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International Journal of Advances in Science and Technology, Vol. 4, No.

2, 2012

Causes for Triggered Earthquakes - A Recent review


R.Samuel Selvaraj and B.UmaMaheswari
1

Department of physics, Precidency college, Chennai,India samuelselvaraj@rediffmail.com

Department of physics, Bharathi womens college, Chennai, India uma.arunachalam@ymail.com

Abstract
The quest to exploit natural resources and grow our economies, combined with the explosion of populations across the globe, may well have offered us a glimpse of the earth's true carrying capacity. Certainly we have reached a point, in many cases, where the trade-off has become incredibly expensive, making the endeavor questionable at best. An example of one such trade-off is the earthquakes that result from geoengineering activities such as mining, the construction of reservoirs, and the extraction of oil and natural gas from our environment. According to experts, almost anything that can significantly alter the stress in the earth's crust has the potential to cause earthquakes. In this paper various aspects responsible for earthquake triggering have been discussed. INTRODUCTION Over the past 30 years, it has become increasingly apparent that some of mans Engineering activities can have a measurable influence on the way in which crustal stresses are released in earthquakes. Increases in seismic activity have resulted from the impounding of reservoirs behind high dams, large scale surface quarrying, deep underground mining, injection of fluids under high pressure into the ground in solution mining removal of fuel in petroleum operation and the after effects of large underground explosions. A number of adjectives have been used to describe this type of seismicity manmade, induced, artificial, and triggered some of which give the erroneous impression that the human activities are the primary cause of the earthquakes, rather than just the trigger that acts to release preexisting stress of tectonic origin. In this paper, triggered and induced are used as the terms that best convey the triggering nature of human influence. Because of their association with major engineering projects triggered earthquakes have significant social and economical implications. Since the very nature of include earthquakes implies that they will occur near the engineering activity responsible for triggering them.(1) The Largest triggered earthquake of Magnitude 6.5 at Koyna reservoir in India in 1967 which caused 200 deaths 1500 injuries and Major damage to the nearby town (2). In this paper some of the causes of the triggered earthquakes like global warming solar activities, Atmospheric circulation (cyclones) construction of Dams, planetary configuration, Geomagnetic storms, oil Extraction and Tidal forces (oceanic Circulation) have been discussed.

GLOBAL WARMING Global warming is becoming very much hazardous to life. This is not only changing of worlds climate and economy but it is causing direct and indirect changes on and within the surface of the earth. It was found that abnormal increasing of global temperature is significantly associated with seismic deformation. (1). This rise in temperature causes the glaciers to recede These glaciers which on melting can cause the crust to relax and rebound. As wasting ice sheets and caps unload the solid earth, stresses released can both deform earths surface and decompress earths mantle (2) All over the world the last 20 years of data shows a noticeable increase in the number of earthquakes per year. An increase of annual mean surface temperature by 0.60C +_ 0.20C and decrease of 10% of snow cover in northern hemisphere since late 1960s has been reported. Increase of temperature is causing glaciers to melt thus releasing pressure on earth below which in turn possibly rebounds causing earthquakes. (3).

