article (with the two associated images):


http://www.reportingclimatescience.com/news-stories/article/second-paper-geothermal-heat-melting-west-antarctica.html (http://www.reportingclimatescience.com/news-stories/article/second-paper-geothermal-heat-melting-west-antarctica.html)

Best,
ASLR
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: AbruptSLR on May 11, 2015, 11:21:16 PM
Here is a link to an article about the Polenet –Anet; which is a GPS and seismic network spanning West Antarctica and the Transantarctic Mountains, the main mountain range separating East and West Antarctica:

http://polenet.org/?page_id=176 (http://polenet.org/?page_id=176)

see also SERCE (Solid Earth Response and Influence on Cryogenic Evolution):
http://www.scar.org/scar_media/documents/meetings/33scar2014/33_WP15_SERCE_Report.pdf (http://www.scar.org/scar_media/documents/meetings/33scar2014/33_WP15_SERCE_Report.pdf)
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: AbruptSLR on May 12, 2015, 06:25:39 PM
A second major earthquake (not an aftershock) hit near Everest base camp today with a Richter magnitude of 7.3.  This may all just be nature or anthropogenic forcing could be acting as a stress riser (for frequency of return period and/or magnitude).

See:

http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/nepal-earthquake/nepal-hit-7-3-magnitude-earthquake-panic-reported-kathmandu-n357481 (http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/nepal-earthquake/nepal-hit-7-3-magnitude-earthquake-panic-reported-kathmandu-n357481)
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: Timothy Astin on May 13, 2015, 08:56:45 AM
The latest large Nepal earthquake is an aftershock. See the USGS summary:

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/us20002ejl#general_summary (http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/us20002ejl#general_summary)

This page also gives a discussion of the underlying causes of large earthquakes in the region and their repeat times.
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: prokaryotes on May 17, 2015, 10:50:11 PM
A clever fellow that goes by "prokaryotes" is more or less obsessed with the idea that for various reasons GW may trigger increased tectonic activity. I can't recall whether he is on these threads, but he frequents RC and has his own very good blog (which is mostly about climate science in general--a very impressive collection of sources, that):http://climatestate.com/

I'll see if I can track down one of his posts on this issue in particular.

It seems to me that SLR, in particular, must have some effect on pressure on tectonic plates at some point.

ETA: Here is the particular part of his site where he has collected some relevant videos: http://climatestate.com/category/climate-science/geosphere/geomorphology/ (http://climatestate.com/category/climate-science/geosphere/geomorphology/)

(He used to have a lot of links to actual research papers, but I can't seem to find those on his site anymore.)
Hej wili, thanks for the nice introduction, but m I obsessed with the idea? Basically the idea that there will be response from the Earth, due to isostatic rebound appears plausible, in particular from unloading of active faults.

Though, made a post on the topic here (note to mod, might be merged). http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1261.0.html (http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1261.0.html)

Btw. all the stuff should be still there @CS, not sure what you were looking for.
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: folke_kelm on May 18, 2015, 02:30:10 PM
ASLR,

"
I imagine that folke_kelm must be pre-occupied doing something else today"
Indeed, i am occupied with other things most of my time, there are some small children and a job has to be done dealing with risk assessment and groundwater chemistry and some education too.
I am reading daily, but there is simply no time to write a comment, so please excuse me when i do not answer immediately.

I do not think that the discussion here has moved to some point of conclusion, at least not from my point of view. I still see some misconceptions about earthquakes, how they happen and why.

At first we have to distinguish between different geological phenomena cimate change is able to influence.
There are 1: slides 2: eruptions and 3: earthquakes.
All 3 may react to climate change in different ways. At first we have to consider about, what climate change possibly is able to change.
You ASLR; have provided us with a bunch of links, that give us an answer about this question.
Climate change is changing is rising the sea level, not equal but regional different, thus changing the vertical stress on plates, and human influence (not only climate change) is changing ground water level and again the vertical stress on plates. There is n discussion at all necessary about this fact.

Let us have a look at the consequences of this vertical stress change.

1: we begin with slides.
Here the limiting factor is internal cohesion (friction) inside the rock or sediment. This friction is strongly dependend of fluids in the free space between grains, in other words pore water pressure.
Increasing rain and rising ground water level will cause increasing pore water pressure and thus deminishing the internal friction, causing less shear stability of the rock. A slide may be the result as is seen frequently in California during El Nino years with increased rainfall.

