"You have to work hard to offend Christians. By nature, Christians are the most forgiving, understanding, and thoughtful group of people I've ever dealt with. They never assume the worst. They appreciate the importance of having different perspectives. They're slow to anger, quick to forgive, and almost never make rash judgments or act in anything less than a spirit of total love . . . No, wait--I'm thinking of Labrador retrievers!" David Learn, 1998

Monday, March 28, 2011

Geologist Jim Berkland and the Ring of Fire

The extremely clear March window has a 90% chance of producing the following quakes: with at least one meeting each of the following criteria:

(1) 3.5 - 7.0M within 140 miles of Mt. Diablo
(2) 3.5 - 7.0M within 140 miles of Los Angeles.
(3) 3.5 - 7.0M with an epicenter located in Washington or Oregon.
(4) 7.0 + M major quake globally, probably in the Pacific Ring of Fire. 

     Geologist Jim Berkland predicted a major earthquake on the west coast of the United States between March 19 and 26. Well, March 26 is over and to my knowledge the only earthquake on the west coast during that week was a 3.3 in Malibu.
     Still, I think there may be something to Berkland's theory. It is based on a lot of scientific data dating as far back as the 1700s. The factors he claims seem to come together before major earthquakes--changes in the magnetic field, tides and tidal flooding, lunar perigees, alignment of earth and sun, , strange animal behavior--may be predictors whose inter-relationships may not be fully understood yet.
     He points out that since last year earthquakes have been following the "ring of fire"clockwise around the Pacific Basin from Chile (2/27/10) to New Zealand (2/22/11) to Japan (3/11/11). He said there was a 90% chance that during this (now past) week there would be 7.0+ quakes in Washington, Oregon, and/or California.
     But he also said there was a 90% chance of a 7.0+ earthquake somewhere along the Ring of Fire.  Look at  Berkland's actual prediction (pasted at top of this post).

     The fact is, there was a major earthquake this week: 7.7 in Burma. I'm not sure how far inland the Ring of Fire goes; does it encompass Burma? If so, wouldn't that earthquake meet Berkland's Criterion #4? 
     In the embryonic science of earthquake predicting, one out of four ain't bad.
     One fulfilled prophecy out of four merits further study of the predictors.


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