Farewell to Our Co-Researcher - November 18, 2016

Don Eck our much beloved co-researcher passed away on October 13, 2016 of congestive heart failure at age eighty-five.

He was a friend to all, be it his most recent contact or friends for the whole of his life. Yet in our work in researching precursory earthquake behavior he was very adept at discovering answers and with aid from many scientists over the years led us to furthering our work to a level we never anticipated.

I came to know him on the Internet in 1998 and met him for the first time on a field trip to Parkfield in 1999 when I arranged for a group field trip to walk the San Andreas fault led by Duane Hamman the local school teacher at the time.We had a wonderful day becoming acquainted with folks from the Internet which is always a grand surprise as folks never appear in real life when imagined from behind one's written words.

However, he and I agreed the realm of the Internet in regard to chat rooms where earthquakes are discussed seems to have met it's highest possible plateau and has now taken the slippery slope with few taking interest in the science aspect of earthquakes, but merely to make note something happened, essentially leaving the meat out of the stew.

This came as a very unexpected and disappointing outcome as in 1998 to approximately 2002 some very bright and intelligent people were on point and eager to learn, take to the field to hope for new discoveries and being mostly very sociable as well.

He left behind his wife of 56 years and his daughter in the Hollister area.

We miss him greatly, yet he gave 1000% and nothing less and we are more than appreciative to have been is friends and co-researchers.

Petra Challus

The Salton Sea – Stink to Stinking Predictions                                                                                September 22, 2012

It appears the big stink and the rumored steam coming from some of the faults in Southern California was much ado about nothing.

The biggest problem I had with the steam suggestion is that there must be anywhere from 8 to 10 million people living within spitting distance of some of the faults and not one person reported seeing steam coming from the earth. Or I should say; I never saw any news reports or notes posted on Net based forums in that regard.

As for the stink, well whenever you get strong winds the shallow parts of any lake are going to be disturbed and when there is dead fish and decaying vegetation at the bottom you’re going to have the possibility of hydrogen sulfide rising to the surface. Strong winds can carry that odor for quite a distance and this time around it caught the attention of the experts who didn’t think it could travel into the LA Basin.

Though, I did find it somewhat interesting that the local residents near the Salton Sea never reported anything unusual, but then again why should they, since they smell it every hour of every day.  Yet it goes to show how adaptable we humans are; give us a stink, a crack, a flurry of snow, a hurricane, extreme heat, excessive cold or earthquakes and we’ll make it work every time.

As for those who made quake predictions based upon what rose to high heaven I have to wonder if they really believed the phenomena was quake related and they only made their predictions on the off chance that a quake would occur.  In other words they had no idea one way or the other if a quake was in the making.  

However, after almost fifty years of studying quakes and the faults that cause them I have learned we don’t know enough while the vague and To Whom It May Concern predictions can’t possibly save anyone. Yet, is it possible if highly accurate predictions were issued it might change the action on the Net to the point where the big drama comes to an end?  And would the recipients of accurate predictions find them too frightening?  Who knows, maybe one day we’ll have the answers to such questions.

Until next time.  Don

Organizing Turned to Discovery of Lost Treasure                                                                                         June 19, 2012

About a month or so ago I was up at my cousins place helping him repack the bearings on his World War Two weapons carrier.  After we completed the job we decided it would be a good time to straighten up the garage.

One of the first things we found was a tin container. When we shook it we heard rattling, so we knew there was something in it. However, the lid was corroded and rusted so much we couldn’t get it off and we didn’t want to destroy the tin.  So we turned it upside down and squirted a little WD40 on it in hopes it would loosen it up enough that we could remove it without damaging it, let it sit and moved on.

Then we found a box that had contained dynamite in it at one time. When opened it we found a stick and a half of dynamite still in it and we now knew we had a big problem. From the markings on the box we knew the dynamite was 40% nitro. It’s not the most powerful, but powerful enough to end our problems if it went off. Thus, we got a bunch of newspapers and packed them around the sticks and carried it to the open field and added more newspaper when we got there.

Mike waited for me to get a couple of 100 yards away before lighting the newspapers then he ran like hell and when the dynamite ignited we knew it by the large puffs of white smoke.

We continued to clean the garage sorting items into keep and save boxes and then turned to the tin box we weren’t able to open earlier. Using a screwdriver we were finally able to get the lid off and we struck gold.  Literally, we struck gold. Inside the tin were nine $20 dollar gold coins.  From the date we could barely see on one coin it indicated it was minted in 1857.  My cousin didn’t really have any idea why they were in the tin box so we took them to his mother.  When she saw them she said “Well, I’ll be damned. Those are the coins I found in the creek sometime between 1948 and 1952.”

As kids we heard the story about Tiburcio Vasquez who was a Mexican bandit and it was said he buried some of his loot he had stolen from the Gringos, but I have my doubts about that as no one steals money just to bury it. They steal it to spend it on wine, women and song, though not necessarily in that order. Still there may have been something to the story and the end result of finding them.  And as the years passed, eventually he became my cousin by marriage.

Nonetheless, the rumor existed and as kids my friends and I were always searching for his buried treasure. From streams, local caves and anywhere else we might consider we looked, yet came away empty handed time and again.