2: Volcanism is always caused by vertical movement of hot mantle material or fluid rich partly melted masses from subducting in zones, where plates are recycled into the mantle (ring of fire) or in zones where crustal stretching takes place (mid ocean ridges).
In all cases we must take attention to the most important factor to generate liquid magma, pressure (static, not dynamic).
Liquid magma is, as i wrote earlier, generated when pressure is released, and only liquid magma is able to erupt.
The most important factor to release pressure is movement of plastic or fluid rich plastic mantle or crust material upwards in the crust. At a distinct pressure level the material will melt suddenly. this level is different for every material and every volcano.
You may translate pressure to a vertical stress, and now you see, that a melting ice cap, a melting glacier and if you want, draught and depleting of ground water will reduce pressure. IN the case of ice caps this will be at a rather high level.
But, please have in mind, that you must have material that is able to melt. Melting the ice cap has not caused any volcanic eruption anywhere in northern europe, it will not cause any eruption at the most places where we have ice caps today, simply because it will not move hot masses in the mantle. These movements take 10´s to 100´s of million years and they occure totally independend of any climate.

You see, a change in vertical stress can be caused by climate change. Let us now look at earthquakes. Here i disagree completely with the idea that climate change may cause an increase in frequency AND strength of earthquakes, let me explain why.
Nearly all earthquakes worth mentioning are caused by plate tectonics.
How does this work?
The different parts of the crust move independly over the more plastic deformed upper mantle. We know nowadays that the motor of this movement mostly is the pulling force of the subducting slab, not the pushing force of generating crust at mid oean ridges. This movement of plates create a nearly pure horizontal stress at places, where parts of crust  with different velocities meet. These are mostly transform or strike-slip faults (it does not really matter which type).
The horizontal stress generates elastic strain at places where the two plates are locked.
The relation between plate movement and rising elastic strain is nearly linear.
If you consider the plate movement as constant (it nearly is), then you see, that the buildup of strain is a result of two variables, the plate velocity and the time of locked movement (no movement at a certain place). The longer the time the bigger the quake.
Is climate change in form of rising sea level or changing ground water level capable to increase horizontal stress? This is the only possibility to add energy to the system of locked elastic strain.
If a changing load is not providing horizontal stress, it may nevertheles influence the magnitude or the frequency of earthquakes, but in a different way.
If a vertical stress component breakes a lock (or increased fluid pressure in the shear zone), the strain will be released as earthquake BEFORE it will occure naturally, and so it will have a lesser magnitude.
The way plate tectonics work is only able to react with diminishing magnitude and higher frequency or, if you provide a stronger locking, with higher magnitude but fewer quakes.
Higher vertical stress due to changes in water level is not at all able to provide more energy to the system, it can only change the way this energy is released.

Earthquakes due to isostatic rebound from removing icecaps are entirely different. They will occure, but they will never have the same magnitude as quakes due to plate movement. The unloading will  generate a new level of elastic strain which will be released at certain zones as moderate earthquakes until a new equilibrium is reached.
 
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: wili on May 18, 2015, 02:42:54 PM
Hi prok! Good to see you chime in. I meant 'obsessed' in the best possible connotation!  ;D

Thanks for reminding us about the other thread and your excellent site, Climate State. People can find it here: http://climatestate.com/ (http://climatestate.com/)

Is there a sub-thread at CS where all the relevant pieces would be stored together? What would be the best terms to use to do a search on this topic?
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: Tor Bejnar on June 26, 2015, 05:45:57 PM
Reverse glacier motion during iceberg calving and the cause of glacial earthquakes
 (http://www.sciencemag.org/content/early/2015/06/24/science.aab0460.abstract)
Abstract:
Quote
Nearly half of Greenland’s mass loss occurs through iceberg calving, but the physical mechanisms operating during calving are poorly known and in situ observations are sparse. We show that calving at Greenland’s Helheim Glacier causes a minutes-long reversal of the glacier’s horizontal flow and a downward deflection of its terminus. The reverse motion results from the horizontal force caused by iceberg capsize and acceleration away from the glacier front. The downward motion results from a hydrodynamic pressure drop behind the capsizing berg, which also causes an upward force on the solid Earth. These forces are the source of glacial earthquakes, globally detectable seismic events whose proper interpretation will allow remote sensing of calving processes occurring at increasing numbers of outlet glaciers in Greenland and Antarctica.
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: Cate on April 08, 2016, 10:12:37 PM
"Will climate change in the Arctic increase the landslide-tsunami risk to the UK?"