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International Journal of Advances in Science and Technology, Vol. 4, No.2, 2012 SOLAR ACTIVITIES In the last three decades, the influence of solar activity on earth seismicity is one of the most important subjects in the field of long term prediction of earthquakes. Solar activity as indicated by sunspots, radio noise and geomagnetic indices plays a significant but by no means exclusive role in the triggering of earthquakes. Maximum Quake frequency occurs at times of moderately high and fluctuating solar activity. Terrestrial solar flare effects which are actual coupling mechanisms which trigger quakes appear to be either abrupt accelerations in the earths angular velocity or surges of telluric current in the earths crust (1). It has been found that earth quakes occur frequently around the minimum years of solar activity. Generally earthquake activities are relatively less during the peak value years of solar activity, some say, around the period when magnetic polarity in the solar Polar Regions is reversed. The earth quake frequency in the minimum period of solar activity is closely related to the maximum annual means of sunspot numbers. (2) It is found that the occurrence dates of big earthquakes (Ms 7,8) Occurred in the middle latitude (20 0 < latitude < 400) in China are close to the descendent years to minimum years of sunspot numbers. This implies the correlation between solar activities and earth quakes. (3). CYCLONES A new study has found evidence that tropical cyclones lead to major earthquakes. A study conducted by researchers from the university of Miami and Florida international university analyzed the data from major earthquakes. Magnitude six and higher in Taiwan and Haiti and discovered the quakes has followed within four years of a wet tropical cyclone season, according to publication. Research suggest that landslides and severe erosion resulting from heavy rains during a tropical cyclone removes ground soil to the point that the stress load on the earths surface is reduced and encourages movements along faults. (1). The daily kinetic energy of an average tropical cyclone is estimated as 1 x 1011 J. The total seismic energy which is annually released on the earth is also estimated as 1 x 1011 J. The relationship between these two quantities is impressive and seems to provide the ground for investigating a possible influence of tropical cyclones on the seismic regime in the zone of their action. (2). It has been long known that cyclones produce specific seismic waves storm microseisms and consequently act on the Earths crust (3) Investigations estimated the fraction of tropical cyclone energy spent on storm microseisms over two three days is comparable with the energy of earth quake with magnitude of about M=5. DAM CONSTRUCTION: The most important human induced seismicity results from the creations of large reservoirs. Reservoir imposes stresses of significant magnitude on the crustal rocks at depths rarely equated by any other human construction. With the increasing number and size of reservoirs the threat rises. There are at least six cases koyna (India) Kremasta and Marathon (Greece) Hsinfengkiang China). Kariba (Lamia and Zimbabwe) Hower (Arizona andNevada) where earthquakes of magnitude greater that 5 on the Richter scale accompanied by foreshocks and aftershocks have been related to reservoir Impounding (1). There are many more locations where the filling of reservoirs behind dams has led to appreciable levels of seismic activity. Detailed monitoring has shown that earthquake clusters occur in the vicinity of some dams after their reservoirs have been filled whereas before construction the activity was less clustered and less frequent. There is evidence that there is correlation between the storage level in the reservoir and frequency of shocks (2). Dams induce earthquake partly because pressure exerted by mass of water impounded in the reservoir and changing water pressure across the contact surface of faults in the under lying rock because the deepest reservoir provide surface load by 20 bars or so direct activation by the mass of impounded water seems an unlikely cause and role of changing pore pressure assumes greater importance (3).