Though only a couple of months ago my cousin found a gold coin at the bridge after they let some water out of Chesbro Dam. To our way of thinking the coins were either behind the dam or in and around the creek.

The coins at present are in pretty bad shape indicating they had been moving in the creek bottom for quite some time, though they possess little value to a collector as there are no dates with the exception of the one coin and there’s no direct history which can be attributed directly to these coins. But the value of the gold is much higher today that at the time they were stolen.  

I suspect there is a lot of history in the valley with a lot of discoveries still to be made, but as to a childhood spent on an adventure to look for lost treasure with friends, it proved inspiring.

Take Care…Don

Blog for June 24, 2011 – Summer Cyber Safety

I get weekly information from Sunbelt Security and this week they had a very timely one. They are the operators of my antivirus protection, firewall and malware program. Since Petra is getting ready for her trip to Europe again I thought she should see this, then I got to thinking it is something all of us can use and be aware of. Hope you put it to good use. Don

Summer Guide to Cyber Safety

And so it begins - tourist season, vacations, travel for fun and travel for business. There is no getting around hitting the road. And with all the devices that we use to connect up from tablets to laptops to smartphones, we are most susceptible to security risks than ever before. The hackers are rampant but our defenses are up! Hotels, airports and strange Wi-Fi networks should beconsidered hostile territory. But somehow we will get through this summer without the summertime blues! Here are a few tips to keep you out of harm's way.

1. Good Deal Syndrome: If it looks too good to be true it more than likely is

a scam. The bad guys love good deals, i.e., that is if you fall for them.

If your summer vacation offer to Disneyland includes a personal meeting

with Walt, chances are it just is not the deal you think it is. Do your

own due diligence on any offer and make sure the company behind it is

reputable. Remember that offer for free Mickey Mouse ears with every night

you stay should fall on deaf ears and not your pocketbook. You can check

with the International Air Transport Association or the Better Business


2. Coupon Spoofs: Along with good deal syndrome is another vacation hideaway

trap - the social media offer looking like Groupon or Living Social when

it is really Grabon or Dying Social and just there to scam you, install

malware, take your precious credit card information and run away to

Albania or someplace far far away. Be careful where and whence you click.

The bad guys are dying to get your information.

3. Payday: The best way to pay when you are on the road is by credit card. It

provides you with the best protection against theft and fraud. Only use

debit cards to pull cash out of ATMs. Keep the cash for tips and don't

bring checks - you can leave home without them.

4. Going Public: Do your best to stay off of public computers whether it is

at Internet Cafés or in hotels. Stealing your logon and passwords is

child's play for the bad hacker types so don't give them the opportunity.

If you must go public see additional rules below.

5. To Wi-Fi or Not to Wi-Fi: This is a serious question because utilizing

public Wi-Fi can be hazardous to your cyber health. The bad guys can

easily setup fake public access and once you are connected voila they have

access to your computer. Make sure the public Wi-Fi in your hotel or the

airport, etc. is legit. Check on the name and only hookup with the

recognized source not some adaptation of it or some other squirrely one.

You could also tether your laptop to your smartphone as an alternative.

6. May I Scan Your Passport Please: Your new e-passport comes fully equipped

with an RFID chip (Radio-Frequency Identification) so not only can customs

and passport control read your information wirelessly - so can hackers

(from many feet away) and that info can be used to clone your passport.

There are a number of RFID-blocking passport wallets available on the

market. Here's an article on how they work.


7. Bluetooth Ache: When you are not using your Bluetooth, it is a good idea

to turn it off from your mobile device. Unfortunately, the bad guys can

use Bluetooth to steal your inside story and/or install malware. You

should know that your conversation might be listened to so stay aware my

friends stay aware.

8. Anti-Social Sites: If you are heading out of town, it might be a good idea

to not TELL the world you are doing so. That's like giving a criminal an

engraved invitation to invade your space. The exception of course would be

the addendum that your attack dogs are staying home. Seriously folks keep

your travel plans to yourself.

If You Really Have to

Above we recommended you stay away from public computers such as those in hotels

and Internet Cafés. But sometimes that is easier said than done so here is a

short guide to Going Online in Public.

1. First and foremost of all if you have the least amount of concern

regarding the computer you are using DO NOT use it to access sensitive

sites like banking, brokerage, etc. This is obviously a judgment call and

you best use your good judgment here. You just don't want to use a

compromised computer.

2. If you log onto an information sensitive web site, be sure to logout when

you have completed your cycle. Don't just log out, delete the web history

and close the browser when you are done. This is important; you don't want

any sensitive data stuck in the cache or in any way accessible.

3. If you would like to increase your browsing security you can install a

portable version of Firefox on a USB drive and load the browser directly

from it instead of the computer. This would increase your security.


4. Backup and Encrypt your data so even the snoopers cannot find their way.

5. Use only the strongest of passcodes or phrases.

6. Of course keep your AV up to date.

Happy Trails! 

March 2, 2011 - Do faults talk to one another? It appears they might, well sort of.

Most of the world's earthquakes occur along the boundaries between Earth's constantly moving tectonic plates, like the San Andreas Fault in California. Small quakes along these faults are expected to occur relatively frequently, until they build up to the next big one. However, earthquakes that occur in the middle of continents, such as China's 2008 quake that killed around 70,000 people, seem to occur out of nowhere.”

