Geophysicists used computer models to calculate the
changes in stress along the Xianshuihe, Kunlun, and Min Jiang
faults—strike-slip faults like the San
Andreas—which lie about 150 to 450 kilometers (90 to 280
miles) from the Longmen Shan rupture that caused the devastating quake.
The research team also examined seismic activity in the region over the
They found that the May 12 event has doubled the probabilities of
future earthquakes on these fault lines. Specifically, they estimated
the probability of another earthquake of magnitude 6 or greater in the
region is 57 to 71 percent over the next decade. There is an 8 to 12
percent chance of a quake larger than magnitude 7 in the next decade
and 23-31 percent in the next 30 years.
It hasn’t happened yet. But yesterday, there were four
notable earthquakes around the planet:
had a magnitude 5.8 quake, then
had a magnitude 6.6 quake, then 20 minutes later,
had a magnitude 6.9 quake, later
registered a magnitude 6.1 quake
It has been href="http://scienceblogs.com/gnxp/2008/08/earthquakes_progress.php">hypothesized
that earthquakes may give rise to new civilizations. If so,
we may be on the verge of a punctuation mark in the equilibrium of
In other news, the Standard & Poor 500 has had a bit of a
quake, too. S&P nominally requires that a company
have a market capitalization of $5 billion to be included.
But it has been href="http://bespokeinvest.typepad.com/bespoke/2008/09/is-it-the-sp-50.html">reported
that now, 119 of the companies of the list have fallen below that.
So it is the S&P 381. Try to put lipstick
on that one.