Sunday, March 23, 2014

WAR DRUMS: Inside The Ring - Pentagon Goes Hypersonic With Long-Range Rapid Attack Weapon!

March 23, 2014 - UNITED STATES - An experimental scramjet-powered, ultrahigh speed strike vehicle is emerging as the Pentagon’s main choice for a new long-range, rapid attack weapon, a senior Pentagon official says.


This Air Force illustration depicts the X-51A Waverider scramjet vehicle during hypersonic flight during its May 26,
2010 test. Powered by a Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne SJY61 scramjet engine, it is designed to ride
on its own shockwave and accelerate to about Mach 6.Credit: U.S. Air Force

Alan R. Shaffer, principal deputy assistant defense secretary for research and engineering, told a defense industry conference that prototypes and recent tests proved concepts for hypersonic arms, and several systems are part of a high-priority effort by Pentagon weapons developers, despite the era of sharply-diminished defense spending.

Hypersonic vehicles can deliver nuclear or conventional payloads in precision strikes against increasingly hard-to-penetrate air defenses of countries like China, Russia and Iran, he said.

“We, the U.S., do not want to be the second country to understand how to have controlled scramjet hypersonics,” Mr. Shaffer told the Precision Strike Association’s annual review on Tuesday.

The comments come 2 1/2 months after China’s surprise Jan. 9 test of a new hypersonic glide vehicle, dubbed the Wu-14. That ultrahigh speed maneuvering vehicle test represents a major challenge for current U.S. missile defenses, which are designed to counter non-maneuvering ballistic missile threats.

Lee Fuell, a technical intelligence specialist with the Air Force National Air and Space Intelligence Center, told a congressional China commission hearing Jan. 31 that China’s hypersonic glide vehicle is a ballistic missile-launched system that glides and maneuvers to its target at speeds up to Mach 10 (about 7,611 mph).

“At this point, we think that’s associated with their nuclear deterrent forces,” said Mr. Fuell, who noted the Chinese could use the system with conventional warheads for long-range precision strikes.

Mr. Shaffer declined to comment on how the Chinese hypersonic test has changed U.S. plans for hypersonic weapons.


Photo by: Chad Bellay


But the senior weapons research official said the Pentagon’s most promising hypersonic vehicle is the X-51, a cruise missile-sized weapon powered by an advanced engine called a scramjet. The X-51, developed by Boeing, flies at up to 3,882 mph, or Mach 5.1, and is launched from under the wing of a B-52 bomber.

The experimental aircraft is a good candidate to win this year’s Collier Trophy, the annual award recognizing the most significant recent achievement in air or space flight, Mr. Shaffer said.

Mr. Shaffer said hypersonic weapons, when fully developed, will be less expensive than current jets and cruise missiles powered by complex turbine engines with many parts. A scramjet, or supersonic combusting ramjet, hypersonic vehicle has few moving parts.


WATCH:
U.S. adds $750 million to Northrop Ballistic Missile.

 


After three difficult tests, including one described awkwardly by testers as an “un-ignition event,” the X-51 scored a breakthrough last year. During a successful flight test, the vehicle flew for just 300 seconds but traveled several thousand miles and reached a height of 80,000 feet — considered near-space — at over Mach 5.

“It’s the second time we have shown a scramjet can ignite and give positive acceleration,” Mr. Shaffer said. “That is a huge deal. That means we are now starting to understand hypersonics.”

The next step is for weapons engineers to make the system affordable, and Mr. Shaffer urged engineers to tackle the problem.

Another hypersonic weapon on the Pentagon’s drawing board is the HTV-2, or Hypersonic Technology Vehicle, that is boosted by a missile — like the Chinese WU-14 — and then maneuvers and glides to its target at very high speeds. - Washington Times.



RATTLE & HUM: "A Loud Boom Sound... Like They Throwed A Bomb" - Mysterious Booms Worry Residents In Osceola And Polk Counties, Florida?!

March 23, 2014 - FLORIDA, UNITED STATES - It's the bump in the night that has Osceola County residents asking each other "Did you hear that?"