Now, new research from the University of Missouri suggests that inner-continental quakes such as China's may abide by a different set of rules than those that occur along plate boundaries.”

Along plate boundaries, small and moderate earthquakes that rupture along a particular fault lead to a build-up of stress along that same fault line, but mid-continent faults are connected to each other in a complex network, and a large earthquake along one fault will instead put pressure on a different fault.”

That is pretty interesting, but here is the part I like.

"When it comes to earthquakes in plate interiors, one truly has to think out of the box and be able — and willing — to abandon plate boundary concepts," he said.”

Using a theory I learned of many, many years ago that goes something like this. The next major quake in a given area is more likely to occur somewhere near the ends of the previous major quake. Okay, now lets change that theory a little bit. Lets say the next major quake to occur in a given area could occur on a nearby parallel fault.

The quakes occurring in Arkansas do not appear to be occurring on the New Madrid fault however they do appear to be occurring south of the New Madrid fault and a little to the west of it. They are occurring south of the rupture that occurred in 1811-1812 and parallel to it. So far I haven't been able to find a map that shows any faults in the area where the quakes are occurring, but that doesn't mean there aren't any there. Of course this is left field thinking and since thinking always gives me a headache I try not to do to much of it.

That's it for now...Don


December 1, 2010 – UCLA Study on States of Preparedness

A recent study done by UCLA and released in March of 2010 shows that California is not ready for a major quake. In many ways this doesn't surprise me any. Most of the people that I have talked about the next major quake say they know it will happen sooner of later, but most of them say they have problems with the present time that they have to live with that they can't deal with something that may not occur during their lifetime. People tell me that most of the time they are one pay check away from loosing their home and at present time most of them can't afford to make their home ready for a major quake.

One person told me that both he and his wife have to work and he has two jobs to make ends meet, thus in difficult economic times there are no extra dollars for some types of preparedness issues.

Then we have the people who rent the home they live in, be it a house or an apartment. They know what should be done, but if the landlord hasn't prepared their structure for earthquakes if they want to be safe they have to pay to for issues like water heater strapping, even though required by law. They also understand that if the owner of the house or apartment they are living in does make it quake ready, they'll most likely have to pass some of that cost onto the renters.

They also know that if the home they live in survives the quake, the place where they work may not, then they won't be getting any money to pay the mortgage or the rent. Just because you don't have a job because the earthquake destroyed the place you worked at doesn't mean you won't have to pay the rent or the mortgage until as such time as you can find another job, or the place where you worked rebuilds and you can go back to work.

When people ask me what should they do I have to be truthful with them. I tell them I really don't have an answer for them that will solve the problem they face at present time nor the one they may have to face in the future. I do tell them they should prepare for the quake they may live though and as long as they are alive there is hope. However, hope isn't going to put food on the table or a roof over your head for very long. A major quake in California at present would just about bankrupt the state. We're close to that point as it is now. Don

Article by Brian St. Clair

San Diego Nonpartisan Examiner


A new UCLA study released on Friday finds that Californians have not prepared for the next big earthquake, which most experts regard as inevitable. Commissioned by the California Emergency Management Agency (CEMA) and conducted by the UCLA School of Public Health, the study reported that less than 35% of Californians know how to make their home structure safer and safeguard their finances, less than 20% have structurally reinforced their home, less than 20% have purchased earthquake insurance, only 40% have a family disaster plan, and 40% keep the recommended 3 gallons of water per person stored in their home. Among its other findings, the study concluded that Californians in high risk areas have not prepared adequately for the greater risk they face, "few households have acted to mitigate losses and reduce injury," and members of the Hispanic population were the least likely to have made preparations.

By Alex Johnson, Reporter

MISNBC dot Com


updated 4/17/2006 10:48:00 AM ET.

The Bay Area is far from being ready for the next major quake. It doesn't even come close to being ready. In a report timed to the 100th anniversary, Charles Kircher & Associates, an engineering firm affiliated with the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, projected Monday that a repeat of the Great Earthquake of 1906 would kill 1,800 to 3,400 people, damage more than 90,000 structures and displace as many as 250,000 households. It would cause $122 billion in damage — and that doesn’t include losses from fires, which were the most destructive part of the 1906 earthquake.

November 23, 2010 – Back in the Saddle Again

Over the years I've heard how good the Sanford Medical Center has been and on Monday November 15, 2010 I got a first hand look at just how good they are. I had a heart attack Sunday, or maybe earlier, I'm really that sure, but it didn't take my doctor, the hospital nor my cardiologist long to make the decision to send me to Sanford.

When I arrived there Monday afternoon they started working on me. They drew a lot of blood, did a sonogram, EKG and some other test. They operated on me Tuesday afternoon. They got all of my arteries open plus they were able to get an additional one. I have no idea as to how they were able to pull that one off without opening me up. The doctor told me the worst thing about it would be the antibiotics I would have to take. He said the taste was horrible. Something like rotten bananas and grapefruit and he wasn’t kidding.

I was never fully aware of what was going on, but I was never really out of it either. I guess the worst thing about the whole deal was when the nurses had to remove the sheath from inside the arteries. It took two of them to hold me down and two to pull it out. I have never experienced pain such as that. I don't mind telling you I screamed bloody murder. I thought I would never end, but it did. One moment there was more pain then I thought I could take and in the next moment it was gone.