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International Journal of Advances in Science and Technology, Vol. 4, No.2, 2012 PLANETARY CONFIGURATION Though there have been several attempts at earthquake prediction from different perspectives, planetary configurations can be taken as a definitive means of earthquake prediction. When two or more planets, sun and moon are aligned more or less in line 100 or 1800) with the earth then the earth would be caught in the middle of huge gravity struggle between the sun and the planets (1). The Gravitational stresses would change the speed of the earth in its orbit. When the speed of rotation of the earth changes the tectonic plate motion also gets affected (3) Force of attraction by planets, sun and moon Fp1 = GM m/r2 Fp2 = GMm / r2 Total Force = Fp1 + Fp2 N Angular momentum of planets, moon and sun L =GMm/V kg-m2 S-1 With this total angular momentum the total force acts at the epicenter in the opposite direction to the rotation of the earth. This will act us a triggering mechanism for the accumulated stress at fault and plate boundaries to be released abruptly. This does not mean however mean that earthquake will occur at all edges of plate boundaries. In order to trigger earthquake at one particular place, two conditions should be satisfied. They are a) distance of epicenter from planet position and b) direction of force acting at the possible epicenter. From the analysis of significant earthquakes over past 100 years, it is inferred that the latitude longitude and magnitude of the tremor is related to the distance from the planet and direction of planetary forces acting at a particular point. (3). GEOMAGNETIC STORMS. Earthquakes are tectonic events that take place within the factures of the earths crust, namely faults. In additions to the movements of tectonic plates relative to each other, it is widely discussed that there are other external influences originate outside earth that can trigger earthquake, These influences are called triggering effects. Examples of such external events are the lunar and solar eclipses, planetary alignment within the solar system and influences of geomagnetic storms taking place in the sun. The most influential of these events is considered to be the extra ordinary solar activities influencing earths magnetic field. The solar material, which accelerates as a result of the energy discharges occurring in the sun, solar flares prominences and coronal mass ejections reaches the earth from the gravitational field of the sun as different radiation forms and particles, and it interacts with the magnetic field of the Earth. In cases where these effects are dense sudden changes occur in the magnetic field and they create the phenomenon which is called geomagnetic storm (1) Although different systems are used one of the most important scales used in measuring this is the Dst. (Disturbance storm time indexes). For the magnetic fields changes in the Dst index are evaluated in five major groups weak storms 30nt > DST > -50nT, moderate storms -50nT>DST>-100nt, strong storms 100nt> Dst> - 200 nt, Intense storms 200 nt > Dst > -350nt, Heavy stroms Dst > 350 nt (2) As per the statistical view of comparative assessment of the data, there is no finding that shows that the earthquake occur as the result of at triggering under the effect of geomagnetic cannot be put forward which suggests that geomagnetic storms trigger earthquakes. (3) OIL EXTRACTION Seismicity is correlated in space and time with producing from some oil and gas fields where pore pressures have declined by several tens of mega Pascal. Reverse faulting has occurred both above and below petroleum reservoirs and Normal faulting has occurred on the flanks of at least on reservoir. The theory of poroelasticity requires that fluid extraction with simple geometries predict stress perturbations that are consistent with observed earthquake location and focal mechanism. (1). The clearest example of extraction include seismicity outside of North America is the 1951 series of earthquakes associated with gas production from the po river delta near cariga italy. Faulting and seismicity associated with

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International Journal of Advances in Science and Technology, Vol. 4, No.2, 2012 fuel extraction are attributed to differential compaction at depth caused by reduction of reservoir fluid pressure and attendant increase of effective stress. (2). During these various stages of oil extraction processes the outer coast of the globe is gradually being depressurized and looked internally, causing contraction for both of these reasons. When the objects cool down they automatically shrink / contract in size. So earthquake occur as the crustal layers shift in response to the loss of pressure from below while the water pressure above increases.

