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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?
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?
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 | eHow.com www.ehow.com...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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: www.foxnews.com...