This is a major multi-year collaborative study focusing on the possibility of Storegga-type landslides happening as a result of Arctic warming. My interest in this is personal, as Newfoundland is also included in the study area. We know about landslip tsunamis in this corner of the Atlantic: in 1929, the south coast of Newfoundland suffered a tidal wave associated with an earthquake-landslip on the continental shelf. The 1929 event may or may not have been linked to climate change, of course, but it is very interesting to see that scientists are interested in finding out what the effects of climate change might be for the ocean floor up north.

http://projects.noc.ac.uk/landslide-tsunami/ (http://projects.noc.ac.uk/landslide-tsunami/)

This BBC article sets out the issue in layperson's terms.
http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20160323-the-terrifying-tsunami-that-devastated-britain?ocid=global_earth_rss (http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20160323-the-terrifying-tsunami-that-devastated-britain?ocid=global_earth_rss)
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: prokaryotes on April 15, 2017, 04:19:15 PM
Is there a sub-thread at CS where all the relevant pieces would be stored together? What would be the best terms to use to do a search on this topic?
You need to use the search and seek keywords, but there are not many updates, the last post was a 2014 interview, this http://climatestate.com/2014/10/16/methane-hydrate-destabilisation-is-clearly-a-real-worry-particularly-in-the-context-of-warming-ocean-waters-in-the-east-siberian-continental-shelf/ (http://climatestate.com/2014/10/16/methane-hydrate-destabilisation-is-clearly-a-real-worry-particularly-in-the-context-of-warming-ocean-waters-in-the-east-siberian-continental-shelf/)

And then i recommend this lecture, Waking the Giant: Climate Force and Geological Hazards
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xndhx7KpSU0 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xndhx7KpSU0)

Recently
This study paper

Interaction between climate, volcanism, and isostatic rebound in Southeast Alaska during the last deglaciation https://www.researchgate.net/publication/306418361_Interaction_between_climate_volcanism_and_isostatic_rebound_in_Southeast_Alaska_during_the_last_deglaciation (https://www.researchgate.net/publication/306418361_Interaction_between_climate_volcanism_and_isostatic_rebound_in_Southeast_Alaska_during_the_last_deglaciation) Summary posted here http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1952.0.html (http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1952.0.html)

Climate change may prevent volcanoes from cooling the planet
November 16, 2016 https://phys.org/news/2016-11-climate-volcanoes-cooling-planet.html (https://phys.org/news/2016-11-climate-volcanoes-cooling-planet.html)
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: wili on April 15, 2017, 06:42:49 PM
Thanks, prok!
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: wili on November 19, 2017, 12:29:16 AM
Besides cc effects on earthquakes, it seems that very slight reductions in the speed of the earth's rotation can cause dramatic increases in the number of severe earthquakes globally. This was new to me.

Upsurge in big earthquakes predicted for 2018 as Earth rotation slows
Scientists say number of severe quakes is likely to rise strongly next year because of a periodic slowing of the Earth’s rotation


https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/nov/18/2018-set-to-be-year-of-big-earthquakes

Quote
...They found five periods when there had been significantly higher numbers of large earthquakes compared with other times. “In these periods, there were between 25 to 30 intense earthquakes a year,” said Bilham. “The rest of the time the average figure was around 15 major earthquakes a year.”

The researchers searched to find correlations between these periods of intense seismic activity and other factors and discovered that when Earth’s rotation decreased slightly it was followed by periods of increased numbers of intense earthquakes. “The rotation of the Earth does change slightly – by a millisecond a day sometimes – and that can be measured very accurately by atomic clocks,” said Bilham.

    It is straightforward. The Earth is offering us a five-year heads-up on future earthquakes
    Roger Bilham of the University of Colorado in Boulder

Bilham and Bendick found that there had been periods of around five years when Earth’s rotation slowed by such an amount several times over the past century and a half. Crucially, these periods were followed by periods when the numbers of intense earthquakes increased.

“It is straightforward,” said Bilham. “The Earth is offering us a five-year heads-up on future earthquakes.”

This link is particularly important because Earth’s rotation began one of its periodic slowdowns more than four years ago. “The inference is clear,” said Bilham. “Next year we should see a significant increase in numbers of severe earthquakes...
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: Susan Anderson on November 19, 2017, 06:22:33 AM
I saw that about likely earthquakes and the slowing of earth's rotation in 2018. I wonder if it's true?

In general, I feel we're in enough trouble without promoting extreme views, but this didn't look fake and the Guardian is normally trustworthy; however, I'll wait and see and take a look at the comments on the article.
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: Susan Anderson on November 19, 2017, 06:32:09 AM
OK, I took a look. I don't know this commenter either (one tropic2), but it is grounds for caution. OTOH, we know that a lot of things that seemed exaggerated a few years back are coming true.

