Global Rate, Intensity of Earthquakes on the Rise; Revives End-of-the-World Doomsday Speculations
By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | July 2, 2014 4:35 PM EST
Is doomsday end of the world just lurking around? The current year 2014 is shaping up to be the year when the most number of strong earthquakes occurred, a new study found.
A new study by researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has observed that the first quarter alone of 2014 has yielded more than twice as many big earthquakes compared with the average since 1979.
A view of a damaged road to Alto Hospicio commune after an earthquake and tsunami hit the northern port of Iquique April 2, 2014. Chilean authorities on Wednesday were assessing the damage from a massive earthquake that struck off the northern coast, causing a small tsunami, but the impact appeared to be mostly limited. The 8.2 magnitude quake that shook northern Chile on Tuesday killed six people and triggered a tsunami with 2-meter (7-foot) waves. REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado
The report said that since 1979, the average rate of big quakes, described as having larger than magnitude 7, has been 10 instances annually, then rising to 12.5 per year in 1992. By 2010, the rate jumped to 16.7 per year, showing a whopping 65 per cent jump over 1979.
But these fared on annual terms. By 2014, the increase accelerated in just the first three months already.
"We have recently experienced a period that has had one of the highest rates of great earthquakes ever recorded," Tom Parsons, lead study author and a research geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), told Live Science's Our Amazing Planet.
The study, published online on June 21 in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, likewise found that temblors smaller than magnitude-5.6 band together on a global scale.
Parsons told Live Science the steady rise in earthquakes is similar to the results of flipping a coin. "Basically, we can't prove that what we saw during the first part of 2014, as well as since 2010, isn't simply a similar thing to getting six tails in a row," he said.
A USGS report said that since 1900, every year has averaged around 15 magnitude-7 quakes, or about one every three weeks, and 134 magnitude-6 temblors, and so on.
For this year 2014, the recent major earthquakes have been the magnitude-8.2 in Chile on April 1 and the magnitude-7.2 quake in Mexico on April 18.
To report problems or to leave feedback about this article, e-mail:
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Taylor Swift Named Forbes' Second Highest Paid Country Musician [PHOTOS]
- Forever Lost: Indescribable Anguish for Malaysia Airlines MH17 Families, Remains of Some Victims May Never Be Found (PHOTOS)
- Global Aviation Accidents: UN to Form Safety Task Force, Gov'ts Should Share Intelligence Info to Avert Future Incidents on Flying Over Warzones (PHOTOS)
- PageSix: Beyonce & Jay Z Union is Not About Love, All About Business & the Brand
Join the Conversation
- Richard Norris' Successful Face Transplant Lands Him in GQ Cover [WATCH VIDEOS]
- Breaking Discovery: Industrial Pollution Reached South Pole by 19th Century
- NASA Scientists Advance Understanding of Climate Change With The Help Of IceCube
- These 2 Questions Reveal if You Unwittingly Abuse Alcohol
- First Ever Man-Made Leaf That Could Provide Oxygen During Space Travel: A Breathtaking Leap [Watch Video]
- Freshly Leaked Apple iPad Air 2 Cases Confirm Touch ID Sensor; Release Date, Limited Specs and Price Listed
- Moto X Android 4.4.4 KitKat Update Guide: Schedule and How to Install
- Top 4 Reasons Why iPhone 6 Will Hit Big Soon After its Sept 2014 Release Date
- Top Surprising Features Of iOS 8
- Twin Malaysia Airlines MH370, MH17 Aviation Disasters Create Phobia Among Travellers
- OnePlus One vs. Moto X+1 – Early Specifications, Release Date and Price Faceoff
- 2014 Ebola Outbreak: ‘Out of control… and Can Get Worse'; Asky Airline Stops Flying to Liberia, Sierra Leone; Liberia Closes Schools