US East Coast Risk of Tsunami & Earthquakes that Threaten NYC


QUESTION:  Hey Marty,
Thanks for all your insight the last few years on what the models are projecting for volcanic & seismic activity. As usual, you’re on the money. The forecast of events laying out to 2032 is really starting to add up in their interconnectivity. God help us all.
My question is regarding the mid-Atlantic ridge and the US East Coast continental shelf faults. We all know you chose Tampa over the Florida Atlantic Coast; should we be concerned about tsunamis & seismic activity along the eastern seaboard?

As always, thanks for everything you do. You’re my hero.
Cheers,

DP
ANSWER: That is actually a very good question. The 10 Biggest Earthquakes in History have ALL taken place around the Pacific Rim of Fire – not in the Atlantic. Ideally, the next big one is interestingly due in 2021. The modern big quakes around the Pacific Rim have been:

  • 1906 — San Francisco, California, Magnitude: 8. About 3,000 people died from the earthquake, on the San Andreas Fault, and resulting fire.
  • 1923 — Tokyo, Japan, Magnitude: 7.9. One of the world’s most destructive earthquakes, more than 142,000 people died from collapsing buildings and the resulting firestorm. The quake also resulted in enormous tsunami waves.
  • 1960 — Chile, Magnitude: 9.5. The largest earthquake ever recorded, the 1960 quake in Chile killed more than 1,600 people, with many of the deaths resulting from tsunamis. Waves reached 38 feet (11.5 meters) and carried debris as far as 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) inland.
  • 1970 — Peru, Magnitude: 7.9. Approximately 66,000 people died, many from collapsed buildings and a post-earthquake avalanche.
  • 2004 — Indonesia, Magnitude: 9.1. The third largest earthquake in the world in this century, the quake killed more than 227,000 people. Powerful tsunami waves crisscrossed the Indian Ocean and ravaged 12 Asian countries.
  • 2011 — Japan, Magnitude: 9.0

When we turn to the Atlantic, there is a different problem altogether. I remember experiencing my first earthquake when I was probably the 4.5 quake of May 12, 1964, that hit Lancaster, Pa. I woke up and first though boy that was a loud train. Then I realized I did not live near a train track. When I came down in the morning the press was all talking about the earthquake that hit the area outside of Philadelphia. That was not in the ocean.

What we must understand about the Mid-Atlantic Ridge is that there may be a greater risk of tsunami events than major earthquakes. The continental slope is the topographic boundary between the continent and the ocean basin. It is a complex feature. What people do not generally understand is that relatively minor earthquakes can set off a tsunami. The greater risks are in the north from Newfound down to just below New Jersey. A relatively minor offshore earthquake of magnitude 4.5 or above could cause submarine avalanches that then generate tsunami events with waves higher than 26 feet (8 meters). The underwater canyons and bays could focus these waves and make them even much larger all from minor events.

Back in 1929, there was a 7.2-magnitude earthquake off the southern coast of Newfoundland that caused a large underwater landslide. It was that landslide that created a large wave that rushed ashore and killed some 28 people on the island. However, the waves were at first about 26 feet high until they reached the narrow inlets. This compressed all the energy causing the tsunami to grow to 43 feet (13 m). That was absolutely devastating.

There is evidence that at least a 12-foot tsunami wave hit Manhattan around 300BC. Geological experts reported that this ancient tsunami dumped sediment, shells and marine fossils across the region inland that date back to 300BC. Tsunami waves are rare events in the Atlantic. One theory is that a New York tsunami may have been triggered by an asteroid. However, no crater has ever been discovered. It is far more likely that an earthquake simply triggered an avalanche.


Historically, New York City has been hit by large earthquakes over the 5 scale about once a century. There was a 5.2-magnitude quake that shook New York City back in 1737 and another of the same severity hit on August 10th, 1884 with tremors being felt from Maine to Virginia. I have been in New York City for at least two earthquakes that I remember. They were minor but enough that you felt them. One I recall was in 1981 and one around 2002. The biggest hit on an 18-year cycle in 2010, but that was only a 3.2 measurement. There is a small fault that runs down 125th Street. That is the one that produced the tremors of 1981. It is also believed that this is the source of the big one that hit in 1737. Curiously, the next big one is due in 2031. That could reach a 7.2 level or so.

If you look at NYC closing, you will notice that the skyscrapers are clustered. This seems to be the most overlooked aspect of New York City with people assuming that it’s just all about Wall Street. Not True! Skyscrapers clearly dominate the Manhattan skyline, but they are actually clustered in two distinct areas. Downtown is home to the Financial District. Midtown includes the Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, Park Avenue and Times Square. The reason is the surface bedrock over much of New York City provides solid anchorage to support the high buildings. Although there are two areas of this strong bedrock at or close to the surface, there is a valley in between where the building heights are noticeably lower.