Quote
Who is Roger Bilham?

Two quotes from a 2012 newspaper article:

Over the past decade, Bilham has predicted that the Himalayan region is ripe for several giant earthquakes greater than magnitude 8, and cautioned that any one of these could kill more than a million people in the densely populated urbanised Gangetic plains.

A senior Indian geophysicist who knows Bilham well said his research and style of making presentations in India may have irked sections of senior scientists. “I have had a good working relationship with him, but he’s regarded by some as a scaremongerer,” said Bal Krishna Rastogi, director of the Institute of Seismological Research in Gandhinagar, which hosted the workshop.


https://www.telegraphindia.com/1121212/jsp/nation/story_16305957.jsp
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: Susan Anderson on November 19, 2017, 06:36:21 AM
One more, and then it's time to quit for the night:

Quote
RayWTassie

For everyone including me who wondered why the earths rotation speed changes slightly, I did a bit of Googling. It appears that gravitational influences from other planets have an effect. "The Earth's rotation around its axis, and revolution around the Sun, evolve over time due to gravitational interactions with other bodies in the solar system. The variations are complex, but a few cycles are dominant" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milankovitch_cycles BUT It also seems that weather has an effect ( NASA) AND actual Earthquakes themselves affect the earths rotation speed. Wonderful stuff.

Somebody also pointed out that the recent nuclear tests in Pyongyang (and I saw there was some seismic activity originating in northwest Russia or thereabouts recently as well) can't be helping.
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: MrVisible on November 19, 2017, 06:10:19 PM
I think the periodic effect they're talking about is tidal (http://"https://bowie.gsfc.nasa.gov/ggfc/tides/intro.html"):

Quote
Finally, there are also tidal variations in rotation rate and polar motion caused by the near-equilibrium long-period tides, which have periods from about 9 days to 18.6 years. For rotation rate, the dominant contributor is in fact the solid-earth tides."
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: johnm33 on November 21, 2017, 12:14:32 AM
Tidal? here (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2017GL074934/epdf?referrer_access_token=RgaXChBNX-fv4L3UYIYWoU4keas67K9QMdWULTWMo8OSvAsLEBfxHKk77yB6SFsJHcErrW6SWPzKuSQjVujLi_Iu4GpW3LHc8e988DzDvEc-5E-nIM3hd0BI_0wog1sqONPw4hESQbRWop_lp7uQIgnbyKSopgnVaTKA48pyb2loNaNvz5EhpaiaHa2Fika5y95LACwWxR1bRsY2kk1M2-ELx1X-cGwTdHakTpIvN_m0F6Zuon2rvagX3GbLIE6Hxh2frja3JnZ2sECI2f7Dmw%3D%3D) it states a period of 32.4 years and a lead time of 5 years
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: solartim27 on January 03, 2018, 05:24:17 PM
I imagine the sea floor deformation discussed here will result in some interesting events, including earthquakes and vulcanism.
http://www.ibtimes.co.in/earth-getting-squashed-due-climate-change-meltwater-ice-sheets-make-oceans-heavier-study-755501
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 18, 2018, 04:58:06 PM
“Do Large (Magnitude ≥8) Global Earthquakes Occur on Preferred Days of the Calendar Year or Lunar Cycle? ”

Abstract, in its entirety ;D:
Quote
No.
https://pubs.geoscienceworld.org/ssa/srl/article-abstract/525827/do-large-magnitude-8-global-earthquakes-occur-on
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: Archimid on January 18, 2018, 06:10:09 PM
Nice abstract and to me it makes sense.

  I imagine that when the Earth first captured the moon, it caused unimaginable earthquakes. Overtime the tug of the moon probably reshaped the Earth. The Earth movements were very fast at first, but slowed down overtime as the gravitational forces met limits imposed by the composition and shape of the planet and the orbit of the moon. Overtime that change reached the sort of equillibrium that we experience in our time frame.

 I believe it is perfectly posible, even likely,  that at some point in the future some tipping point is reached that changes the equillibrium of the moon and Earth and the phases of the moon do become correlated with Earthquakes. However, that may be hundreds of millions of years into the future if at all.
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: gerontocrat on January 23, 2018, 12:18:01 PM
From wunderground

https://www.wunderground.com/news/2018-01-23-earthquake-tsunami-threat-alaska-canada-hawaii-us-west-coast

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An intense earthquake centered in the Gulf of Alaska has prompted tsunami warnings and watches for the Alaskan, Canadian and U.S. West Coasts, as well as the Hawaiian Islands, just after midnight Tuesday.