The mysterious booms have been heard in Kissimmee, St. Cloud and as far away as Haines City in Polk County.

We've gotten email after email, not to mention Facebook posts, from people who say they're hearing a boom around the same time every night. Not even the Osceola County Sheriff's Office has an answer.

"It was like a 'BOOM!' Then, the windows kinda shook," said Kissimmee resident Daryl Mercado.

"A loud BOOM sound...like they throwed a bomb," explained young AJ.

His mother, Lori Chezem, said, "Loud booms. It reminds me of when the space shuttle used to come in -- the Sonic Boom."

Kids and adults alike are talking about it. But what exactly is it?

Chezem is in St. Cloud and was one of the people who emailed us about these mysterious booms. We're also hearing from people in Kissimmee and even as far away as Haines City in Polk County.

Whatever it is, Valencia College student Daryl Mercado's story lines up with everything else we've been hearing. These booms start around 10 p.m. and they sound like thunder. Mercado said he's heard them over the past three weeks.

He was studying the second time it happened, but he grabbed his flashlight to see what it was.

"I don't hear anything," Mercado said. "I don't hear any sirens. I don't hear any other booms, just silence. I kind of just scratched my head and went back inside."

Mercado isn't the only one puzzled by this. We reached out to the Osceola County Sheriff's Office, but a spokesperson said they don't have any answers either. "We took several calls and we are investigating," said spokesperson Twis Lizasuain.

So as their investigation continues, Daryl Mercado will continue to patrol his community, while neighbors try to go about life as normal.

This is a mystery we will continue to follow and keep you updated. - Bay News 9.



FUK-U-SHIMA: Radiation Forever - Former Japanese PM States That Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Still Remains Unresolved!

March 23, 2014 - JAPAN - Over three years after the Great East Japan Earthquake and the ensuing tsunami triggered multiple reactor meltdowns at the Fukushima nuclear power facility, former Japanese Prime Minister, Naoto Kan, claims that the Fukushima nuclear disaster still remains unresolved. Moreover, Kan criticizes the current Japanese government for restarting the idea of nuke energy




"It remains a fact that the accident is going on," said Kan, who was prime minister when disaster struck the Fukushima nuclear power plant three years ago. "Despite that, the Liberal Democratic Party is trying to reboot many nuclear power plants."

Speaking in front of an audience that included German lawmakers in Berlin, Kan said that currently, the plant is still plagued with contaminated water problems and nearly 140,000 evacuees from Fukushima Prefecture remain unable to go back to their homes.

Kan also made it clear that there has been no major disruption to Japanese society and the economy, even though a majority of Japan’s nuclear reactors have been mothballed.

Certainly, Kan’s statements are fair. But, on the one hand, Japan’s struggling economy has been hit hard by the need to import fossil fuels to replace the thermal energy production lost when Japan’s nuclear power plants were idled.

The trade deficit is so tough that Prime Minister Abe’s aggressive fiscal strategies have only pushed the economic improvement so far, as it has been pulled down by the country’s expenditures in importing fossil fuel.

Kan’s message was perceived well by the predominantly anti-nuclear audience.

Following the Fukushima disaster, Germany, for example,  had decided to shut down all of its nuclear reactors by the end of 2022.

Tokyo Electric Power Co said Wednesday it had suspended a radioactive water treatment system at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant due to deteriorating performance. The operator found Tuesday that one of the three lines in the cleanup system did not eliminate radioactive material sufficiently.

Tokyo Electric halted all three lines called the Advanced Liquid Processing System (ALPS), but it did not detect any defects in the other two, said Akitsuka Kobayashi, a company spokesman.


Photo: EPA

In February, the operator started the three ALPS lines simultaneously on a trial basis, but the system has encountered a series of problems.

If all the lines operated fully, about 750 tons of toxic water could be treated every day, Kobayashi said.

