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Terra Nullius
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I received an email from a friend who is a field coordinator for FEMA last week. I was asking about the Mountain House situation in which FEMA supposedly denies making mass purchases of the number 10 cans of survival food.

My friend said that yes, FEMA was purchasing the food and stockpiling because they are very concerned about the New Madrid fault line being affected by the sheer weight and movement of the current flood waters that are inundating the area.

I am not well read in this subject, but did not think that flood waters could have an effect at the seismic level. So I didn't pay much attention to the statement.

Last night, I was listening to NPR on the radio, and a scientist stated that the weight and movement of water associated with the Three Gorges dam project in China had caused over 800 minor earthquakes to date, and that there was possibility of much larger quakes as the water seeps downward into the faults.

I searched the boards for Three Gorges, but saw no previous threads alluding to the subject.

As this question entails more than just earthquakes, I put the thread here, rather than the earthquake section.

Does anyone have any info on the subject?

CSM101
 

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Pleasantly demented woman
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3,760 Posts
This is not the factual info you were searching for, but hard-science-fiction writer Stephen Baxter posits something similar in his novel Flood, in which there is an exponential rise of sea level brought about, in part, by the weight of flood waters producing earthquakes which in turn release more subterranean water reservoirs, which weight down the earth, which cause earthquakes... and on and on and on.

FICTION. Yes. Worth reading, also yes.


Amazon.com: Flood: Stephen Baxter: Books

The follow-up, Ark, was published just a year ago:

Amazon.com: Ark: Stephen Baxter: Books
 
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Terra Nullius
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Keep us posted. My friend in FEMA told me they were especially concerned because of the number of nuclear power plants and gas/oil pipelines that run through the fault area. It would be Fukoshima times 1000.

CSM101
 

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Old Hounds Smell Good
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First - I don't see how this could be true. The purchases for the exercise are SIMULATED and have nothing to do with reality. They are checking to see what happens when they TRY to make a huge purchase.

Second - All disaster shelters are stocked. MH doesn't have a corner market on the food. They are rotated every so often. Don't blame whichever shelters are supposed to rotate this year for MH shortage. That is due to people upping their preps just as much as anything else.

And massive quakes from a spring flood? Um...no. Small quakes from fracking, yes. Small quakes for water displacement, yes. Fukushima from a giant quake from a river flowing harder and higher...a river(?!), no.

Whoever you know working in FEMA I'd like the name of.
 

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My Understanding is that the area has the LARGEST fault line in the USA.. if there was a major earthquake during this flood and it changed the course of the Mississippi as it did in 1812 and broke levees we could see MASSIVE and fast destruction in areas that now feel safe
 

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Terra Nullius
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
First - I don't see how this could be true. The purchases for the exercise are SIMULATED and have nothing to do with reality. They are checking to see what happens when they TRY to make a huge purchase.

Second - All disaster shelters are stocked. MH doesn't have a corner market on the food. They are rotated every so often. Don't blame whichever shelters are supposed to rotate this year for MH shortage. That is due to people upping their preps just as much as anything else.

And massive quakes from a spring flood? Um...no. Small quakes from fracking, yes. Small quakes for water displacement, yes. Fukushima from a giant quake from a river flowing harder and higher...a river(?!), no.

Whoever you know working in FEMA I'd like the name of.
The separate issue, which led to my posting was the NPR broadcast regarding Three Gorges. I believe it was on "On Point" last night, 9pm Eastern. Seemed like reasonably qualified people making the statements.

Opsec precludes me from giving out my friend's name, sorry. But she did mention Mountian House by name, and it was not in conjuction with the simulation exercise.

CSM101
 

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Of all natural disasters eathquakes are the one that science can not predict. The only thing that you can be sure of 100% is that scientists that predict earthqukes will have "egg" on their face. Not saying not to have a heighten sense of awaness. If you head for the hills do, so due to the flood waters not unproven theories.
 

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Fortes Fortuna Juvat
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I think at very least it is something to be considered when planning preps and emergency plans. Good subject to learn more about and keep an eye on.

Good thread! Thanks CM
 

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Old Hounds Smell Good
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In short, yes it can cause more earthquakes...

Read this... "Giant Chinese Dam May Cause Earth to Move, November 10, 1999"

Should give you a lot of answers.
This is a very different situation. A dam of that size with that weight on top of or near the right kind of fault can increase the pressure and the friction.

The seismic zone is a very different ball game and the pressures spread out, temporary and annual. Fracking type quakes are possible. And yes, the chances of a spring flood causing a massive quake (or giving any aid to such) are remotely possible...about the same as me waking up on the moon tomorrow. The rest is just bad science and fear mongering.

And I'm working in this exercise and actually had input into the physical effects on the river and structures from the quake in the planning stages. Hence, I'd love to know which irresponsible and unknowledgable (or untruthful) FEMA employee is spreading this kind of misinformation. That is how tin foil becomes sheet metal for hats!
 

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Terra Nullius
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Sensitivity to Initial Conditions

This is a very different situation. A dam of that size with that weight on top of or near the right kind of fault can increase the pressure and the friction.

The seismic zone is a very different ball game and the pressures spread out, temporary and annual. Fracking type quakes are possible. And yes, the chances of a spring flood causing a massive quake (or giving any aid to such) are remotely possible...about the same as me waking up on the moon tomorrow. The rest is just bad science and fear mongering.

And I'm working in this exercise and actually had input into the physical effects on the river and structures from the quake in the planning stages. Hence, I'd love to know which irresponsible and unknowledgable (or untruthful) FEMA employee is spreading this kind of misinformation. That is how tin foil becomes sheet metal for hats!
I'm sure that my friend had no intention of misleading me. I have known her for years.

In college, I studied something called Self Organized Criticality. Its a theory that attempts to basically predict which straw will break the camel's back with regard to large scale complex adaptive systems.

Looking at my original question, whether flood waters can cause seismic shifts, the true answer would lay in evaluating the beta, or sensitivity to initial conditions of the fault itself. If San Madrid were on the brink of a major shift, I would believe that it would be more susceptible to being affected by flood waters.

In complexity theory, that would make the beta of the fault close to .271, which is called the Lambda Parameter - the point at which a general collapse occurs within a complex adaptive system.

If the fault is not close to a major shift, then, of course your statements are true. Otherwise, the great flood of 1927 would have presaged a seismic event as well.

If we look at the larger picture, backing up a magnitude, then maybe the cumulative effect of the ebb and flow of the Mississippi, and the underground movement of the associated water has an effect. I have not seen any stories or historical evaluation of the subject at this level.

It would be nice to see an overlay of the chronological table of seismic activity on and around the fault area compared with flood events over the past one hundred years or so.

CSM101
 
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