The magnitude 7.9 quake struck at 1:32 a.m. PST about 175 miles southeast of Kodiak, Alaska, or about 350 miles south of Anchorage.

Tsunami warnings have been posted from Alaska's Aleutian Islands to the British Columbia coast, including Vancouver Island's outer west, central and northeast coasts, southeast Alaska's inner and outer coasts.

Tsunami warnings mean a tsunami with significant inundation is possible or already occurring in these locations.
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: wili on January 23, 2018, 03:12:27 PM

Tsunami advisory canceled after magnitude 7.9 earthquake off Alaska


https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2018/01/23/tsunami-warning-earthquake-off-alaska/1056828001/
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: GeoffBeacon on February 07, 2018, 06:31:29 AM
Volcanoes Get a Kick from Climate Change (https://www.hakaimagazine.com/news/volcanoes-get-a-kick-from-climate-change/)

This is a recent article about likely increases in volcanic activity in Iceland as the ice melts. It is based on a meeting with geologist Magnus Guðmundsson in April 2017. Guðmundsson googles well and has authored lots papers (https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Magnus_Gudmundsson_6) but doesn't seem to have been mentioned on ASIF. Excerpt from the article:
 
Quote
“If the ice melts, that can destabilize the magma,” Guðmundsson says. In the months that followed, Katla’s earthquakes diminished as the threat of eruption fizzled out. But the possibility of enormous ice caps melting, releasing pressure, and contributing to volcanic eruptions remains. And with the world warming and glaciers disappearing, the possibility of powerful eruptions to come is growing.
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: vox_mundi on September 18, 2018, 08:02:32 PM
Cross posted in the Methane thread
"Will climate change in the Arctic increase the landslide-tsunami risk to the UK?"

This is a major multi-year collaborative study focusing on the possibility of Storegga-type landslides happening as a result of Arctic warming. My interest in this is personal, as Newfoundland is also included in the study area. We know about landslip tsunamis in this corner of the Atlantic: in 1929, the south coast of Newfoundland suffered a tidal wave associated with an earthquake-landslip on the continental shelf. The 1929 event may or may not have been linked to climate change, of course, but it is very interesting to see that scientists are interested in finding out what the effects of climate change might be for the ocean floor up north.

http://projects.noc.ac.uk/landslide-tsunami/ (http://projects.noc.ac.uk/landslide-tsunami/)

This BBC article sets out the issue in layperson's terms.
http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20160323-the-terrifying-tsunami-that-devastated-britain?ocid=global_earth_rss (http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20160323-the-terrifying-tsunami-that-devastated-britain?ocid=global_earth_rss)

Storegga submarine landslides may be more common than originally thought.

Scientists Closing In On Source of Shetland Tsunamis (https://nerc.ukri.org/planetearth/stories/1906/)
Quote
Shetland Island (north of Scotland) has been hit by at least two more tsunamis in the past 10,000 years than previously thought, and scientists are working to identify where the giant waves originated.

Around 8,200 years ago, the Storegga  off the coast of Norway caused a 20m-high tsunami to sweep across Shetland. Sands found at various points across the isles, and in mainland Scotland, Norway, the Faroe Islands and Greenland, proved the tsunami's towering height, and the event has been well-reported.

Scientists funded by NERC have identified sands on Shetland that they say prove additional tsunamis hit Shetland 5,000 and 1,500 years ago. This could mean that tsunamis are a more common occurrence than previously thought in the UK.
Quote
... We found sands aged 5,000 and 1,500 years old at multiple locations in Shetland, up to 13 meters (42 feet) above sea level. These deposits have a similar sediment character as the Storegga event and can therefore be linked to tsunami inundation.
... Submarine landslides can occur on slopes of just one or two degrees, and we still don't know exactly how they are set in motion, except that earthquakes are considered to be the most common trigger. It is critical that we learn more.

The research is part of the Landslide-Tsunami project (https://projects.noc.ac.uk/landslide-tsunami/), ongoing research that forms a key element of NERC's Arctic Research Programme. The project aims to discover what causes enormous submarine landslides, what the impact of slides in different locations and of different magnitude would be on the UK, and what the likelihood of such an event might be, given the significant scale of Arctic climate change.

(https://nerc.ukri.org/nerc/assets/images/photos/basta-voe.jpg)
https://nerc.ukri.org/planetearth/stories/1906/
Title: Re: Earthquakes and climate change
Post by: TerryM on September 19, 2018, 08:47:09 PM

Vox  mundi

Climate change - warms water - bursts CO2 Hydrate - causing landslip - results in Giant Tsunami -
AAAGGHH! - blub,blub,blub.


Terry