Green alert for shaking-related fatalities and economic losses.
There is a low likelihood of casualties and damage.
A shallow mag 6. quake, Sandwich Islands is the first major quake of September and the 66th of a record quiet 2017.
Could it be the calm before the storm? Should the alarm bells be ringing?
I find it very strange that no mention of an unprecedented cliff face drop off of major quakes has not been mentioned by specialists sights like the USGS for example.
Only 8 major quakes were recorded around the globe in August continuing the unprecedented dip this year in quakes of mag 6. or over.
The total after 8 months is floundering at 65 which is way way down on the average for this century and most of last century too.
If you compare 2017 to 2011, the year of the Fukushima disaster, at the end of August 2011, 165 major quakes had been recording, an incredible 100 more than this year at the same stage of the year.
Broken down, up to September 2011 was averaging almost 21 major quakes per month in relation to only 8 per month in 2017.
The average number of major quakes per month from 2000 to the 2016 is 13, 2017 is down nearly 50% at 8 per month.
So what is causing the decline? I have no idea but I would like to point you toward volcano activity which also appears to have decreased this year dramatically with only 13 confirmed eruptions up to May 23rd this year, not quite on the scale of the major quake decrease but never the less down on other years.
We are approaching a solar minimum,.
The sun is heading into a period known as solar minimum, during which activity at the surface will ‘change form.’ In this time, certain types of activity, such as sunspots and solar flares will drop – but, it’s also expected to bring the development of long-lived phenomena including coronal holes. According to NASA, solar minimum could also enhance the effects of space weather, potentially disrupting communications and navigation systems.
The sun follows roughly an 11-year cycle.
While sunspots were relatively high back in 2014, they’re now heading toward a low point expected in 2019-2020, according to NASA.
Does space weather effect quakes and volcano activity on Earth, of course it does and it’s clear to see on the graph above major quakes of decreased since 2014 but is this the result in the drop off of sunspots, I can’t say, time will tell what is happening and lets hope it’s not the calm before the storm.