Monday, March 23, 2015

PLAGUES & PESTILENCES: Liberia Reports First Ebola Infection In Weeks - New Case Concerns Officials! UPDATE: Measles Replaces Ebola As Deadly Epidemic In Liberia - Outbreak Could Infect HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS!

March 23, 2015 - LIBERIA
- A patient in Liberia has tested positive for the Ebola virus, health officials said Friday, more than two weeks after the last known case in the country had been discharged from the hospital.

The news deflated optimism that Liberia, one of the three West African countries hit by the Ebola epidemic that has killed more than 10,000 people since it began a year ago, would soon be officially declared free of the virus.

The patient, a 44-year-old woman from the Caldwell area near Monrovia, the capital, first developed symptoms around March 15, said Dr. Moses Massaquoi, leader of the Clinton Health Access Initiative in Liberia and national case manager of the Ebola response.

Health officials said it was unclear how the woman, a food seller, had been infected. She had not been on a monitoring list for possible exposure and she said she had not traveled outside Liberia. The Information Ministry issued a statement saying “initial suspicion is that it may be the result of possible sexual intercourse with an Ebola survivor.”

While that is only speculative, researchers have found evidence that Ebola may persist in semen for up to three months after recovery, and abstinence is recommended.

In part for this reason, the World Health Organization intends to release new guidelines for when an Ebola epidemic ends, a W.H.O. official said.

To be declared Ebola-free, countries must wait 42 days from when the last patient tests negative for a second time. The new guidelines would recommend “heightened surveillance” for an additional 90 days, to take into account the potential for sexual transmission and hidden transmission chains.

Two Liberian triage nurses employed by the International Rescue Committee, an American relief agency, recognized the patient’s symptoms when she arrived at Monrovia’s Redemption Hospital on Thursday, Liz Hamann, the agency’s project leader, said from Monrovia.

Acting on a well-rehearsed protocol, the nurses summoned a team from an adjacent Ebola isolation center run by Doctors Without Borders, who arrived in protective gear and took the patient for testing. The initial results came back positive on Friday. “We were all a little blindsided,” Ms. Hamann said.

Dr. David Nabarro, the United Nations secretary general’s special envoy on Ebola, was informed of the new case while traveling in Italy. He expressed disappointment but not surprise.

Liberians lay wreaths in memory of those cremated due to the deadly Ebola virus in Disco Hill, Margibi County, Liberia, earlier this month.
Ahmed Jallanzo/EPA/Landov Add caption

“We will have unfortunately some periods in which our hopes are dashed at this stage in the outbreak,” he said in a telephone interview. “That’s just the way it is. That’s why we’re going to have to keep going without any kind of letup until the very end.”

New cases have declined sharply since last fall, when hundreds were becoming infected every week in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. Liberia has made the most progress.

On March 5, what was thought to have been Liberia’s last patient was discharged, a celebratory moment.“We knew something like this could possibly happen, so we have all the necessary setup in place to address it,” Dr. Massaquoi said. Still, he said, “today has not been a good day for us.”

Liberia’s comeback has been considered a model of community organizing, which raised public awareness of the risks of transmission through physical contact and unsafe burials. Dr. Bruce Aylward, the World Health Organization’s top Ebola official, described the nurses who first suspected the new Liberia case as heroes.

“They may have protected the whole country by finding the needle in the haystack,” he said in a phone interview. “It was because they were searching that haystack for the needle.” - NY Times.

Measles replaces Ebola as deadly epidemic in Liberia

In this file photo, a child covers his face as he looks at a man suspected of suffering from the Ebola virus.
Experts say a new measles outbreak could be more deadly. Photo: Abbas Dulleh/AP

The people of Monrovia's Peace Island ghetto, refugees of civil war who found themselves suddenly overwhelmed and outmanoeuvred by the deadly Ebola epidemic, are used to life under siege.

Yet with Liberia emerging from the worst outbreak in history a year to the day since Ebola was first identified in west Africa, the slum-dwellers of Liberia's capital city are facing an even deadlier threat - the measles virus.

Experts say Liberia and its neighbours Guinea and Sierra Leone are ripe for an outbreak that could infect hundreds of thousands, dwarfing the carnage wrought by Ebola.

Death once again stalks impoverished communities like Peace Island, a cramped spit of land surrounded by swamp where 30,000 people sought refuge behind the abandoned Ministry of Defence after Liberia's 1989-2003 civil wars.

By mid-March, coastal Liberia is already mercilessly hot and healthcare workers sweat as they pass through the slum in a mini-truck, calling out to mothers via a loudspeaker to bring out their babies.

