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Cracking an eggshell?

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posted on Dec, 31 2010 @ 07:40 PM

Originally posted by Shenon
What if this Water sinks lower and lower because of the Pressure from Above? Would that cool the Magma enough to effect the Moving of the Plates in those Areas where theres Drilling?

...seems like it would take massive amounts of water to cool magma to any lesser degree... i think the amounts of water used in drilling is nowhere near enough - but - if it were to seep down towards magma, it would turn to steam long before it got to any magma...

posted on Dec, 31 2010 @ 07:55 PM
The BP well in the Gulf of Mexico didn't have any water pumped in... the platform exploded and collapsed. It was a one-way expulsion of material. That's the reason I keep pointing it out as a possible cause.


posted on Dec, 31 2010 @ 08:12 PM
reply to post by TheRedneck

Could liquefaction over eons cause a fault to heal itself, sort of like welding the plates back together? And could the Midwest be sitting atop such a healed area in a much larger New Madrid Fault Zone than was originally thought? And could that mean that there is an inherent weakness in this area that is just now reforming into an active fault zone, accelerated by the release of restraining pressure from the BP oil well disaster?

Those are great questions.
Let me start by explaining some of the factors in that area. As I believe someone mentioned, there is another fault zone near the NMFZ, called Wabash Valley Seismic Zone. In fact, that zone is believed by geologists, to be the one of the oldest fault zone on earth, dating back to the PreCambrian era:

The Wabash Valley Seismic Zone has produced earthquakes for the past 20,000 years, with some registering 7.5 on the Richter magnitude scale. Seismologists believe that the Wabash Valley fault dates from Precambrian times, the oldest era of the Earth's history, and that the fault has been reactivated. Read more: The History of Wabash Valley Seismic Zone |

Here is a link to a map of the two zones:

Many geologists believe the 2 zones connect:

Centered in the Wabash River Valley, the Wabash Valley Seismic Zone straddles the state line between southeastern Illinois and southwestern Indiana and spreads into part of western Kentucky. Scientists believe that it is a branch of the New Madrid system, which extends south from Cairo, Illinois, through Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi and parts of western Tennessee, according to the Arkansas Center for Earthquake Education and Technology Transfer.

Now enter a third fault, recently discovered:

The 1968 Illinois earthquake or New Madrid event, hit Illinois on November 9, 1968, and measured 5.4 on the Richter scale. It affected 23 states over an area of 580,000 square miles, causing much structural damage to buildings but no fatalities. In researching its cause, scientists discovered the Cottage Grove Fault in the Southern Illinois Basin, which is a small tear in the Earth's rock running west to east under Saline County, near Harrisburg, Illinois. It connects to the north-south running Wabash Valley Fault System at its eastern end.


Dr. Won-Young Kim, a seismologist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University, investigated the probabilities of future earthquakes in the Wabash Valley Seismic Zone.
He discovered that an ancient fault line from the Precambrian era--4.6 billion to 570 million years ago--has reactivated and probably caused the 2002 earthquake. According to Dr. Won-Young Kim, "This area was once as seismically active as the Gulf of California is today. The reactivation of this fault may be due to the forces that are moving the North American Plate over the Earth's mantle. The depth of this earthquake suggests that these forces are quite large, even though they are far away from present plate boundaries."


On April 18, 2008, the 102nd anniversary of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, a magnitude 5.2 earthquake struck near the community of West Salem, Illinois. It jolted communities across southern Illinois, southern Indiana, western and central Kentucky and eastern Missouri. People in Chicago and St. Louis, 123 miles away, felt its vibrations.

Seismologists and geologists at St. Louis University predict that a future earthquake in the region is likely, forecasting a 90 percent chance of a 6.0 magnitude earthquake, or greater, before 2040. They say it will very likely originate in the Wabash Valley Seismic Zone or in the New Madrid Fault Zone.