New easier-to-use radiation detectors will be available for residents of Japan's Fukushima Prefecture as of next month as radiation cleanup efforts continue in the wake of the March 2011 breakdown and subsequent meltdowns and wastewater leaks at the tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

Unlike the detectors residents use now to check cesium levels in food, home-grown farm produce or edible wild plants, the new ones will be faster operating and won't require cutting 500 grams of food into small pieces, prefecture officials said.

Each of the Fukushima municipalities will have at least one such detector installed at public facilities and available at no charge, for which a special budget has been set aside.

The new detectors are capable of detecting the lowest cesium levels of about 20 becquerels per kilogram. - VOR.



PLANETARY TREMORS: A Very Sharp Rise In Earthquakes Puts Oklahomans On Edge - 15 Temblors Recorded In Oklahoma Since Friday!

March 23, 2014 - OKLAHOMA, UNITED STATES -  The U.S. Geological Survey has recorded 15 earthquakes in Oklahoma since about 9:30 p.m. Friday, the largest being a magnitude 4.0.


Earthquakes in Oklahoma over the last seven days.
USGS map.

The 4.0 magnitude quake was recorded at 10:05 p.m. Friday about seven miles south of Langston. Three other quakes of magnitude 2.9, 3.0 and 3.3 were recorded Saturday afternoon in the Medford area.

The other quakes ranged from magnitude 2.4 to 2.9.

No injuries or damage are reported.

Geologists say earthquakes of magnitude 2.5 to 3.0 are generally the smallest felt by humans.

Scientists are studying why earthquake activity has increased in Oklahoma and whether it is connected to wastewater disposal related to oil and gas production -- but have found no answers.

The energy industry denies that the method is to blame for the increased seismic activity. - News 9.



KNOWING: Solar Storms And Our Electrical Grid - After Several Near Misses, Experts Warn The Next Carrington Event Will Plunge Us Back Into The Dark Ages!

March 23, 2014 - THE SUN & OUR ELECTRICAL GRID - Most people have absolutely no idea that the Earth barely missed being fried by a massive EMP burst from the sun in 2012, in 2013 and just last month.  If any of those storms would have directly hit us, the result would have been catastrophic. 




Electrical transformers would have burst into flames, power grids would have gone down and much of our technology would have been fried.  In essence, life as we know it would have ceased to exist – at least for a time.  These kinds of solar storms have hit the Earth many times before, and experts tell us that it is inevitable that it will happen again.  The most famous one happened in 1859, and was known as the Carrington Event.  But other than the telegraph, humanity had very little dependence on technology at the time.  If another Carrington Event happened today, it would be a complete and utter nightmare.  A study by Lloyd’s of London has concluded that it would have taken a $2,600,000,000,000 chunk out of the global economy, and it would take up to a decade to repair the damage.  Unfortunately, scientists insist that it is going to happen at some point.  The only question is when.


WATCH:  KNOWING - The Final Scenes.






Just this week, the near miss of 2012 is suddenly making headlines all over the globe.  The following is from a recent Reuters report
Fierce solar blasts that could have badly damaged electrical grids and disabled satellites in space narrowly missed Earth in 2012, U.S. researchers said on Wednesday.

The bursts would have wreaked havoc on the Earth’s magnetic field, matching the severity of the 1859 Carrington event, the largest solar magnetic storm ever reported on the planet. That blast knocked out the telegraph system across the United States, according to University of California, Berkeley research physicist Janet Luhmann.
The two bursts that the Reuters article is referring to happened very closely to one another, and the scientists that study these things say that it could have taken a decade to recover from such a catastrophe…
“Had [the latest storm] hit Earth, it probably would have been like the big one in 1859, but the effect today, with our modern technologies, would have been tremendous,” said Janet Luhmann, who is part of the STEREO (Solar Terrestrial Observatory) team and based at UC Berkeley’s Space Sciences Laboratory.

Luhmann and physicist Ying Liu of China’s State Key Laboratory of Space Weather led a team in analysing the magnetic storm, which was detected by NASA’s STEREO A spacecraft and published their results in Nature Communications.