My first thought was that I was going to have to spend at least a week there and fortunately I was wrong. They released me early on Wednesday afternoon. I had mixed thoughts on that. I knew if my friend Hal drove it would be a couple of hours or more before they got me home, however if his wife drove we could hear a sonic boom. Joan knows only two speeds, fast and faster. To date she has never gotten a speeding ticket and darned if I know why. I guess by the time the policeman may know she is speeding she's is gone. She now drives a Toyota Highlander. Before that it was a BMW. She loved the BMW but with the operation they did on her knees it is easier for her to get in and out of the Highlander, and yes it is a 4X4. They decided to let Hal drive home as they were afraid her driving would give me another heart attack. I don't think they could have given me enough tranquilizers to survive her driving habits.

Something I realized was that if I was in a lot of pain the nurses didn't have to consult with a doctor to administer pain medication. And when I needed morphine I got it and it was usually in less then 5 minutes. I got it twice from having to lay on my back for extended periods of time. I also had to keep my left leg stretched out flat. I think that was the worst period I had while I was there.

One of the first things I realized something was up was when I got no breakfast Tuesday morning. Lunch came and went and still nothing to eat. Then around 2:00 they started giving me some medication. It was around 3:00 that I realized I was pretty mellow. When they got me to the operating room I though I was going to freeze to death, but wrapping the exposed area in warm blankets soon took care of that. It was right about now that my memory gets a little fuzzy as to how things occurred and in what order. I know one thing for sure. They knew what had to be done and did it. The whole procedure as to what they were going to do was planed before they ever got started. The doctors talked among themselves and even engaged you in their conversations, but I don't ever recall having one asking how I was doing. I guess they didn't need to as they could see how I was doing.

I'm still not as springy on my feet as I use to be and I have doubts that I ever will be. However I'm still here, still able to raise hell when I have to, but maybe not to the same level, but I cal still tell a jerk he's jerk and an asshole when he/she/they/it or whatever is one. I won't tell them they are acting like one simply because they are one. They are either one or they aren't. If they don't like it they can stick it where the sun doesn't shine. Have good day...Don

September 10, 2010 – San Bruno Fire – Thoughts on Quake Readiness

I think the fire caused by a ruptured gas line in San Bruno, California should be a lesson for those who haven't prepared for a major quake in the Bay Area as it is almost a sure thing that when the quake occurs there could be more than just one broken gas line with fires burning in every which direction. If there is any water the pressure will be so low that it may not be sufficient to fight any kind of fires let along a gas fire.

Of course if you have a broken gas line in your home you can shut the gas off. You do know how to shut if off don't you? Mine has a handle already attached to it so I don't have to run around looking for a wrench when it seems there is never one around when you really need one. I had to turn my gas off when we had the 1989 Loma Prieta quake. My hot water was old and when the quake occurred and one of the legs collapsed and caused the hot water heater to move forward. The door kept it falling out, but just barely. Anyway I'm glad the quake took care of it for me. I was getting ready to buy a new hot water heater, but my earthquake insurance paid for it.

My mobilehome moved to the south about a half an inch on the blocks. The step at the front door and rear door to our home moved away from our home by swinging out at the bottom. The side steps leading to our home moved about 15 inches away from our home. This is a pretty good indication that the ground was jerked away from where I live. Fortunately our home is set up east and west and the way it is set on blocks the seismic waves would be coming at them from the ends so there was no way could rock. Most of the mobile homes that came down were aligned north and south. I took a tour of the park to see what I could learn in the way of improving conditions in the park before the next quake occurs. I'm a firm believer in being prepared that way I don't have to rely on a quake prediction to save my old butt. The book case and chest of drawers were set up against the north wall and they fell over. The only interior damage was to the Geisha doll case and I could hardly believe it cost over $700.00 to replace it. I'm still trying to figure out why nothing that was sitting on the drain board didn't hit the floor. Dishes, cups, glasses all stayed in the cabinet. Not one of them came flying out. The television didn't even move and it was one of those big heavy console types. If I remember correctly it took 4 people to get it into our place.

We had plenty of water and food and I have a 10 pound propane tank that I use for camping. I brought it into the house and hooked my camp stove up to it. We had a hot meal that night and we used propane lamps for lighting. If we had to go another part of the house we used flashlights. We didn't have any electricity for about 2 days. Same with the water, but I had water to last us for 10 days so I wasn't to concerned. I got my radio out and listened to the news about the earthquake. After listening to that for about an hour I felt we were pretty lucky to have the amount of damage we had.

One of the things you should do is survey your home. Look for the safe areas where you get to during the quake. If you have a backyard you may want to see how it would be to put a tent up, that is if you have one, in the event you have to sleep outside. A couple of large plastic tarps make very good tents with no more then a clothesline and a couple of trees to tie the ropes and throw the tarps over the rope. They are water proof, in the event it rains. You can lay the second one on the ground with a blanket over it to lay on. Old newspapers make good insulation material and isn't to hard to lay on.

The quake is going to occur whether you're ready or not, so you might as well get ready and make it easy on yourself and your family. You can treat it as a unexpected camping trip, or that outing you have been wanting to take. If you have prepared for the worse and it doesn't turn out to be the worse you're ahead.