In fact, the entire region south of 30th Street is where the bedrock begins to drop down and by the time your reach Washington Square, it is well below the surface. In reality, Manhattan has a valley in the center between midtown and Wall Street that would be underwater if it were not filled in with debris from various periods which may include the ancient tsunami. That is why there are no skyscrapers between the two regions.

Manhattan has NUMEROUS faults running through it and there as frequent earthquake activity on them. However, this activity is very small so people do not notice. However, there may be a risk of a larger scale earthquake that we are unable to define lacking the data before 1700. Still, New York City metropolitan is ranked as moderate on the risk scale. However, because of the density and the age of many buildings constructed of brick, a moderate earthquake would have considerable consequences in terms of public safety and economic impact more so than many other places. A 5.0-magnitude earthquake today like that of 1884 or 1737, would be far more significant given the density and construction concerns.

Therefore, the risk of an offshore earthquake that causes an avalanche on the ridge would produce a tsunami. On the other hand, there are earthquake faults in Manhattan that are numerous and the density combined with poor construction from brick increase the risk to Manhattan with just a 5+ earthquake.

Are We Getting Sea Life High on Opioids?


 

Believe it or not, mussels in Seattle are testing positive for opioids. Mussels are what are known as “filter feeders” since they absorb food from their surrounding environment. The problem that is surfacing is demonstrating the difference between “pollution” and “climate change,” which so many people assume are the same thing. Mussels absorb also all contaminants from their environment into their tissues. Scientists in Seattle used cages to transplant clean mussels from an aquaculture source to 18 urbanized locations around Puget Sound. After a few months, they recovered the mussels from the urban waters and tested them.

In three of the 18 locations they selected, the mussels shockingly tested positive for trace amounts of oxycodone. It seems the mussels are getting high. What is happening is that humans are ingesting opioids and excreting traces of the drugs into the toilet. Those chemicals in turn then end up in wastewater because not all contaminants can be filtered out of wastewater. Then the city ejects the wastewater into Puget Sound and we end up getting the sea life high.

You might want to avoid “fresh” catches around major cities.

Hawaiian Volcanic Lava Flowing into the Sea – Spectacular


Categories: Nature

Kilauea jolted the Island with a 5.4 magnitude Earthquake & Ash reaching 10,000 feet above sea level


COMMENT: Mr. Armstrong; It is really getting bad here in Hawaii. Thank you for your writings on volcanos. It helped me convince my family to move to another island. There was a very loud explosion. That was simultaneous with a fairly large earthquake here we felt everywhere. It really keeps getting worse.

Thank you

REPLY: Yes, it was a 5.4 quake which is something you will feel in the entire region. The ash reached 10,000 feet high. No, it is not over yet. Because of the type of this volcano sitting on top of a hot spot, it is strikingly different than most. The sudden eruption throwing ash now into the sky is concerning for this has been a volcano that continuously has had activity. It is now in a phase of higher volatility from a cyclical perspective.

Once again, the more volcanic activity that erupts from 2018 onward will cool the climate and set the tone for the commodity rally into 2024 that our model is projecting.

Guatemala’s Fuego volcano Erupts here in 2018 – That’s three So Far


 

Guatemala’s Fuego volcano erupted with the most violent volcanic eruption in more than a century. People have been buried alive in the ash like Pompey. The eruption so far took place on Sunday and lasted for 16 and a half hours. The eruption reached 14,763 feet of ash thrown into the air. This is one of the more spectacular photos taken with lightning posted by Gloria Garces. You can see a brief video of the eruption captured by satellites at the NOAA.

So far, we have three volcanoes now all erupting here in 2018 around the Pacific Rim of Fire. As previously warned, the more volcanos that erupt now contribute to the decline in temperature and this will help set the stage for the commodity rally coming in the years ahead. Nature is incredibly linked to cyclical behavior.

All life on Earth, in one staggering chart


Scientists estimated the mass of all life. It’s mind boggling.

By weight, human beings are insignificant.

If everyone on the planet were to step on one side of a giant balance scale, and all the bacteria on Earth were to be placed on the other side, we’d shoot violently upward. That’s because all the bacteria on Earth combined are about 1,166 times more massive than all the humans.

Comparisons to other categories of life similarly demonstrate how very, very small we are. As a sweeping new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences finds, in a census sorting all the life on Earth by weight (measured in gigatons of carbon, the signature element of life on Earth), we make up less than 1 percent of life.

