Posts Tagged ‘earthquake prediction’

NASA alarmists predict 99.9% probability of LA earthquake in 3 years, but US Geological Survey is sharply critical

October 22, 2015

A new NASA paper published in Earth and Space Science claims that “For a M ≥ 5 earthquake within a circle of radius 100 km, and over the 3 years following 1 April 2015, the probability is 99.9%”.

But the US Geological Survey was very quick to criticise the methods and the conclusion.

NASA was once an unimpeachable science source. No longer. That brand value has been badly impaired. There is far too much exaggeration and hype. There are peripheral sections of NASA which seem to revel in alarmism. This is especially visible when they pontificate about areas which are not their core business. Just because the radar or aerial or space based images may originate with NASA, some think it gives them a pondus on subjects they are not expert on. Perhaps it is also the chase for publications and notoriety from some sections of the organisation who feel their work does not get enough publicity. NASA statements about potential natural disasters always seem to be highly exaggerated for effect. This includes storms, hurricanes, climate change and now earthquakes. Even when they do have something to say they tend to overdo the hype (as with the recent press conference about Martian water). The alarmist theme is encroaching even into the core areas. Have you noticed how many recent asteroids have been highlighted as “not being any danger”? Reverse psychology being applied by NASA perhaps, to inject some alarm into situations which have not the slightest danger and which otherwise would have passed unremarked?

Naturally NASA issued a press release. However, even the NASA PR machine had not the cheek themselves to highlight the main conclusion which is in the discussion section (Section 5) of the paper:

The calculated probability for a M ≥ 6 earthquake within a circle of radius 100 km, and over the 3 years following 1 April 2015, is 35%. For a M ≥ 5 earthquake within a circle of radius 100 km, and over the 3 years following 1 April 2015, the probability is 99.9%.

A 99.9% chance is as close to certainty in a prediction that one could ever get. But the US Geological Survey was not amused by these upstart alarmists. It took to Facebook and was sharply critical and has been quick to publish a severe put-down.

USGS Statement on JPL La Habra Study in the news:

This paper claims a 99.9% probability of an earthquake of magnitude 5 or greater occurring in the next 3 years within a large area of Southern California without providing a clear description of how these numbers were derived. The area—a 100 km radius circle centered on the city of La Habra—is a known seismically active area. For this same area, the community developed and accepted model of earthquake occurrence, “UCERF3”, which is the basis of the USGS National Seismic Hazard Maps, gives a 3-year probability of 85%. In other words, the accepted random chance of a M5 or greater in this area in 3 years is 85%, independent of the analysis in this paper.

While the earthquake forecast presented in this paper has been published in the online journal Earth and Space Sciences, it has not yet been examined by the long-established committees that evaluate earthquake forecasts and predictions made by scientists. These committees, the California Earthquake Prediction Evaluation Council, which advises the California Office of Emergency Services, and the National Earthquake Prediction Evaluation Council, which advises the U.S. Geological Survey, were established to provide expert, independent assessment of earthquake predictions.

The earthquake rate implied by the 99.9% probability is significantly higher than observed at any time previously in Southern California, and the lack of details on the method of analysis makes a critical assessment of this approach very difficult. Therefore, the USGS does not consider the analysis presented in this paper a reason to change our assessment of the hazard.

“Therefore, the USGS does not consider the analysis presented in this paper a reason to change our assessment of the hazard” effectively says that the USGS does not think this paper has any significance. 

One wonders – from the USGS comments – how this paper got to be published. The peer review applied for this paper seems a little suspect. None of the “peers” came from the USGS apparently. Was it just a “pal” review? In recent times, in my perception, many of the peripheral NASA sections publish papers with little substance just to say “Look how good we are“. I suppose they are deemed necessary to maintain department budgets.

Outside of its own core areas, NASA is strongly in the alarmist camp. They probably thinks it helps funding. But perhaps NASA needs to take stock of the damage being done to their brand every time they choose the alarmist route.

I think I will go with the US Geological Survey in this case and their more nuanced probabilities over 30 years.

US Geological Survey 30 year Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast


Serious earthquake and extreme weather prediction for June 27th to July 2nd

June 23, 2011

Piers Corbyn of WeatherAction predicts:

June 21 04:12 GMT (UTC)  C7 Solar flare and Coronal Mass ejection (CME) heading for Earth 23/24th.  This is expected to give K6 Geomagnetic storm and will be the driver of WeatherAction’s ‘Some activity Red warning’ ~24Jun. 