That's it now...Don

August 24, 2010  -  A Real Hot One

Today the temperature in Hollister got up to 109° and in doing so it reminded me of when I was a kid living in Morgan Hill, California. When ever we got barn burner days we would ride our bikes out to Island Dell, or the old Uvas Dam. Island Dell is no longer there for kids to swimming. Anderson dam replaced it. Uvas dam is still there, well sort of. It has been replaced by a much larger dam, but you can't go swimming there. It doesn't even look the same. The dam we had would only make a small pond about 20 feet deep. I don't remember how wide the pond was, but it wasn't all that wide. The whole area was covered with trees so there was shade just about every where you turned. It was like that at Island Dell as well.

At Island Dell there was a large oak tree next to the pond. A branch went out over the pond. Someone climbed up the tree and attached a rope to the branch then attached a smaller rope to the bottom of it so we could pull the rope to us. Then would hang onto the rope and swing out over the pond. When you reached your high point you had better let go of the rope because if you didn't you would come back and hit the tree. The darn thing was hard. Still don't know why I didn't turn loose of the rope a couple of times. Can't think of any reason why I hung on. There's the reason. I wasn't thinking. I was a master at not thinking. Like the time I put a gopher snake in our biology teachers desk. I had first period biology so I would be there when he opened his desk and see the snake. I didn't think he would know who put it there. When he opened his desk and saw the snake he just looked at it for a couple of seconds then closed the desk and look straight at me and said, Donnie, since you were the one who put the snake in my desk you can get it out. As soon as I pulled the snake out of his desk the class room emptied. I guess he knew me better then I thought he did. Can't understand why everyone left the room. I mean after all we were biology students and we knew about things like this. At least I did.

I can remember when we had those hot days the nights would be hot as well. I would open both of the windows in my bedroom and let the breeze blow across, that is if there was one. Can't do that anymore. You're just plain stupid if you leave your windows open at night. I did have a couple of problems though. One was a mocking bird and the other was crickets. At night the mocking bird would sit on top of a pole about 10 feet from my window and sing all night. The only time he stopped singing was when he caught a cricket and the only time the crickets would stop doing their thing was when the bird caught one and was having his late evening snack.

Where I'm living at night I can still sleep with my bedroom window open. For someone wanting to get in they would need a small ladder. I have a mocking bird that sings all night, but I have a new problem during the day. I can't convince the blue jay to wait until the blackberries are ripe before eating them. By the time they are ripe enough for people to eat, there isn't very much left.

Those were the good ole days. I wonder what ever happened to them. I don't see kids ridding their bikes to an old swimming hole. I guess it's because we don't have them anymore. At least not around here. Yep. Those were the good ole days. That's it for now...Don

August 23, 2010 – Ingredients for Survival

The more I think about earthquake prediction the more I realize if people are not prepared then the prediction isn't going to be as helpful as possible.

Engineering safe structures is surely a good place to start and they should be economical to invite more to look for something other than glitz, but toward safety itself, yet being attractive and suitable to meet everyone's needs, such as dome houses as an example. Money presently spent on some types of research may be better invested in building for strong earthquakes which we know will meet with success moreso than prediction itself.

No doubt preparation is key to survival; but most have yet to understand where they might be safe no matter where they are when an earthquake occurs including their own homes and have no idea what to do when they are elsewhere.

And the next step of course is actually preparing to make life bearable after an event takes place.

If the people live in a earthquake prone area they need to store enough water to last them for at least 7 days because there is no way of knowing how long it may be before water service may be restored if lost. Food stuffs need to be secured that requires very little water or heat to cook. And how about flashlights and batteries for those lights? Do they have a first aid kit and a small supply of prescription drugs they need to take such as high blood pressure medication, diabetic medication, thyroid medication and other such medications?

How about gasoline for your car? If you have gasoline stored you might wish to contemplate how long can it be stored before you shouldn't use it. The answer varies, but I never use gasoline that has been stored over 90 days even if a stabilizer such as Sta-Bil has been added. Gas can get stale and damage your cars engine.

How about your pets. Do you have enough food stored for them? After all, they have to eat just like you do.

And presently I'd like to you to imagine an earthquake is going to happen as you finish reading this and ask yourself exactly what you're going to do as the place where you are starts to move? Do you already know? Or, do you have to think about it? You have between three and five seconds to possibly make the most important decision in your lifetime as a M 7.0 earthquake begins where you are and this is your defining moment. Are you really ready? Or is there anything you wish you might have done?

If you've confirmed you are not ready, today's the day you need to make the time to prepare before that defining moment arrives. Do it for you and those who you love.

That's it for now...Don

August 13, 2010 – From Here to There in Time

I know from past experience people get tired of being told day in and day out that this is going to happen or that is going happen. They hear it almost everyday of their lives. They heard it so often they turn a deaf ear to it.

When was it the last time you were told to prepare for the “big one” referring to earthquakes? When was it the last time you felt a quake and you just knew it was going to be the “big one” but something shut the quake down? Think about it. When was the last time you felt a quake and the way it started you just knew it was going to be the big one? The biggest quake I was in was the 7.5Mw that struck Niigata in 1964. I rode that quake out sitting in the middle of the street. I heard that quake before I felt it and I knew it was going to be a big one. The street was rising and falling as if someone was rolling telephones poles under a rug. I remember thinking is this what a large quake feels like? Then I got the shock of my life when the “S”, the “L” and “R” waves came through. They jerked the earth from under my feet. One moment I was standing the next I was sitting. Okay, so I was laying down and then in a couple of moments later I sitting up. It was a couple of minutes before I was standing again.