For those interested in the technical details of seismic activity in the above areas, I recommend:

Munson, P. J., S. F. Obermeier, C. A. Munson, and Hajic, E. R., 1997, Liquefaction evidence for Holocene and latest Pleistocene seismicity in the southern halves of Indiana and Illinois: A preliminary overview. Seismological Research Letters, v. 68, p. 521-536.
Here is a brief synopsis of the paper:

Clastic dikes filled with sand and gravel, interpreted to be the result of earthquake-induced liquefaction, occur throughout much of southern Indiana and adjacent parts of Illinois. At least seven and probably eight prehistoric earthquakes have been documented during the Holocene, as well as, at least one during the latest Pleistocene. Nearly all of these liquefaction features originated from earthquakes centered in southern Indiana and Illinois, and not further south in the nearby source region of the great 1811-1812 New Madrid earthquakes. The recognition of different earthquakes is based mainly on defining limits on the timing of liquefaction features in combination with the regional pattern of liquefaction effects, but some earthquakes have been recognized only by geotechnical testing at sites of liquefaction. Prehistoric magnitudes were probably on the order of moment magnitude M 7.5, which greatly exceeds the largest historical earthquakes of M 5.5 in the region. The strongest prehistoric earthquakes had epicenters in the vicinity of the lower Wabash Valley, where the valley borders both Indiana and Illinois. The evidence of Quaternary faulting in the Wabash Valley area is based on the presence of liquefaction features. Liquefaction features are evidence of strong shaking, but they do not identify the specific fault that caused an earthquake. Because individual Quaternary faults remain unidentified, it is not possible to define and measure specific attributes (azimuth, length, dip, etc.) for the Wabash Valley liquefaction features.

As this paper describes, liquefaction was certainly a major factor in this area;however, the SPECIFIC fault that caused each earthquake has NOT been identified.
For those that want a brief explanation of Quaternary faults, I suggest this link:

Thus, my good friend, your theory certainly is along the right line of thinking, and if you can prove your hypothesis, you would certainly have your name in lights with the Geological Society. I applaud your insight.

By the way, Happy New Year.

posted on Dec, 31 2010 @ 08:17 PM
I think i understand earth quakes better now. I couldnt follow you,on how this event would happen tho. or just didnt take the time. nice read tho

posted on Dec, 31 2010 @ 08:18 PM
Actually now i understand what your saying. I wouldnt be suprised if you are right.

posted on Dec, 31 2010 @ 08:20 PM
reply to post by Wyn Hawks

True,but seeing a Map with all those Rigs in the Gulf got me thinking: "This cant be healthy"

posted on Dec, 31 2010 @ 09:16 PM
reply to post by TheApachekid

Now if you look at a chart of fault lines and a chart of offshore oil rigs you will find allot of oil rigs around the fault lines. And if you compare an earthquake chart to a chart of when we started drilling for oil you will see a rise in earthquakes with drilling

That is certainly true where gas/oil extraction is in shale and fracking is being used, that's for sure despite the fact that some people try and deny it.

I am inclined to at least believe in the oil not being a fossil fuel, when I was a child this story did not sit well with me that a bunch of dinosaurs turned into oil after millions of years.Oh well maybe I am just an idiot or something

Not at all! This is abiotic oil production and is a very valid theory that has yet to take hold in mainstream geology which is still stuck in the dark ages at times.

Production at the oil field, deep in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana, was supposed to have declined years ago. And for a while, it behaved like any normal field: Following its 1973 discovery, Eugene Island 330's output peaked at about 15,000 barrels a day. By 1989, production had slowed to about 4,000 barrels a day.

Then suddenly -- some say almost inexplicably -- Eugene Island's fortunes reversed.

Read more here...

Current conventional wisdom holds that petroleum products result from accumulation of ancient biomass. Oil is said to form from preserved remains of prehistoric algae and zooplankton through a process called diagenesis.

