Monday, July 15, 2013

PLANETARY TREMORS: Powerful 7.3 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes South Sandwich Islands Region!

July 15, 2013 - SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS - A 7.3 magnitude earthquake has struck south of Bristol Island in the South Sandwich Islands. No tsunami alert exists, however.

USGS earthquake location.

The massive 7.3 magnitude earthquake began today July 15, 2013 far out to sea, far from Argentina and Chile’s coast, officials tell news. It was initially reported as a 6.8 magnitude quake before being upgraded.

The large earthquake today began moments ago. It erupted at 12:03 pm local time, officials tell news. It also posted a moderate depth. USGS indicates to news that the quake starting twenty miles below sea level. But the quake was far from land when it began. Officials tell news that the quake was closest only to one island.

The quake began one hundred thirty miles southeast of Bristol Island in the South Sandwich Islands. The quake was thereafter a great distance from other nations. The quake was one thousand six hundred miles at least from Ushuaia, Argentina. It was roughly one thousand seven hundred miles from Rio Gallegos in Argentina as well.

USGS earthquake shakemap intensity.

Reps tell news that the quake was about one thousand seven hundred miles from Punta Arenas, Chile and about one thousand three hundred mils from Stanley in the Falkland Islands.

The National Weather Service says that no tsunami danger exists currently for the U.S, Gulf of Mexico, Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands. But officials. Both the Alaska Tsunami Warning Center and the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center confirm that no tsunami threat is in place. - LA Late.

Tectonic Summary
The July 15, 2013 Mw7.3 South Sandwich Islands earthquake occurred as a result of either east-west left-lateral or north-south right-lateral strike slip motion at shallow oceanic crustal depths. The earthquake occurred ~100km east of a complex plate triple junction between the South America, Antarctica, and Sandwich plates. The South America plate currently subducts beneath the Sandwich plate at a rate of ~13mm/yr while sliding past the Antarctica plate with left-lateral motion along the South Sandwich Fracture Zone at a rate of ~14mm/yr. Given the strike slip nature and location of the event, the earthquake likely resulted from relative motion between the South America and Antarctica plates. Several large earthquakes have occurred along this portion of the plate boundary, including events of Mw7.4 in January 2006 and Mw7.5 in October 1973. - USGS.

WAR DRUMS: Russia In Largest War Games Since Soviet Era - Putin To Build And Deploy Floating Nuclear Power Plants!

July 15, 2013 - RUSSIA - Russia is in the midst of its biggest war games since Soviet times, with 160,000 troops, 130 planes, 70 ships and thousands of tanks and armored vehicles participating in the country's Far East, according to media reports.

Russia In Largest War Games Since Soviet Era.
Russian Army helicopters fire flares over Sakhalin Island on July 16.

Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the drills last Friday and they began that night, according to reports from the RIA Novosti news agency. Putin flew to Sakhalin island off the eastern coast to oversee the games on Tuesday, Russia's presidential press service reported.

"The main purpose of the activities is to check the readiness of the military units to perform assigned tasks and evaluate of the level of personnel's training and technical preparation as well as the level of equipment of units with arms and military equipment," the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement reported by Russian Television.

Russian ships take part in the exercises on July 16.

Russian President Vladimir Putin inspects military exercises near Sakhalin Island in the
Pacific Ocean, on Tuesday, July 16.

"The Sakhalin part of the maneuvers was intended to simulate a response to a hypothetical attack by Japanese and U.S. forces," Konstantin Sivkov, who is retired from the Russian military's General Staff, told the Nezavisimaya Gazeta newspaper, according to a report from the BBC.

But Russia's deputy defense minister, Anatoly Antonov, said the games were designed to "enhance the army's combat readiness" and were not directed against any specific nations, the BBC reported.

Russian tanks move across Sakhalin Island on July 16.

Putin, center, and Russian military personnel observe exercises on July 16.

Some of the units involved in the exercises moved more than 3,000 kilometers (1,800 miles) from their bases to participate, according to the Russian media reports.

The current drills, which are expected to last through the week, are the latest in a series of snap exercises conducted by the Russian military this year, Russian Television reported. Similar drills have been conducted in the country's west, south and central military districts, the report said. - CNN.

Russia To Build And Deploy Floating Nuclear Power Plants.

The general director of one of Russia’s largest shipbuilders, Aleksandr Voznesensky, has announced to reporters that a floating nuclear power plant is currently under construction at one of Russia’s ship yards. He added that it will likely be ready for use by 2016. The Russians are calling it a “floating power” station, abbreviated to PEB. The vessel has been given the name Akademik Lomonosov. Several countries, including the United States and China have considered building floating nuclear power plants but until now, no other known vessels have reached the construction phase. The advantages of a floating nuclear power station are obvious—electrical power could be brought to areas that are not currently being served by other means. Russia in particular has many far-flung outposts in its eastern region that have had difficulty flourishing due to the financial constraints of building power plants so far away from everything else. The Akademik Lomonosov will have two KLT-40 naval propulsion reactors modified to serve as power providers for an external location—with a displacement of 21,500 tons. Lomonosov noted that nuclear powered marine vessels have a proven safety record going back 50 years.

Many nations now routinely deploy nuclear powered ships, submarines and even ice-breakers. He also stressed that the design of the vessel will be such that the platform will be capable of withstanding a tsunami or even a collision with land or a ship. The Akademik Lomonosov will not be able to power itself however, which means it will be towed to wherever it’s needed. The vessel will be operated by a crew of 69 people and will also conform to regulations set by the International Atomic Energy Agency. Lomonosov said that plans are underway to build a fleet of the floating platforms to provide cities and towns across Russia with electricity for general use and more specifically for heating homes and businesses. The Akademik Lomonosov will be capable of generating 70 MW of electricity—enough to power a city of 200,000 people. He noted also that such vessels could also be used to power desalination plants, providing 240,000 cubic meters of fresh water daily. - PHYSORG.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Significant Earthquake Swarm At Costa Rica's Turrialba Volcano - Indicating A Rise Of Magma In Progress!

July 15, 2013 - COSTA RICA - A significant earthquake swarm has started late on 13 July at the volcano and is continuing.

This could indicate a rise of magma in progress and could eventually lead to new eruptions in the near future. The stratovolcano is 3,340 m (10,958 ft) high and is about 45 minutes from the Atlantic slope town of Turrialba.

The summit has three craters, one of which has fumaroles and sulfur pits. The largest of the craters has a diameter of 164 feet (50 m).

Turrialba is adjacent to the IrazĂș volcano and both are among Costa Rica’s largest volcanoes.

It had at least five large explosive eruptions in last 3500 years. The Turrialba volcano last erupted in 2011. - Volcano Discovery.