How many of you have ever been in a major quake? I'm talking about a real live quake, not the kind you see at movies or on the idiot machine. How many of you have seen a crack appear in the wall that you could see though? How many of you have been driving down the highway and see the highway drop away in front of you and you can't stop before driving off the end, but you're in luck. The drop is only 4 feet, you were traveling at about 70mph but as you go off the end you see a car is stopped and that is where you're going to land. You're going to land on top of a car. Your in the air now, but you still hear the sound rubber tires make when they are sliding down the highway. Where is the car that was behind you when you went off the end of the highway? You look to your left and you see cars crashing into what must seem like a wall to them. All of this has taken around 15 seconds to occur and the area covered is about 1000 feet long and around 300 feet wide. Is this the only place this occurred at or are there others? You suddenly realize you are sitting on top of a car and the one that was behind has the front end of his car sticking off the end of the highway. You feel your car starting to shake. Is it an aftershock or the person in the car beneath yours trying to get out of his. It is an aftershock but it made the car that was above and behind you start to slide down into your car and on to the top of the other one that is under yours.

You have to get out of your car, but you can't open it and the window is rolled up. You try to break glass by hitting it with your fist, but all this did is made your hand hurt like hell. Then you remember seeing somewhere something about how to break car windows. You gently move around in your car to open the glove department. There is a screwdriver in there. You hit the glass with the end of the screwdriver and the glass start's to break. A couple of more jabs and you can put your shoulder to the glass and push it out.

You're out of the car, but there is plenty going on around you. You look back to the area you live in and see smoke coming up from just about everywhere. Then you see a large flash and a large fireball rises upwards. Most likely one of the large gas stations close to where you live.

You hear your cellphone ring and until now you had forgotten all about it. You see it is from you wife. She tells you she and the kids are all right but the house is gone. All of the houses that were on the hill slid down to bottom taking other houses with them. Nothing is left. You tell her to see if she can get to the park a couple of miles west of your home or what used to be your home. That is where you're going to trying and make it to. You have made it through the first 2 hours of your first major quake.

Before you leave be sure to get the earthquake kit you prepared. You did prepare one didn't you? After all you live in earthquake country and people have been telling you to prepare for the “big one” for what it seems like a life time.

If you haven't made one up, or bought one then do it NOW. That way you will be around to nag the next generation about preparing for the next “big one”. That's it for now...Don


August 11, 2010 – Much to Learn – More to Understand

The following is from Dr. Lowell Whiteside now retired from NOAA. It took Lowell a couple of years to learn he could trust me and that I was teachable. I'll have to admit there were a couple of times I think he thought he had made a mistake about my being teachable. As a matter of fact I was starting to have some doubts myself. Math was never a good subject with me. I can add, subtract, multiply and divide but when it comes to geometry that is something else. Come to think of it when it comes to math anything other then the basic stuff I'm sunk.

Using FFAs to try to predict the location of the next major quake is not very useful. It's like walking down a sandy beach looking for one specific grain of sand. If you don't get that grain of sand off the beach something terrible is going to happen. You don't know exactly where or when, but you know something terrible is going to happen. Petra has had some success with it as well as a few others, even I got two, but you should see the string of misses.

I don't look at Lowell's summary until I have finished mine and then and only then will I compare them. Sometimes I'm pretty close and other times I'm not.


Strong earthquakes of M 5.8-6.2 hit off northern Honshu, Japan and in two areas of the Vanuatu Islands today. The earthquake in Japan of M 5.8-6.3 hit off Sanriku, on the eastern coast of northern Honshu, Japan today. This is south of the Japanese Island of Hokkaido. JMA reported this this earthquake was felt with intensity IV in Miyagi, III in Aomori, Iwate, Akita, Yamagata, II in Hokkaido, Fukushima, Niigata, and I in Saitama, Chiba and Nagano Prefectures, Japan. No tsunami was expected or observed by JMA. NEIC reported felt intensity II-III within about 200-400 km of the epicenter. The mainshock was followed by an aftershock of M 4.8 and by several foreshocks in the region over the past several days.”

The timing of the mainshock indicates it was triggered by the Rayleigh surface

wave from the M 7.4 earthquake in Vanuatu. The distance between these two epicenters is about 61 degrees near the sixth node of 60 degrees distance. The Rayleigh surface wave from Vanuatu would have been passing through the epicenter of the earthquake in Honshu at the same time the earthquake there occurred (27 minutes after the Vanuatu earthquake). This is a clear case of dynamic earthquake triggering by a large surface wave generated at a distance. Much of the forecasting we do in this report is predicated on this effect and it is of considerable importance to observe unequivocal examples of this effect such as this. The existence of such triggering is denied or disputed by much of the geophysical community but we believe the evidence, when examined with an unbiased mindset, is indisputable and that such triggering, as in this case exists and may be helpful in earthquake prediction. We proposed and have been at the forefront of making this argument for more than 30 years with little effect as the wheels of change grind slowly in the geological community.