There are an estimated 550 gigatons of carbon of life in the world. A gigaton is equal to a billion metric tons. A metric ton is 1,000 kilograms, or about 2,200 pounds.

We’re talking in huge, huge, mind-boggling terms here.

So, using the new data in PNAS, we tried to visualize the weight of all life on Earth to get a sense of the scale of it all.

All life on Earth, in one chart

What you’ll see below is a kind of tower of life. Each large block of this tower represents a gigaton of life, and the blocks are grouped into broad kingdoms. There are the protists (think microscopic life like amoebae), archaea (single-celled organisms somewhat similar to bacteria), fungi (mushrooms and other types of fungus), bacteria (you’re familiar with these, right?), plants, and animals.

As you can see, plants dominate our world. If the tower of life were an office building, plants would be the main tenants, taking up dozens of floors. Comparatively, all the animals in the world — seen in gray in the tower — are like a single retail shop (a trendy one, to be sure) on the ground floor.

And if we zoom in on all animal life, we again see how insignificant humans are compared to everyone else in the kingdom. Arthropods (insects) outweigh us by a factor of 17. Even the mollusks (think clams) weigh more.

What’s missing from this chart is just as important

Yet despite our small biomass among animals, we’ve had an overwhelmingly huge impact on the planet. The chart above represents a massive amount of life. But it doesn’t show what’s gone missing since the human population took off.

The authors of the PNAS article estimate that the mass of wild land mammals is seven times lower than it was before humans arrived (keep in mind it’s difficult to estimate the exact history of the number of animals on Earth). Similarly, marine mammals, including whales, are a fifth of the weight they used to be because we’ve hunted so many to near extinction.

And though plants are still the dominant form of life on Earth, the scientists suspect there used to be approximately twice as many of them — before humanity started clearing forests to make way for agriculture and our civilization.

The census in the PNAS paper isn’t perfect. Though remote sensing, satellites, and huge efforts to study the distribution of life in the ocean make it easier than ever to come up with estimates, the authors admit there’s still a lot of uncertainty. But we do need a baseline understanding of the distribution of life on Earth. Millions of acres of forests are still lost every year. Animals are going extinct 1,000 to 10,000 faster than you’d expect if no humans lived on Earth. Sixty percent of primate species, our closest relatives on the tree of life, are threatened with extinction.

We have to know how much more we stand to lose.

Florida Hurricanes & Yes I ran a Model


QUESTION: Mr. Armstrong; Did you run a model on Florida hurricanes before you moved there?

KE

ANSWER: Of course. First of all, I chose Tampa area because it is the least impacted area. The local joke here is that the people say the Indian gods protect the area. This is where the Seminole Indians set up. They apparently also figured out this was the least impacted area. Nevertheless, I also ran models on tropical storms and hurricanes for Florida as a whole. The data I found went back to 1851. There have been 53 hurricanes since then into 2017. Divide that out to see what the average is and you get 3.132. Pretty close to Pi. This is just hurricanes excluding the lesser tropical storms.

If I include the 200 tropical storms since 1851 into 2017, the average comes out to about half Pi – 1.524. Then you filer it all out with volatility and intensity, as we should be going into a period of more storms per year into 2020.

There will always be earthquakes, volcanoes, storms and all sorts of disasters around the world. Most of us will not be personally injured by such events. However, knowing where they take place more commonly allows you to avoid higher probabilities. So Tampa was simply far better than Miami, which is sinking gradually anyway and the traffic is way too much. I figured I would spend 20% of the balance of my life in traffic jams. No thanks! So disclosing the risks enables us to prepare wisely. It also interesting to see nature at its cyclical bes

A Volcano & the Last Little Ice Age


In the upland region of Southern Peru, there is a volcano by the name of Huaynaputina which to this day remains one of the largest ever to erupt in South America. It exploded on February 19th, 1600, and is recorded as the largest volcanic explosion ever in South America. However, studies have shown around the world that this volcano indeed altered the climate and took place during a solar minimum. Scientists now believe that its eruption had a devastating effect around the world both in Europe as well as in China and Korea. This impacted the agriculture and further the contagion cycles from disease. In fact, the Great Famine in Russia was caused by this eruption. The Russian famine of 1601–1603 was Russia’s worst famine in terms of a proportional effect on the population. More than two million people starved to death which was one-third of the Russian people. The famine compounded the Time of Troubles and weakened Russia allowing it to be invaded by the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. This famine was part of worldwide record cold winters and crop disruption, which geologists in 2008 linked to the 1600 volcanic eruption of Huaynaputina in Peru which has been classified as a VEI6 putting some 30 cubic kilometers of earth into the sky more than 8 miles high. Contemporary accounts state that some regions did not see the sun for two months. Without the sun, crops fail.