In the late 19th century, Dmitri Mendeleev, renowned Russian chemist and inventor who achieved great fame when he proposed the first version of a periodic table of elements, studied petroleum hydrocarbons. He concluded that hydrocarbons originated from carbon deposits in the depths of the earth, perhaps dating back to the formation of the planet, and could be formed by chemical combination under suitable temperatures and pressures without need for biomass. Astronomical observations of vast amounts of methane on other planets and moons (such on Saturn's Titan) -- obviously formed without the benefit of biomass -- supported this theory.


This is a fascinating subject and well worth exploring. It is a fact that the oil reserves of the world keep on going up. If you research oil reserve figure you will find some astonishing increases. Question is why?

posted on Dec, 31 2010 @ 09:32 PM
reply to post by ProfEmeritus

Those are great explanations! Thank you!

Let me see if I got this right... there are additional 'quiet' faults running throughout the Midwest between the New Madrid Fault and the St. Lawrence River. I am taking this to mean that the North American Plate may have indeed once been two distinct plates that are now joined for whatever reason.

The evidence of this is in the clastic dikes, which resulted as a consequence of liquefaction of the soil/rock due to previous earthquakes in the area. In essence, the crust begins to behave as a liquid, transmitting waves which are later 'frozen' in place as the crust solidifies again. This leaves areas of differing soil densities in a pattern consistent with a waveform propagation.

Am I on the right track with this?

My first response was that perhaps it was this liquefaction pattern that was responsible for the two plates to join, but that just doesn't sound right to me. The clastic dikes are typically of softer materials than the surrounding areas, and therefore wouldn't take enough stress to hold the two plates together under tectonic force. It would be like trying to tie two tanks together with sewing thread. Or am I missing something on this? Could the liquefaction have affected the denser materials as well? Creating stronger ties between the clastic dikes due to the more dense material, which would act like spot welds on the plate edges?

Or did I just go way off into sci-fi land?

So far as my "name in lights"... hahaha, that doesn't hold any attraction for me; I like being a dumb old redneck hidden in the hills. And considering the gravity of what I proposed in the OP, it certainly would not be worth the destruction that would no doubt follow should this 'hypothesis' (if it really qualifies as such at this point) were accurate.


posted on Dec, 31 2010 @ 09:35 PM
reply to post by PuterMan

So I take it you are also a fan of the abiotic oil theory?

I really hadn't taken that into account... if true, then the oil produced has to be coming from a combination of carbon- and hydrogen-containing compounds, and pressure differences would affect such a reaction and figure into the pressure equations... Thank you!


posted on Dec, 31 2010 @ 09:45 PM
reply to post by TheRedneck

S&F. A very well thought and presented post.

A few questions for the discussion:

1. Isn't there a major fault line following Interstate 35? I remember being told that this was supposed to be the longest fault in the US and had been "locked" for millions of years.

2. If this happens what effect will this have on the Yellowstone caldera? If enough water is force into the area what are the possibility's of a eruption?

Like the OP I'm not familiar with tectonics and the like even though geology has always fasinatesd me


edit on 31/12/10 by barkingdogamato because: Additional information.

posted on Dec, 31 2010 @ 09:49 PM
Could it be,that this Oil is something from the Inner Core,and is getting pushed out (and on the Way gets "Transformed" ) slowly be the Planet speeding up and slowing down constantly? If Oil,reserves are going up again,they have to come from the inside somehow.

posted on Dec, 31 2010 @ 10:50 PM
There was a thread on ATS a few months ago about a crack that appeared in some woods somewhere. The tress were all pointing the wrong way and nobody could explain what was going on.

I can't remember where the incident occurred or whether it would fit into this theory.

Maybe somebody can find it. I would try and look but I'm totally shattered ..... been driving a cab for 12 hours non stop over the New Year festivities ........

Happy New Year btw !

posted on Dec, 31 2010 @ 11:06 PM
reply to post by bigyin

Was it this one: Earth Changes?Unexplained Crevice Appears in Michigan?