The timing of the mainshock indicates it was triggered by the Rayleigh surface

wave from the M 7.4 earthquake in Vanuatu. The distance between these two epicenters is about 61 degrees near the sixth node of 60 degrees distance. The Rayleigh surface wave from Vanuatu would have been passing through the epicenter of the earthquake in Honshu at the same time the earthquake there occurred (27 minutes after the Vanuatu earthquake). This is a clear case of dynamic earthquake triggering by a large surface wave generated at a distance. Much of the forecasting we do in this report is predicated on this effect and it is of considerable importance to observe unequivocal examples of this effect such as this. The existence of such triggering is denied or disputed by much of the geophysical community but we believe the evidence, when examined with an unbiased mindset, is indisputable and that such triggering, as in this case exists and may be helpful in earthquake prediction. We proposed and have been at the forefront of making this argument for more than 30 years with little effect as the wheels of change grind slowly in the geological community.

The region had also been set up for a large earthquake at this time because Tropical Storm Dianmu had set up over the upper slab. We warned of this effect in our report yesterday as follows:”

"The associated low pressures (with TC Dianmu) could allow the Islands of Japan to rise with respect to the subducting Pacific Plate. This could reduce the normal stress across the subduction boundary. This in turn, could promote a strong earthquake in the Japanese Islands sometime in the next week. We are placing the region of Honshu and Hokkaido under seismic watch at this time. Maximum expected earthquakes could be +1.5 units higher than previously forecast." (August 9, 2010).”

We had also warned yesterday that the new moon alignment might enhance the possibility of a strong Japanese event at this time as follows:”

"The new moon alignment was precise at 03:08 UT on August 10 near the time when Vanuatu was directly in line with this alignment (near local noon). The Vanuatu earthquake of M 7.5 occurred two hours later. The immediate trigger is most likely tidal triggering from the new moon alignment. Another area where tidal triggering of a strong earthquake is likely at this time is the region of Honshu and Hokkaido, Japan as a tropical storm is currently located over the upper slab relieving the normal strain and setting up the conditions for a large earthquake at this time in that region." (August 9, 2010)”

Forecasts 55178 and 55201 had expected this activity in Honshu between August 5 to 10 with maximum magnitude up to M 6.5.”

That's it for now...Don

August 10, 2010 – Don's Blog

The Garlock fault and the White Wolf fault are driving me bonkers which isn't very hard to do. I'm about half way there now. Ever since the Baja quake there have been little popcorn quakes on both faults. I don't know if they are letting off stress or are building it up, or a combination of both. Sure wish they would make up my mind. The Garlock fault is a left lateral strike slip fault while the White Wolf fault is a reverse, oblique fault. The White Wolf is the fault is being born. Wonder if it's possible for a fault to have a breach, or a miscarriage? Now there's an interesting concept. Wonder who the old man is.

There is another area down there that is showing some interest. That is the area around, Littlerock. That's Littlerock in California and not Arkansas. I have flown over the area and have walked the area and there indeed looks like it has had more then its fair share of quakes. Seems like no matter where you go there is a hog everywhere. Take Hollister for instance. It's a hog for creep. 7mm at one location and about 12mm another. Wonder what's going on between the two locations??? Looks like a thrust fault crosses both of them. Could also be a fold fault. I wonder if that makes a difference on how many quakes you have.

Well what do know. Here I am talking about earthquakes and we have one. It wasn't the kind you would write anyone about. You had no problem feeling the “P” wave and “S” wave, I couldn't separate the “L” and the “R” waves. It was a 3.9Ml and centered near the town of Aromas. Nothing new there. Sure hope Roland, he's a good friend of mine, wasn't trying to build a ship inside a bottle. A tsunami could do a number on it. Wonder if they could have a tsunami inside a bottle?

There was a 6.2Ml at the Pajaro Gap in 1890. Did a little damage to the Mission, but I think it did more damage to the peoples nerves then it did to the Mission. The Mission is a pretty strong one although the 1906 quake just about did it in.

One day, now where have you heard that before, there will be quake to end all quakes? Well, we could. At least I think we could. But what do I know? I have only been studying quakes and faults for around 47 years. You would think somewhere in that time period I would have learned something. Maybe I have, just don't know about it yet. Come onnnnnnn Earthquakeeeeeeeeeee, quit your piddling around and give us the biggest one you can muster up. That's it for now...Don

August 9, 2010 – Vast & Vague Indonesia Region Predictions

The Republic of Indonesia consists of five large islands and 13,677 smaller islands (about 6,000 of which are inhabited) forming an arc between Asia and Australia. With a total area of 1,919,440 sq km (741,100 sq mi), or about about three times the size of Texas. The maritime area is about 7,900,000 sq. km. Indonesia is the fourth-largest Asian country, after China, India, and Saudi Arabia and has a population of approximately 240.3 million.

For someone to make a prediction for an such as Indonesia is almost a sure thing when a specific location isn't given nor a specific time isn't given.

Given what the people living in that area have gone through for the last 10 years or so a prediction that is so vague and general in nature is going to be of any help to them. About the only good it's going to do is to give them something more to worry about. What makes it even worse is that the person making the prediction hasn't shown that any of their predictions has saved any lives, or were even good.

I have to ask myself, why do they do it? Are they looking for attention and this is their way of getting it? Are they bored and this is their way of getting a little excitement in their lives, or could it be something else? I'll let you make the decision on the something else.