We even see the impact in the English coinage it is impossible to determine the coinage during this crisis for coins were not dated until 1642 under Charles I. The standard of living dropped significantly during the final years of the reign of Elizabeth I (1558-1603). This led to a surge in homeless which had repercussions for the country as a whole. Elizabeth’s government set about trying to tackle this problem by introducing a series of Acts which acknowledged that the care of the poor was now the community’s responsibility and that each citizen had to play his part. In this respect, the Poor Laws were progressive for their time certainly established a framework which lasted for many years to come.

English coins were made in only gold or silver until 1613 when James I granted a patent to Lord Harrington to produce copper royal farthings. Coated with tin to look like silver, the so-called Harrington farthing was not worth the copper used to produce it and was rejected by people in England. The value of cash rose creating deflation. This is the first time we see bronze coins introduced in Britain which also coincide with this major volcanic eruption.

While this eruption was in 1600, it certainly appears that it contributed to the hard times of the period. The weather turned cold into the end of that century. A detail from Frost Fair on the River Thames near the Temple Stairs in 1683–1684 depicts a festival taking place on the frozen river, one of a number of so-called Frost Fairs celebrated in London during exceptionally cold winters during the 17th century known as the Little Ice Age. This engraving, published in 1825, was based on an earlier painting by the seventeenth-century artist Thomas Wyke.

The Chinese have also researched the impact of this event in Peru upon their climate and economy. The weather has drastically affected in China and the Korean Peninsula. The contemporary accounts have been examined revealing that historical evidence points to the conclusion that the eruption was followed by an abrupt cooling period and epidemic outbreaks in 1601 AD within both China and the Korean Peninsula.

Just one major volcanic eruption can send food prices sky-high. According to our computer, we show food prices rising from 2020 into 2024. The computer is calculating everything and correlating eveny type of data we have assembled. Its forecasts are based upon that intense correlation.

Mount Merapi is Due for an Eruption here in 2018


COMMENT: Mr. Armstrong; I am a loyal reader from Java. We have a big volcano here which has started to show life. The government has just put out a warning that it may erupt. I really find your work so interesting. You said 2018 would see a rise in volcanic activity along the Pacific rim of fire. Well, it appears after Hawaii, we could be next.

PM

REPLY: Yes. This particular volcano is like that of Hawaii insofar as it is much more active. Pyroclastic flow from a large explosions took place November 22nd, 1994. Another large eruption occurred in 2006, shortly before the Yogyakarta earthquake. There was also a large eruption in 2010 that changed the characteristic of Mount Merapi. Then on March 10th, 2014, Mount Merapi erupted early that Monday causing a thick-pyroclastic surge that shot 1,500 meters up in the air. We are now due for another event so this one is on schedule for 2017/2018.

Normally, small eruptions occur every two to three years, and larger ones every 10–15 years or so. However, the real major eruptions have occurred in 1006, 1786, 1822, 1872, and 1930. The eruption of 1006 is claimed to have covered all of central Java with ash. It was that volcanic eruption that is believed to have caused the collapse of the Hindu Kingdom of Mataram. This is akin to the destruction of the Minoan society when Thera erupted around 1650BC – today Santorini.

According to our model, the next BIG ONE is probably due in 2028, which may be at the 1006 eruption magnitude.

Here is the list of eruptions since we have consistent recorded history:

  • 1548, 1554, 1560, 1584, 1586(?), 1587,
  • 1658, 1663, 1672, 1678,
  • 1745, 1752, 1755, 1768, 1791, 1797,
  • 1807, 1810, 1812-22, 1822-23, 1828, 1832-36, 1837-38, 1840, 1846, 1848(?), 1849, 1854(?), 1861, 1862-64, 1865-71, 1872 (large vulcanian-subplinian eruption VEI:4) , 1872-73, 1878-79, 1883-84, 1885-87, 1888, 1889, 1891-92, 1893, 1894, 1897,
  • 1902, 1902-04, 1905, 1906-07, 1908, 1909-13, 1915, 1918, 1920-21, 1922, 1923(?), 1924, 1930-31, 1932, 1933-35, 1939-40, 1942-45, 1948, 1953-58, 1961, 1967-1970, 1971(?), 1972-85, 1986-90, 1992-2002,
  • April-July 2006, Oct 2010-2011, 2014, 2018 (May)

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