“An extreme space weather storm – a solar superstorm – is a low-probability, high-consequence event that poses severe threats to critical infrastructures of the modern society,” warned Liu.

“The cost of an extreme space weather event, if it hits Earth, could reach trillions of dollars with a potential recovery time of 4-10 years. Therefore, it is paramount to the security and economic interest of the modern society to understand solar superstorms.”


WATCH: Massive coronal mass ejection event.




But this is not the only near miss that we have had in recent years.

In fact, there was another harrowing near miss in 2013
The earth barely missed taking a massive solar punch in the teeth two weeks ago, an “electromagnetic pulse” so big that it could have knocked out power, cars and iPhones throughout the United States.

Two EMP experts told Secrets that the EMP flashed through earth’s typical orbit around the sun about two weeks before the planet got there.

“The world escaped an EMP catastrophe,” said Henry Cooper, who led strategic arms negotiations with the Soviet Union under President Reagan, and who now heads High Frontier, a group pushing for missile defense.

“There had been a near miss about two weeks ago, a Carrington-class coronal mass ejection crossed the orbit of the Earth and basically just missed us,” said Peter Vincent Pry, who served on the Congressional EMP Threat Commission from 2001-2008.
And very few people have heard of it, but we had another one just last month
A huge magnetic filament shot out of the sun Monday, sending shockwaves racing at 1.7 million miles per hour and a brief roar of static through shortwave radios across the planet. And with a geomagnetic storm causing Northern Lights to dance across the Canadian border and into North America, the sun is clearly acting up.

According to a report on Spaceweather.com, Monday’s massive blast shot off the sun and into space, away from our planet, so it didn’t have the same effect on radio signals, power grids and communication satellites that an Earth-facing eruption would have.
So what is going to happen when one of these things finally hits us?
Well, basically it will be a technological Armageddon.  The following is a brief excerpt from one of my previous articles
An electromagnetic pulse can range from a minor inconvenience to a civilization-killing event.  It just depends on how powerful it is.  But in the worst case scenario, we could be facing a situation where our electrical grids have been fried, there is no heat for our homes, our computers don’t work, the Internet does not work, our cell phones do not work, there are no more banking records, nobody can use credit cards anymore, hospitals are unable to function, nobody can pump gas, and supermarkets cannot operate because there is no power and no refrigeration.  Basically, we would witness the complete and total collapse of the economy.  According to a government commission that looked into these things, approximately two-thirds of the U.S. population would die from starvation, disease and societal chaos within one year of a massive EMP attack.  It would be a disaster unlike anything we have ever seen before in U.S. history.
Without any electrical power, our society would descend into a state of chaos very rapidly.  The following is an excerpt from an article by Mac Slavo that explains some of the things that we would be likely to see in the immediate aftermath of such an event…
The first 24 – 48 hours after such an occurrence will lead to confusion among the general population as traditional news acquisition sources like television, radio and cell phone networks will be non-functional.

Within a matter of days, once people realize the power might not be coming back on and grocery store shelves start emptying, the entire system will begin to delve into chaos.

Within 30 days a mass die off will have begun as food supplies dwindle, looters and gangs turn to violent extremes, medicine can’t be restocked and water pump stations fail.
Today, our lives have been made very comfortable by technology.

But that technology could be stripped away from us in a single moment.

We should be thankful for the good things that we have, and we should not take for granted that we will always have them.

All it would take is one giant burst from the sun, and everything would change. - The Truth.



MAJOR ALERT: Huge Crisis At The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) - Radiation Leaks Force Transfer Of Nuclear Waste From New Mexico To Texas!

March 23, 2014 - TEXAS, UNITED STATES - The cause of the radiation leaks at the United States’ first nuclear waste repository are still under investigation, but in the meantime government officials have decided to move a stalled shipment of waste to a private dump in Texas.


AFP Photo / Barbara Sax

According to Reuters, the shipment of approximately 1,000 barrels of radioactive leftovers to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in Carlsbad, New Mexico, was put on hold when the facility began leaking radioactive material in February. On Thursday, the Department of Energy announced it would temporarily relocate those barrels to a rural site in western Texas.

