Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Anniversary of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake

April 18 is the anniversary of the terrible San Francisco earthquake of 1906. While official records are not extremely accurate, it is now believed that over 3,000 people lost their lives in the quake and the devastating fires that raged afterwards.

The earthquake itself is estimated to have been between 7.9 and 8.25 in magnitude. Previous posts such as this one have discussed reasons to believe that the commonly cited causative mechanism for earthquakes, namely the constant drifting of tectonic plates, is incorrect.

The hydroplate theory of Dr. Walt Brown cites extensive evidence which suggests that the entire model of drifting continental plates is flawed, and that it does not do a good job of explaining evidence regarding the depths of earthquakes or the distribution of earthquake depths around two general groupings, deep and shallow.

Dr. Brown points out that "Plate tectonic theory claims that earthquakes occur when plates rub against each other, temporarily lock, and then jerk loose. If so, why are some powerful earthquakes far from plate boundaries?" Several previous posts, such as this one and this one, have discussed the question of earthquakes far from plate boundaries.

Dr. Brown also notes another important problem with the continental drift model. In a paragraph entitled "Drifting versus Shifting," he points out that the continental drift model and the hydroplate theory each posit a very different type of force to explain earthquakes. The drift model proposes a continual force, which builds up over time and eventually leads to slippage or other sudden release of energy, while the shifting model proposes a disturbance -- an unusual force that acts suddenly.

While each of these two propositions could explain the slippage along the San Andreas Fault that occurred during the 1906 earthquake, there is some evidence which seems to support the hydroplate explanation and not the tectonic explanation. Dr. Brown notes:
Shallow earthquakes sometimes displace the ground horizontally along a fault, as occurred along the San Andreas Fault during the great San Francisco earthquake of 1906. Western California slid northward relative to the rest of North America. The San Andreas Fault has several prominent bends, so just as two interlocking pieces of a jigsaw puzzle cannot slip very far relative to each other, neither can both sides of the curved San Andreas Fault. Furthermore, if slippage has occurred along the San Andreas Fault for eons, friction should have greatly heated the sliding surfaces. Drilling into the fault has not detected that heat.
This is an extremely important data point, and one which strikes a telling blow against the tectonic explanation. If it were the only data point that seemed to oppose the tectonic theory, it would not perhaps be so damaging, but in fact there are dozens of other powerful data points which are very damaging to the tectonic theory but which seem to support the hydroplate theory. Some of those which have been discussed in previous posts include the arc-and-cusp shape of deep ocean trenches, the unexpectedly low gravity readings scientists have measured over deep ocean trenches, and the difficulties the tectonic theory has in explaining the location of Antarctica (did it all move south on one plate, and if so then how to explain the severe sediment displacement found in the mountain ranges of Antarctica?), as well as the earthquakes far from boundaries mentioned above, and the bimodal depth distribution of earthquakes that Dr. Brown discusses in the passages linked above. The existence of Lake Vostok in Antarctica seems to pose some serious difficulties for the conventional tectonic theory as well.

Another problem with the idea of constant continental drift should be clear to anyone who has studied the rather precise alignments that still exist in ancient structures around the world, including the Giza pyramids, Stonehenge, the passage mounds of the Boyne River Valley in Ireland (such as Newgrange and others), and the ancient megalithic temples of Malta.

The 1906 San Francisco earthquake was one of the worst natural disasters in the history of the United States, with appalling loss of life. It serves as an awful reminder of the devastating power of earthquakes. We should insist on continued research and analysis into the true cause of earthquakes, and should be wary of those who insist that our current theories are beyond questioning.