"I am happy to have the opportunity to bring my child for the measles vaccine because in this community children are dying," Marie Bassa says after climbing down from the vehicle with her nine-month-old baby.

The government said on Friday a woman in Monrovia had tested positive for Ebola, but the case was the first in the country for more than a month and officials said they were not concerned that it would lead to a wider outbreak.

Despite the setback, Liberia is considered to be well on the road to recovery from an outbreak that brought the country to its knees, claiming more than 4000 of the 10,000 lives lost across west Africa.

One consequence of the crisis has been a dramatic drop in measles vaccinations, with overburdened hospitals unable to keep up, leaving millions of children potentially at risk, experts suggest.

Medical aid agency Doctors Without Borders - known by its French initials MSF - believes that of Monrovia's myriad slums, Peace Island faces the greatest risk.

"We did a survey and we found out that measles is becoming a serious threat to the Peace Island community... So we decided to launch this campaign in response," MSF vaccination supervisor Denis Besdevant said.

MSF's initial target is to get 700 children aged nine months to five years into its makeshift community vaccination centre, says Besdevant, adding that 250 infants were seen on the first day of the campaign last week.

Researchers estimate that measles immunisations in the region - typically ranging between 60 and 80 per cent of children - had fallen by 75 per cent because of the Ebola crisis.

As a result, 100,000 more children could get measles, in addition to the 127,000 cases already anticipated among children who have not been vaccinated in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

Researchers forecast that on top of the 7000 measles deaths that the countries would normally anticipate, up to 16,000 additional children could die from measles thanks to Ebola-related disruptions to healthcare.

Rita Kpepka said around 10 children in her part of the slum had recently died of measles, many wrongly thought to have been struck down by Ebola.

"First I was afraid. My friend encouraged me to come. She explained to me that it is the real measles vaccine they are giving here, not an Ebola vaccine," said Kpepka, who has a three-year-old."I am happy because my kid took the vaccine and she is OK." - SMH.

ICE AGE NOW: "February 2015 Was The Worst,... You're Living Through History Right Now,..." - Oldest Weather Observatory In The United States Breaks Seasonal Snowfall Record!

With just 1.8 inches of snow falling, Blue Hills Observatory & Science Center finally breaks the seasonal snowfall record.

- Now that spring has officially begun, Blue Hills Observatory & Science Center in Milton has finally broken its snowfall record.

With 1.8 inches falling Friday into Saturday, this year's snowfall surpassed the seasonal record set in 1996 with 145.8 inches, according to the Observatory.

Blue Hills is the oldest operating weather observatory in the nation, with observers tracking snowfall there since 1885.

Observatory chief Don McCasland says this winter will be a subject of folklore.

"They'll say, 'Oh, you know, February 2015 was the worst. The only one almost as bad was 1978,'" he said.

WBUR visited Blue Hills last week as they were waiting patiently for the final inch and spoke to chief observer Brian Fitzgerald:
"I've had a lot of people all around me say, 'You're living through history right now,' which is kind of a funny sentiment," Fitzgerald says. "But it makes you really think about what you're recording now, how you're going to look back at something like this. Is this the new normal? Will we ever see this again?"
McCasland says this season's 145.8 inches could continue climbing.

"We still have a long ways to go with more of March and all of April and even sometimes snow in May, so I was very confident that we would break the record for the season, but was not positive that it was going to happen by today." - WBUR.

FRINGE STARGATE: The Event Horizon - Scientists At CERN's Large Hadron Collider Hope To Make Contact With PARALLEL UNIVERSE In Days!

Collision course: Large Hadron Collider could discover parallel universe

March 23, 2015 - GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
- The staggeringly complex LHC ‘atom smasher’ at the CERN centre in Geneva, Switzerland, will be fired up to its highest energy levels ever in a bid to detect - or even create - miniature black holes.

If successful a completely new universe will be revealed – rewriting not only the physics books but the philosophy books too.

It is even possible that gravity from our own universe may ‘leak’ into this parallel universe, scientists at the LHC say.

The experiment is sure to inflame alarmist critics of the LHC, many of whom initially warned the high energy particle collider would spell the end of our universe with the creation a black hole of its own.

But so far Geneva remains intact and comfortably outside the event horizon.

Indeed the LHC has been spectacularly successful. First scientists proved the existence of the elusive Higgs boson ‘God particle’ - a key building block of the universe - and it is seemingly well on the way to nailing ‘dark matter’ - a previously undetectable theoretical possibility that is now thought to make up the majority of matter in the universe.

But next week’s experiment is considered to be a game changer.