Beginning in April, shipments from Los Alamos National Laboratory will commence as officials hope to remove the barrels – currently stored outside and potentially at risk of a wildfire – by the original June deadline. The waste includes items contaminated with low level radiation such as clothing, tools, soil, rags, and other items. These barrels will be held in Andrews County until the WIPP reopens.

"Removing waste from the mesa in Los Alamos before fire season is critical to ensure safety in the greater Los Alamos community," Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) said in a statement, according to the Associated Press. "I'm pleased we have a temporary solution that will ensure there will not be any significant disruption in cleanup efforts."

However, the move has not been greeted positively by Greg Mello of the watchdog Los Alamos Study Group, who dismissed the risk of wildfire to the AP and said shipping the barrels twice poses more of a danger.

Although this is the first time the WIPP has reported a leak since it was established in 1999, a series of incidents beginning in February have raised concerns regarding the plant’s safety. Before radiation levels rose at all, a salt truck caught fire at the facility, though it’s not believed to be related to the current predicament.

Still, when the WIPP may actually reopen remains unclear. Federal officials are still trying to determine exactly what caused the spike in radiation levels on February 14, but have pinpointed the location of the leak to one of the underground storage tunnels sitting about 600 meters underground. As reported by Reuters, at least 17 workers have been exposed to radiation.

Meanwhile, a second release of radiation was detected by air monitoring stations in the surrounding area, but officials have cautioned throughout this episode that the radiation does not pose a threat to public health.

"We are doing ongoing monitoring of air, soil, water and vegetation, and we are seeing nothing that indicates any health impacts to workers, the public, or the environment," said Energy Department spokesman Brad Bugger said to the Wall Street Journal.

A report on the leak is expected sometime in April, but in the meantime energy officials have been pushed to seek out alternative storage options in states like Idaho, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Washington, all of which ship waste to the WIPP. - RT.



GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: More Sinkholes Keep Popping Up Across The United States - Sinkhole In Marion County, West Virginia Getting Bigger; Truck Becomes Stuck In Sinkhole In Bronx, New York; And Sinkhole Appears Near Flint Fire Station, Michigan!

March 23, 2014 - UNITED STATES - The following stories are the latest reports of sinkholes in the United States over the last few days:

Sinkhole In Marion County, West Virginia Getting Bigger.


The giant sinkhole that opened up on Pleasant Valley Road near the gateway connector in Fairmont has gotten even worse.

It shut down the road on Thursday, and now crews aren't sure when it can open again. The problem has been lifted out of the hands of the Department of Highways and set into the Department of Environmental Protection.

When the DOH set to work repairing the 20-foot-deep hole, another old mine shaft started collapsing under their equipment and they were forced to stop. The hole on Friday was twice the size it was on Thursday, and it's stretching under the ground in all directions. DOH officials said they've had some problems with mine subsidence before, but never anything like this.


WATCH:
Massive sinkhole in Marion County.

                                    


Now the repairs are getting turned over to the DEP's Abandoned Mines office. Workers on site said they think the DEP will need to pump concrete into the mine to stabilize the ground, but they aren't sure how long that will take, or what the risk to neighboring buildings is. For now, the DOH will fence off the hole and hope people stay away.

Officials say the roadway will probably be closed for at least a week. - WDTV.



Truck Becomes Stuck In Sinkhole In Bronx, New York.


Crews are working to free a truck from a sinkhole in the Bronx.

The Boar's Head-brand truck got stuck in the sinkhole at Prospect Avenue and Kelly Street in Morrisania Thursday afternoon, according to the Department of Environmental Protection.

Crews are on the scene checking the stability of the rest of the street and the water main below the sinkhole.

No injuries have been reported. - NBC New York.



Sinkhole Appears Near Flint Fire Station, Michigan.
A sink hole is roped off with police tape at 716 West Pierson Road on Friday, March 21, 2014 in Flint.
Katie McLean | MLive.com

A sinkhole on Flint's north side in near a fire station has exposed gas lines but has not forced the closure of the station.