LordBaskettIV gave a link to an article about the Menominee Crack earlier in the thread. I honestly wasn't aware of all the supporting evidence like this that was out there.

(The ball just dropped in NYC... one hour left here to wish everyone HAPPY NEW YEAR!)


posted on Dec, 31 2010 @ 11:21 PM
reply to post by TheRedneck

Yes thats the one, sorry if I missed that it was refered to earlier in the thread. Also without looking up maps I have no idea if it fits into your cracked shell theory.

Am off to bed now .... it's 5:30 in the morning here.
edit on 31-12-2010 by bigyin because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 31 2010 @ 11:27 PM
reply to post by TheRedneck

Let me see if I got this right... there are additional 'quiet' faults running throughout the Midwest between the New Madrid Fault and the St. Lawrence River. I am taking this to mean that the North American Plate may have indeed once been two distinct plates that are now joined for whatever reason.

Not quite. The faults in the midwest are more the result of "local" action, geographically speaking. Think of a very large rigid sheet of a baked pie crust. If you take it off its support, the center may crack in spots. Now, if pressure pushes the center of the pie crust upward, it will crack. The pressure in this case was magma from the earth's inner core.Here is an explanation of the cause of the New Madrid Fault zone:

Origins of New Madrid Fault
The continents played tug-of-war a few hundred million years ago. South America came pushing on New Orleans. Africa pushed and pulled on the Carolinas. (See further down this page.) As many as 20 glaciers [Illinois State Museum] came and went. North America tried to break in two, twice, at New Madrid

The pulling and pushing allowed hot magma from the earth's inner core to rise through deep cracks and collect as plutons nearer the surface (see illustrations below). The dense plutons tend to pull down the land around them, form rifts and faults and further destabilize the seismic area. Quakes frequently happen near plutons. They are named for Pluto, the Roman god of the underworld.

600 Million - Mississippi Embayment

More than 600 million years ago, in the Proterozoic Era, the area now known as the Mississippi Embayment was pushed upward by molten rock from the underlying mantle. Faults formed, and over many millions of years, a rift structure now known as the Reelfoot Rift developed.

Dense mantle material was injected into the lower crust, creating a pillow-shaped structure which was heavier than the surrounding rocks. As the upwelling ceased, the entire rift subsided, and filled with sediments eroded from its flanks. Memphis Aquifier, Reelfoot Rift
200 Million Years ago

Then seas covered the area, laying down thick sequences of sediments which eventually hardened into limestones, sandstones and shales. During the Mesozoic Era, about 200 million years ago, rifting took place along the east coast of North America as the Atlantic Ocean began to open, resulting in the continent being stretched or extended, and in the Reelfoot Rift being pulled apart in a new episode of rifting.

Plutons (deep reservoirs of magma) formed along the flanks and axis of the rift, as molten rock moved upward along the ancient faults and then cooled before reaching the surface. Once again the rifting ceased and again, the ocean advanced over the area and receded; this time the sands, clays and gravels it deposited were not buried deeply enough, or long enough to become rock. At Memphis, this prism of unconsolidated material is approximately 3200 feet thick and covers the terrain from Little Rock, AR to the Tennessee River.

Please go to the actual link, as the illustrations are very instructive.

As to your second question, in actuality, the North American plate was not the result of two plates, but in fact, at one point, perhaps half a billion years ago, it may have had another plate attached to it, as part of the continent Rodinia:

Was any plate ever attached to the west side of North America? Probably, but more than half a billion years ago. There is evidence for a pre-Pangaea supercontinent called Rodinia that existed then, with North America at its center. The plates to the west may have included parts of Siberia, Australia, or Antarctica. Ever since about 300 million years ago, the western margin of North America has been a subduction zone, which has swept up roughly 200 terranes. Virtually all of Alaska, the Canadian Rockies, Nevada and California are built up from accreted terranes.

posted on Jan, 1 2011 @ 12:06 AM
reply to post by ProfEmeritus

I took your advice and read over the link you provided... very informative!