The next VERY SERIOUS earthquake and extreme weather period is 27th June to 2nd July.

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Sun goes quiet again but proton events and heightened risk of earthquake and volcanic activity continues

June 14, 2011

After picking up somewhat in April, the sun has quietened again in May.


Sunspot numbers

 Radio Flux:

10.7 Radio flux


Astronomers will unveil a “major result” on Tuesday (June 14) regarding the sun’s 11-year sunspot cycle.

The announcement will be made at a solar physics conference in New Mexico, according to an alert released today (June 10) by the American Astronomical Society. The discussion will begin at 1 p.m. EDT (1700 GMT).

In the meantime, 

solar flares and proton events continue signifying a period of heightened volcanic and earthquake activity ——

Piers Corbyn predicts,

 M6+ Earthquakes Indonesia and New Zealand confirm WeatherAction 13-15th June quake risk trial warning.

Two major Earthquakes 13 June M6.0 New Zealand (precede by an M5.5) andM6.4 Molucca Sea Indonesia confirm WeatherAction’s warning issued 22 May for 13-15 June as a period of increased earthquake risk. SEE: Two quakes hit Christchurch NZ.

“This 13-15th period”, said Piers Corbyn of, “is at the ‘q’ (lesser) level of our now two level forecasts of increased Earthquake risk (trial) around the world compared with other times before and after.  In the upper, ‘Q’, level we expect the biggest increases in seismic activity which also includes notable volcanic eruptions. The last Q period May 31- Jun5th was dramatically marked by the new eruption of the Chile earthquake chain on June 4th as well as associated very extreme weather events”. See

The next increased Quake risk period 16-19 June – at the larger, Q, level – follows straight after this one.


Massive 7.4 quake again in Japan – as predicted on 5th April

April 7, 2011

On 5th April there was a large coronal mass ejection on the sun:

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The sun on April 5th 2011

In consequence:
– solar wind speed went up
– a 5MeV proton burst and
– proton flux went up.

Piers Corbyn then predicted that heightened earthquake activity was likely between the 6th and 9th of April.

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Prediction on 5th April

And lo and behold, a 7.4 magnitude quake has struck off the north east coast of Japan again – strong enough for the Fukushima nuclear plant to be evacuated and for a tsunami warning to be issued. Fortunately no significant damage has been reported and the tsunami warning has now been withdrawn.

Earlier in the day there was  a 6.5 magnitude quake near Vera Cruz Mexico. There are some reports also of increased seismic activity in the western US.

One more piece of evidence linking heightened earthquake and volcanic activity on earth with what happens on the sun.


Solar effects will give increased volcanic and earthquake activity in the next 2 years

Two 7.0 quakes hit Burma — as predicted?

Two 7.0 quakes hit Burma — as predicted?

March 24, 2011

Update 25th March! Reports are now beginning to come in of over 50 70 killed.

In the light of  the recent predictions of increased earthquake activity especially in the period 22nd – 27th March, two large 7.0 quakes – as if on cue – have rocked north east Burma (Myanmar) close to the borders with Laos and Thailand.

The prediction was made by Jim Berkland and Piers Corbyn and points to solar effects as the trigger.

The are hit by the two quakes are remote  and even if large numbers of people and heavy infrastructure are not involved,  at magnitude 7.0 they are very powerful quakes and they may have been devastating for the people in this very poor region. One of the quakes was very shallow and may have caused much destruction.

One more major quake in the Pacific Rim region in the next 3 to 4 days will, I think, be a very strong indicator that we should be looking mainly at the sun in efforts to anticipate what triggers earthquakes. Tectonic plate movement clearly describes the build up of forces in the earth’s crust but what triggers particular quakes at particular times is largely unknown.

BBC reports:


Burma earthquake 24th March 2011

North-east Burma has been rocked by two 7.0 magnitude earthquakes, close to the borders with Laos and Thailand, the US Geological Survey has reported.

They struck seconds apart at 1355 GMT and were centred about 70 miles (110 km) from the northern Thai city of Chiang Rai, the agency said.

The first quake was shallow, at a depth of 6.2 miles (10km), while the second was much deeper at 142.5 miles (230km).

Tremors could be felt as far away as Bangkok and Hanoi. The area where the quakes struck is sparsely populated and remote. The BBC’s Rachel Harvey in Bangkok said it could be a while before the extent of the damage is known.

Seismic monitor

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chart from

ABOVE chart from

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