TIDAL FORCE There are two flavors of tidal stressing that have been claimed to generate enhanced rates of earthquakes diurnal and biweekly tides. The diurnal correlations would arise from more earthquakes only during the hours when the tidal stress is pushing in an encouraging direction in contrast, Biweekly effects would be based on earthquake occurring during the days when the sinusoidal stressing oscillations are the largest. The former as easily observed in the twice daily rise and fall of ocean tides, have occasionally been shown to influence tides (1) The latter which arises from the periodic alignment of sun and moon has often claimed the popular press to incubate earthquakes. (Syzygy effect) and occasionally for small data set, but generally such effects do not appear in careful studies of large dataset. Syzygy is motivated by the observation that historically, there have been some great earthquakes whose timing with when the tidal forces are near their maximum for maximum tidal force three factors must coincide first when the moon (in its elliptical orbit) is closest to earth, second when it is within a day or two or two of a new moon (so that tidal forces of the moon and sun are acting) and third when the earth (in its elliptical orbit) is at or near its closest distance to the sun. (2). Shallow earthquake near midocean ridges. Volcanic earthquakes and episodic tremor and slip have also been observed to sometimes correlate with diurnal tides, with enhanced activity correlating with times that faults are unclamped. CONCLUSIONS Nowadays it has become increasingly apparent that some of mans Engineering activities can have a measurable influence on the way in which crustal stresses are released in earthquakes. So all these factors must be taken into account while considering earthquake prediction. REFERENCES 1. Triggered earthquakes D.W. Simpson, Annual review of Earth and planetary science. Volume 14, page 21-42, 1986 2. Gupta H.K. Rao, C.V.R.K and Rastogi BK Bulletin of seismology soc.Am 1980, 70, 1833 1847. 3. V. Bucha solarland and geomagnetic variability and changes of weather and climate, Journal of atmospheric and terrestrial physical vol 53, no 11/12 PP 1161 1172. 4. Pugli, C and sigmundsson f 2008, will present day glacier retreat volcanic activity? stress inducded by recent glacier retreat and its effect on magmatish at Vatnajokull ice cap, Ice land, Geophysical research letters 35 Log 304. 5. Pcc 2001 climate change 2001 : synthesis report A contribution of working groups I, II and III to the third assessment report to intergovernmental panel on climate change. Watson RT. Cambridge university press. Cambridge. 6. Solar activity as a triggering mechanism for earthquakes John F. Simpson Goodyear aerospace corporation, university Akron otio U.S.A. 7. Relationship between global seismility and solar activities, Acta seismoligica sinnica vol 11, July 1998 495 500. 8. Possible triggering of solar activities to big earth quakes in the middle latitude in china. Su Tong Wei, LIKe jun (National astronomical observatories / Yunnan observatory, Chinese academy of science chine) 9. Tropical cyclones as a possible factor affecting seismic activity in the cyclonic zone of the north western pacific M.I. Yarosherich Earth and environmental science Vol 47, Number 7, 636 640. 10. Power Law distribution of Tornadoes and cyclones and relation to Gutenbery Richter law of earth quakes. Lisa schielicke and peter Nevir. Institute for meterology, Frcie university Berlin.

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International Journal of Advances in Science and Technology, Vol. 4, No.2, 2012 11. Vinnik 1971, ostrovslait and Rykunor 1982, Tabul evich 1986, Monakhar 1956 Bowen et al 2003 and many others. 12. Meade R.B. reservoir and Earth quakes Engineering Geology 30 (1991) 245 262. 13. Teimuraz, matcharashvilli, Tamazchelidze and Joachin peinke. Increase of order of seismic processes around large reservoir induced by water level periodic variation. Non linear dynamics vol 51 (3) : 399 407. 14. Ajeet P.. Pandey and R.K. Chadha surface loading and triggered earth quakes in the Koyna warna Region, western India Nation Geophysical Research Institute. 15. Kari. S. 1990 planetary alignment part 2, great moment in science, Kruszelnickipty ltd., 16. Watson J.M. 1999 plate tectonics, Environmental volunteers V. 10 P. 1-5. 17. N. Venkatanathan, N. Rajeswara Rao. Planetary configuration implications for earthquake predoction journal Indian geophys. Union (October 2005) Vol 9, No4, PP-263 276. 18. Loews C.A. Prolss h.w. (1997) classification and mean behaviour of magnetic storms JHournal of geophysical Research A 102, 14209 14213. 19. Sugiura M. (1964) Hourly values of equatorial Dst Annuals of the international geophysical year vol. 35 pp 945 948. 20. Sadik Gengiz yesugey comparative evaluation of the influencing effects of geomagnetic solar storms on earthquakes in Anatolian Earth Sci. Res. J. Vol 13 No.1, (June 2009) 82 89. 21. P.segall Earthquakes triggered by fluid extraction V.S. Geological survey, Department of Geophysics, Stanford university, Stanford. 22. Robert F. Yerkes and Robert O. castle. Seismility and faulting attributable to fluid Extration. VS. Geological survey menlopark U.S.A., 23. Jah Oil extraction stresses Earth, contributing to earthquakes and Tsunamis. Pure energy systems news Jan 11. 2005. 24. E.S. Cochran and J.E. Vidale and S. Tanaka (2004) earth tides can trigger shallow thrust fault. earthquakes science 306 : 1164 1166.John H. Glaser May 2003) Tidal correlations of seismicity. Geology online forum Breathing of the seafloor 31: PPe3. The geological society of America.

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