The sinkhole is west of the Flint fire station six at 716 W. Pierson Road, is adjacent to the entrance and exit for fire trucks, according to City Spokesman Jason Lorenz.

The sinkhole, however, is not stopping fire trucks from going in and out of the station.

"It's more of a hazard to the sidewalk," Lorenz said.

The city has barricaded the area because gas lines are exposed.

City officials haven't closed the station because Chief David Cox Jr. said there is no safety hazard to firefighters, Lorenz said. - MLive.



WAR DRUMS: "Being Able to Win Battles" - China's People's Liberation Army Orders Discussion Of Combat Readiness!

March 23, 2014 - CHINA - The People's Liberation Army's General Political Department has ordered the army and armed police across the nation to discuss combat readiness and effectiveness, the army's media outlet PLA Daily reported on Tuesday.


PLA delegates to the National People's COngress leave the Great Hall of the People in Beijing after
the closing of the second meeting of the 12th NPC, March 13. (Photo/Xinhua)

The PLA Daily said the across-the-board discussions are aimed at instilling the concept of combat readiness, adding that the discussion will be the army's prime political task this year.

The PLA General Political Department has required military officers to learn about modern military technology and IT systems and to analyze what it takes to win a modern war.

The discussions will entail weeding out military practices that run counter to the "combat-readiness standard" and studying the Communist Party of China Central Military Commission chairman Xi Jinping's remarks on national defense and army building, according to the PLA Daily.

Xi, who leads the country's reform on national defense and the armed forces, said that military reform should be guided by the objective of building a strong army at a key military reform meeting on Saturday.

With "being able to win battles" as the focus, Xi said at the meeting, the reform should target key problems in strengthening combat preparedness and weak links in honing combat effectiveness. - China Times.



GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Massive Land Subsidence In Ukraine - "Floating" Land And Falling Rocks Destroy Roads And Homes! [STUNNING PHOTOS+VIDEO]

March 23, 2014 - UKRAINE - A massive landslide took place in Illichivs’k district, Odessa of Ukraine. Several homes and roadways were severely damage from the land subsidence.

Here are several images and the video of the event:













WATCH: Massive land subsidence in Ukraine.





PLANETARY TREMORS: More Seismic Stress Along The Nazca Plate Region - Strong 6.0 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Off Chile's Northern Coast; The Latest Of At Least Seven Strong Quakes To Strike The Region In Recent Days! [MAPS+ESTIMATES]

March 23, 2014 - CHILE - A 6.0-magnitude earthquake struck off Chile's northwestern coast on Sunday, the latest of at least seven quakes to hit the region in recent days.


USGS earthquake location map.

About 25,000 homes south of the city of Iquique, on Chile's Pacific coast, suffered a 30-minute blackout, the national emergency office said, but there was no significant damage and no tsunami.

The undersea quake hit at 1820 GMT and had a depth of 35 kilometers (20 miles). Its epicenter was about 87 kilometers from Iquique, seismologists at the US Geological Survey (USGS) said.

USGS initially put the quake at 6.1-magnitude and at a depth of just six kilometers.

The Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center did not issue a tsunami alert.

That was followed by at least two moderate aftershocks, USGS said.


USGS earthquake shakemap intensity map.

USGS earthquake uncertainty ratio map.

USGS earthquake population exposure map.


Quakes are common off Chile's coast.

On March 16, a 6.7-magnitude earthquake jolted the same area, generating a small tsunami and prompting authorities to evacuate three cities.

In February 2010, central and southern Chile were hit by a powerful earthquake of 8.8-magnitude followed by a tsunami that devastated dozens of towns.

That quake left more than 500 dead and $30 billion in damage to infrastructure. - Global Post.