China has a way of dealing with false predictions, or a prediction that is not sanctioned by the government. They put them in jail and if that doesn't cure them they take them out to the village square and put a bullet through the back of the head. I don't know how true that is, but that is what I have heard. I don't agree with that method, but they do have a lot of problems to deal with so they don't need someone making a false prediction and disrupting work and what have you which just adds to the problems they already have.

Here in the good old US they just ignore predictions much like they ignore everything else. One day they are going to ignore something at the wrong time and it's going to cost them dearly.

83% of the people living in the Bay Area are ignoring the advice about getting ready for the next major quake. Something I learned about giving advice. While you may be able to give advice you can't give the wisdom to use it. That's it for now...Don


August 8, 2010 - On the Road Again

A couple of weeks ago Petra and I decided we would take a trip following the Maacama fault. There are a couple of places along highway 101 where you can see the fault. There are also a couple of places where you can see the Chianti fault. It is the fault located just below the highway on the eastern side. Maacama fault is located further to the east and you have to look for scarps to see it.

The first place we stopped was Squaw Rock. It is a volcanic rock and a fairly good sized on as well. If you park in the turn out you are safely off the road. If you look to the east you can see where the Wright Way fault comes down to the highway and then crosses it. You see where its located by looking at the highway. There is a small dip there and the road is in bad need of repair even though it was repaired about two years ago. The fault crosses the Russian River and continues through the hills towards the ocean. I don't know if it continues as far as the ocean. I asked Petra if she would climb Squaw Rock and stand at the edge so I could show how large the rock is. The look she gave me told me I was out of cotton picking mind. I thought it was a reasonable request, but she had other ideas. She suggested she would stand at the base of it and I could take a picture that way.

Along the way we stopped at a rock shop that's located just before the 101 Hopland Overhead bridge and it's a strange place in that nothing ever changes and the building and tables seem to be in arresting decay. Petra asked the owner about a rock to test his knowledge of geology and it appears he has little. We've been going there for years and both decided the man is a hoarder and really is not interested in selling his goods and it shows. The shop and surrounding yard goods are always aging, but not necessarily gracefully.

Our next stop was small coffee shop in Hopland on the corner of highway 101 and the road that crosses the hills to Clear Lake. Hopland was hit pretty hard during the 1906 quake. A building had collapsed and nine people were killed. I wanted to see if anyone there knew what kind of building it was and where it was located at. No one knew. We talked a little bit about the Maacama fault and the magnitude of a quake that could occur in that area. I wonder what they thought when a couple of days later there was that 4.0M at the Geysers which they felt in Hopland and I've wondered if they thought of us and our seeming untimely visit. I could imagine them thinking, “These people come in here and ask some questions about a building that collapsed during the 1906 quake and tell us the size of the quake we could have on the Maacama fault in this area and then a couple of days later we have a quake.”

Our next stop was Willits. However arriving late day, we didn't have the time we needed and decided we'd have to make that another trip. The Maacama fault passes though the much in the same way the Calaveras fault passes through Hollister, however the off set in Willits isn't quite as dramatic as it is in Hollister. If you know where to look you can see and I have a pretty good idea to look, but you need some good light to see it.

We decided to go to the Clear Lake afterward and stopped at the Bison Store. They had an amazingly huge buffalo head on the wall and the woman told us the most recent quakes in the area were felt more like a jolt than a rolling sensation. Later we took a glimpse at the bison in the nearby pen and Petra found them rather attentive when she spoke to them during their afternoon rest period.

We stopped at a place up the road and had a nice dinner, then headed off toward home. It was nice to be out on the road again with my fellow quake chaser Petra and not unlike Lucille Ball managed to collect some rocks she just had to bring home.

All in all I would say we had a pretty good time. We still have Willits to Yreka on our list so another trip is coming up. No plans for that at the moment. Somehow were going to have to work a trip to Mt. Lassen in there somehow. Not exactly sure as to how we were going to work that one out. That's it for now...Don

DON’S BLOG - August 3, 2010

Something to remember about precursors is that the one you saw or heard last week and resulted in a quake today, may not work for the next quake. This why you should carry a little black book, or red book if that is your favorite color. You write what you heard, saw, or that sudden feeling of dread that came on. Lets say you're walking down the street when out of the clear blue sky you get this overwhelming feeling that a quake is going to occur in the next couple of days. Write the date, time, location and the activity that was going on around you at the time. No quake occurs, but a couple of months later the same thing occur again except this time the birds are all leaving the area. Not just some birds, but all birds. They aren't leaving as one type of group of birds, but the birds are mixed together. They didn't much care who they were flying with they just wanted to get out of the area. A couple of days later you have a moderate quake. A little damage was done, but nothing you would write Mama home about. You go home turn on your computer and discover the magnitude of the quake was a 5.1Ml.

Further information comes forward indicating that area experienced quakes on average about every 6 to 8 years with the strongest quake being a M 6.9. Thus it gives you pause to wonder if that M 5.1 might be a precursor to another large quake as if the timing interval is similar.

Seismic networks keep catalogs of quakes, but I don't know of any that keep catalogs of precursors. A catalog of precursors could be the very key to unlock the ability to predict earthquakes. That's it for now...Don


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