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View Diary: Top Kill LiveBlog - Diary 14 - Catastrophe Never Sleeps (382 comments)

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  •  sharing everyone's worries (15+ / 0-)

    and then some.

    When eyjafjallajokull went off, a friend remarked that it sits atop the mid-Atlantic ridge which defines the easternmost extreme of the North American Plate.

    So I developed a hobby of looking at the world's tectonic maps and discovered the state of affairs of the North American Plate (NAP) compared to every other continent.  

    Trace the eastern border of the NAP south to Haiti, which defines the southeastern limit of the NAP where it rubs the Caribbean plate - and please click here to see how active seismic activity is at the extremes of the NAP in comparison to the rest of the world.  Then over to the Baja, which, like Haiti, also recently had horrific earthquakes.  The NAP - of all continents - is more unstable than any.

    The most activity is clustered around the Ring of Fire:

    The Ring of Fire has 452 volcanoes and is home to over 75% of the world's active and dormant volcanoes. It is sometimes called the circum-Pacific belt or the circum-Pacific seismic belt.

    About 90% of the world's earthquakes and 80% of the world's largest earthquakes occur along the Ring of Fire.

     

    By comparison with other continents, North America is exceedingly active with tectonic activity - the Caribbean, the Baja, the Aleutian Islands and Southern California are literally trembling with 1,000's of small earthquakes daily and no few big ones.

    The NAP is one of the largest plates, and nature causes them to break into smaller ones.  The possible faultline of the future is right beneath the Rio Grande, which is believed to be a volcanic zone.

    The gusher is very close to that line.  In fact one has to wonder about the Grand Canyon and Copper Canyon ("what the Grand Canyon wants to be when it grows up"), if they are not suggesting the natural tendency for an up-coming fault line.  The eastern end of Copper Canyon "points" at the gusher, terminating at a rather too proximate point for comfort here.

    As if there were not enough tectonic activity lately, scientists are warning that Katla - the much larger volcano adjacent to eyjafjallajokull is at the point of failure (eruption).

    Point here is that talk of bombing the gusher is very stupid, tectonically speaking, as far as I can tell.  Here is a good discussion thread explaining the simple physics of it all.

    Just FYI anyone.

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