Seismotectonics of South America (Nazca Plate Region).
The South American arc extends over 7,000 km, from the Chilean margin triple junction offshore of southern Chile to its intersection with the Panama fracture zone, offshore of the southern coast of Panama in Central America. It marks the plate boundary between the subducting Nazca plate and the South America plate, where the oceanic crust and lithosphere of the Nazca plate begin their descent into the mantle beneath South America. The convergence associated with this subduction process is responsible for the uplift of the Andes Mountains, and for the active volcanic chain present along much of this deformation front. Relative to a fixed South America plate, the Nazca plate moves slightly north of eastwards at a rate varying from approximately 80 mm/yr in the south to approximately 65 mm/yr in the north. Although the rate of subduction varies little along the entire arc, there are complex changes in the geologic processes along the subduction zone that dramatically influence volcanic activity, crustal deformation, earthquake generation and occurrence all along the western edge of South America.

Most of the large earthquakes in South America are constrained to shallow depths of 0 to 70 km resulting from both crustal and interplate deformation. Crustal earthquakes result from deformation and mountain building in the overriding South America plate and generate earthquakes as deep as approximately 50 km. Interplate earthquakes occur due to slip along the dipping interface between the Nazca and the South American plates. Interplate earthquakes in this region are frequent and often large, and occur between the depths of approximately 10 and 60 km. Since 1900, numerous magnitude 8 or larger earthquakes have occurred on this subduction zone interface that were followed by devastating tsunamis, including the 1960 M9.5 earthquake in southern Chile, the largest instrumentally recorded earthquake in the world. Other notable shallow tsunami-generating earthquakes include the 1906 M8.5 earthquake near Esmeraldas, Ecuador, the 1922 M8.5 earthquake near Coquimbo, Chile, the 2001 M8.4 Arequipa, Peru earthquake, the 2007 M8.0 earthquake near Pisco, Peru, and the 2010 M8.8 Maule, Chile earthquake located just north of the 1960 event.


USGS plate tectonics for the region.

Large intermediate-depth earthquakes (those occurring between depths of approximately 70 and 300 km) are relatively limited in size and spatial extent in South America, and occur within the Nazca plate as a result of internal deformation within the subducting plate. These earthquakes generally cluster beneath northern Chile and southwestern Bolivia, and to a lesser extent beneath northern Peru and southern Ecuador, with depths between 110 and 130 km. Most of these earthquakes occur adjacent to the bend in the coastline between Peru and Chile. The most recent large intermediate-depth earthquake in this region was the 2005 M7.8 Tarapaca, Chile earthquake.

Earthquakes can also be generated to depths greater than 600 km as a result of continued internal deformation of the subducting Nazca plate. Deep-focus earthquakes in South America are not observed from a depth range of approximately 300 to 500 km. Instead, deep earthquakes in this region occur at depths of 500 to 650 km and are concentrated into two zones: one that runs beneath the Peru-Brazil border and another that extends from central Bolivia to central Argentina. These earthquakes generally do not exhibit large magnitudes. An exception to this was the 1994 Bolivian earthquake in northwestern Bolivia. This M8.2 earthquake occurred at a depth of 631 km, making it the largest deep-focus earthquake instrumentally recorded, and was felt widely throughout South and North America.

Subduction of the Nazca plate is geometrically complex and impacts the geology and seismicity of the western edge of South America. The intermediate-depth regions of the subducting Nazca plate can be segmented into five sections based on their angle of subduction beneath the South America plate. Three segments are characterized by steeply dipping subduction; the other two by near-horizontal subduction. The Nazca plate beneath northern Ecuador, southern Peru to northern Chile, and southern Chile descend into the mantle at angles of 25° to 30°. In contrast, the slab beneath southern Ecuador to central Peru, and under central Chile, is subducting at a shallow angle of approximately 10° or less. In these regions of “flat-slab” subduction, the Nazca plate moves horizontally for several hundred kilometers before continuing its descent into the mantle, and is shadowed by an extended zone of crustal seismicity in the overlying South America plate. Although the South America plate exhibits a chain of active volcanism resulting from the subduction and partial melting of the Nazca oceanic lithosphere along most of the arc, these regions of inferred shallow subduction correlate with an absence of volcanic activity. - USGS.