Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Back from the Bay Area and the San Andreas Fault

Just back from visiting the Bay Area (where I grew up). Driving along 92 and 280 near Crystal Springs Reservoir as the ocean winds began to bring the fog over the coast ranges from the Pacific brought back memories.

The Crystal Springs Reservoir lies along the line of the San Andreas Fault, seen in the NASA photo below:

The San Andreas Fault, of course, is quite famous for producing earthquakes. It is one of the longest faults in North America, stretching through the state of California and right through the Peninsula pictured in the image above (which depicts both highway 92, running east-west and bisecting the reservoir where it crosses on a raised causeway before ascending into the redwood-forested ranges on the way to the ocean, and highway 280, which runs generally north-south along the north side of the reservoir in the image above). The length of the fault, as well as the general direction of plate motion that supposedly produce the fault and the earthquakes according to the tectonic theory, is shown in the image below:

The diagram above, originally published by the US Geological Survey (USGS), provides dates of several magnitude 7 and 8 earthquakes registered along the fault throughout the past two centuries.

Whether the fault produces earthquakes is not really up for debate. What is worth discussing, however, is the mechanism which causes such quakes. As we have discussed previously on this blog, the tectonic theory explains earthquakes by the drifting of plates in different directions relative to one another, while the hydroplate theory explains earthquakes via the shifting of the material of the earth (including plates) towards a position of greater equilibrium.

This shifting often takes place towards the great basin of the Pacific Ocean, which was violently sucked downwards during the events surrounding the proposed flood event, and towards which the continents originally slid. Numerous earthquakes still take place around the edges of the Pacific, as part of the continuing recovery phase of that enormous ancient catastrophe.

Walt Brown, the author of the hydroplate theory, notes that the curved shape of the San Andreas Fault -- clearly seen in the map of the fault along the entire state of California in the USGS diagram above -- would mean that the plates supposedly sliding in opposite directions on either side of the fault would not be able to move very far. The curved shape would restrict slippage. However, if the enormous plates were really always trying to move in the opposite directions indicated on the conventional diagrams of the San Andreas Fault, tremendous friction should built up along the curved fault line.

This friction would create intense heat. However, Dr. Brown explains that geological tests have failed to find the heat that should be generated there (91). The fact that such frictional heat has not been found is a clue that the tectonic theory may not be the best explanation for the features and earthquake events that we find on the earth. Other evidence that tends to undermine the tectonic theory is discussed in previous posts such as this one, this one, and this one.

Dr. Brown's theory does not discount the presence of faults -- far from it, the theory recognizes the importance of faults in one type of earthquakes (shallow earthquakes), and the fact that faults were formed by the violent forces that took place during the sliding of the plates during the flood event. Many of these faults exist on the bottom of the Pacific and along its perimeter.

Dr. Brown explains that trapped water under the earth is slowly forced up through these cracks by the great weight of the mass above the water, which can contribute to the initiation of earthquakes along faultlines:
Trapped, subterranean water, unable to escape during the flood, slowly seeps up through cracks and faults formed during the crushing of the compression event. The higher this water migrates through cracks, the more its pressure exceeds that in the walls of the crack trying to contain it. Consequently, the crack spreads and lengthens. (So before an earthquake, the ground often bulges slightly, water levels sometimes change in wells, and geyser eruptions may become irregular.) Simultaneously, stresses build up in the crust, again driven ultimately by gravity and mass imbalances at the end of the flood. Once the compressive stress has risen enough, the cracks have grown enough, and the frictional locking of cracked surfaces has diminished enough, sudden movement occurs. The water then acts as a lubricant. (Therefore, frictional heat is not found along the San Andreas Fault.) Sliding friction instantaneously heats the water, converts it to steam at an even higher pressure, and initiates a runaway process called a shallow earthquake. 108.
This reasoning would also explain why the process of forcing water deep into the ground at high pressures (such as for hydraulic fracking or for the harnessing of geothermal energy) has been alleged to start man-made earthquakes (see for example the article and links at this site, among many others on the web).

The San Andreas Fault appears to supply more evidence in support of the hydroplate theory. Amazingly, aspects of the hydroplate theory would also help explain many of the mysterious aspects of ancient civilization, including features that lie outside the boundaries of the conventional model of mankind's ancient past. This connection is the subject of the Mathisen Corollary.