The Ring of Fire appears to be awakening in the past few weeks. As deaths, injuries, and evacuations occur around the volatile area, new fears have arisen that the “big one” could occur any day now.
Many have warned that the Ring of Fire’s activity could produce a large enough earthquake to completely destroy the entire California coast. So far, nothing of the sort has happened, but new and violent volcanic activity is forcing the fear back to the forefront of people’s minds.
According to The Sun, scientists are now sounding the alarm as well. Scientists have warned that the frequent seismic activity, which has already claimed lives, could mean a huge quake is on the way. A new study out of California says that the cluster of tremors around the planet’s so-called Ring of Fire (the horseshoe-shaped geological disaster zone) could indicate the “big one” is due to hit, TheDaily Mail Online reports.
The research, published in the journal Science Advances, involved analysis of 101 major earthquakes around the Pacific Ring of Fire between 1990 and 2016. Thorne Lay, a professor of Earth and planetary sciences at UC Santa Cruz, said, “Based on the clustering of earthquakes in space and time, the area that has just slipped is actually more likely to have another failure.” He added that despite the stress on the fault being lowered to below failure level, “the surrounding areas have been pushed towards failure in many cases, giving rise to aftershocks and the possibility of an adjacent large rupture sooner rather than later.”
“Taiwan, Guam, and Japan are far apart relative to the static stress interactions, but one could examine the seismic shaking from an earlier event in the region of a later event to see if small earthquakes were triggered as the seismic waves went by which could have led to a cascade of failures culminating in a larger event,” said Lay. “Until that type of analysis is done, causal connection between the events is very speculative. Earthquakes are happening frequently in the Ring of Fire, and some apparent space-time clustering could arise from purely random (non-interacting) activity.”
More than 180 people were injured and 17 people killed when a 6.4 magnitude quake struck Taiwan’s east coast on February 6.
On Tuesday a series of tremors reaching magnitudes as high as 5.7 shook the US island territory of Guam.
Since February 11, three earthquakes have hit Japan, the largest measured at 4.8 on the Richter scale and was 103 kilometers from Hachijo.
But scientists have reassured the public, saying such activity is normal for the Ring of Fire and dismissed speculation of a “domino effect” triggering a bigger quake. –The Sun
While some scientists look to discover the possibility of an unexpected “big one,” many others are urging the public to remain calm and not be concerned.
Toshiyasu Nagao, head of Tokyo-based Tokai UNiversity’s Earthquake Prediction Research Centre, told Japan Times, “The Pacific Rim is in a period of activity. In terms of volcanic history, however, the current activity is still regarded as normal.”