What I took away from it was that the discussion of the North American Plate actually being two plates is inaccurate. The North American Plate is a single plate, but the New Madrid/Reelfoot Rift is an existing crack that is ancient, probably as a result of the collision of the North American Plate with the South American Plate (at least that makes sense to my mind when I try to envision the forces acting form such a collision).

I'm not sure where liquefaction plays into this scenario, though.

Anyway, I also noticed that one of the maps they used showed an earthquake line running at approximately right angles to the end of the actual New Madrid earthquake line (the Reelfoot Rift). I have seen similar structures, ironically enough considering the examples I used in the OP, in glass as it cracks. Should the crack extend to a relatively stable section of glass, it will change from a single crack to multiple small cracks running at an angle to the main crack until that stable area is breached.

Perhaps the area just north of New Madrid is a relatively stable, dense structure that is difficult to breach?

Also I noticed that the Wabash Seismic Zone, which was the location of the earlier Indiana quake that prompted this thread, is an extension of the "Southern Indiana Arm" of the Reelfoot Rift. That indicates to me that this particular arm may be extending... which might also indicate that the stable zone may be breaching.

Thoughts. Professor?


posted on Jan, 1 2011 @ 02:32 AM
now that you mention it, i was in toronto at the height of the bp oil spill watching t.v. when the whole building started shaking for about 5-10 secs.

to put it in perspective, an earthquake in toronto is about as common as snow in death valley during summer.

the two lines that you say still hasn't connected go right by toronto.

if your theory is right what can the people of ontario and neighbouring states expect when the two faults join.

posted on Jan, 1 2011 @ 08:03 AM
Excellent thread Mr. Redneck. Looks like you are on to something...

Strong Earthquake Hits Northern Argentina

A magnitude-7.0 earthquake struck a rural area of northern Argentina Saturday morning, but its epicenter was so deep that it gave only a light shake to towns nearby. The U.S. Geological Survey said Saturday that the quake, initially registered at 6.9, hit at 6:56 a.m. about 115 miles northeast of Santiago del Estero at a depth of 350 miles. Read more:

posted on Jan, 1 2011 @ 08:36 AM
Hi I'm not really an expert on topic at all, but I 'd like to add an idea.

I understand that there has been an inland shallow sea in the North American continent somewhere in a long distant past, and that the area over time washed pushed up an/or filled up.

Could there not be an event similar to Africa's great rift valley in the process ? Where the continent is actually ripping apart ?

Or maybe an expanding earth has to incorporated as well. Where the area lies in a region where this leads a tearing apart what would end up like the great lakes up north.

No claims just something to ponder on...

posted on Jan, 1 2011 @ 11:00 AM
reply to post by randomname

I would expect the completed fault line to exhibit conditions similar to the present San Andreas system all the way from Louisiana to Newfoundland... primarily a horizontal slipping... after it settled. The initial settling period, which I have no idea of time-wise, would be very unpredictable. Based only on the prophetic maps I referenced, I wouldn't be surprised to see a massive release of gases (as in geysers and gas volcanoes) along the rift and an associated sinking of the edges as the gas leaves voids in the strata.

The really big problem would actually be along the US West Coast. The geometry of the two plates would cause the western half of the North American Plate to be pushed northward instead of primarily westward as it is now. That would increase the speed of the slip along the San Andreas and intensify the activity there.

I would also buy stock in Gorgon Michael Scallion.

Again, this is just guesswork, but the Indiana quake did follow what I would have expected. I don't recommend anyone panic just yet. All I would suggest is that we pay some closer attention to the Midwest area. If earthquakes continue or especially if they accelerate in this region, or if there are gas releases in the area, then maybe it might be time to consider moving or preparing.


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