The collider’s power has been doubled now, and it will have many times more power than any other comparable facility in the world, and with that power comes
many other unknown potentials. Scientists at CERN believe that next week’s experiment in search of the
highly illusive Higgs boson, aka the ‘God Particle’ - could be a game changer.

Mir Faizal, one of the three-strong team of physicists behind the experiment, said: “Just as many parallel sheets of paper, which are two dimensional objects [breadth and length] can exist in a third dimension [height], parallel universes can also exist in higher dimensions.

“We predict that gravity can leak into extra dimensions, and if it does, then miniature black holes can be produced at the LHC.

"Normally, when people think of the multiverse, they think of the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics, where every possibility is actualised.

"This cannot be tested and so it is philosophy and not science.

“This is not what we mean by parallel universes. What we mean is real universes in extra dimensions.

Atom art: An image of two protons smashed together at the LHC

“As gravity can flow out of our universe into the extra dimensions, such a model can be tested by the detection of mini black holes at the LHC.

“We have calculated the energy at which we expect to detect these mini black holes in ‘gravity's rainbow’ [a new scientific theory].

“If we do detect mini black holes at this energy, then we will know that both gravity's rainbow and extra dimensions are correct."

When the LHC is fired up the energy is measured in Tera electron volts – a TeV is 1,000,000,000,000, or one trillion, electron Volts

So far, the LHC has searched for mini black holes at energy levels below 5.3 TeV.

But the latest study says this is too low.

Instead, the model predicts that black holes may form at energy levels of at least 9.5 TeV in six dimensions and 11.9 TeV in 10 dimensions. - Express.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: "Nature's Revenge" - Dead Sea Surrounded By OVER 3,000 SINKHOLES And Growing At Alarming Rate!

A sinkhole filled with water is seen on the southern shores of the Dead Sea. © Reuters

March 23, 2015 - DEAD SEA
- Hundreds of sinkholes are forming each year around the drying Dead Sea that could face being completely parched by 2050. Its basin shrinks by a meter per year due to severe water mismanagement.

"It's nature's revenge," Gidon Bromberg, the Israeli Director at EcoPeace Middle East, told ABC. EcoPeace unites environmental activists.

"These sinkholes are a direct result of the inappropriate mismanagement of water resources in the region," said Bromberg, who believes that the total number of sinkholes has grown to over 3,000. Just ten years ago roughly 1,000 sinkholes had been reported, according to Smithsonian magazine.

Environmental group warns thousands of chasms have developed in the area as salt lake continues to shrink. @TimesofIsrael

The Dead Sea, actually a lake, has existed in its present form, after splitting off from a larger water mass for the past 18,000 years. But since the 1950s Israel and Jordan have diverted the flow of the Jordan River, turning a once powerful flow into a trickle, full of sediment.

As a result, the Dead Sea is 800 million cubic meters short of water each year, and its level has fallen for 40 meters. As it recedes, it leaves behind salty deposits. While initially, these are firm, over the following years, the salt is dissolved, by rain, groundwater and river flows, creating a cavity underneath the ground.

© Ilan Shacham Moment/gettyimages

These cavities can collapse any time, creating deadly sinkholes. Several sinkholes can merge together, producing giant, gaping craters.

While no official statistics are kept about the deaths and injuries caused by them, there are hundreds of warning signs dotted around the edge of the water.

Last month Jordan and Israel signed a ground-breaking $900 million deal that will see a desalination plant built on the edge of the see, which will have water pumped into it via a canal from the Red Sea. Unfortunately, the costly project, approved by the World Bank is unlikely to significantly curb the deterioration, as it will only pump 100 million cubic meters of wastewater into the Dead Sea. - RT.

GLOBAL ECONOMIC MELTDOWN: Precursors To A Global Financial Collapse - Greece Has Now Become The Lynchpin That Could Unleash Economic Collapse, Domestic Martial Law And Global War!

March 23, 2015 - GREECE
- I wish I could download to your brain everything you need to know about the European Crisis unfolding right now. The possibility of the breakup of the European Union could be the spark that sets off the global debt implosion that leads to violent conflict across the globe.

The actions of Greece, it turns out, could set off a chain reaction that leads directly to a Wall Street panic and the "bail-in" seizure of your savings accounts at your favorite hometown bank. It could also radically destabilize eastern Europe, heightening the risk for conflict between Russia and western European nations (including NATO members like the United States).

To understand why this is, we first need to grasp the basics of European history. The average American, unfortunately, knows virtually nothing about European history. But that might be asking too much, since the average American also knows nothing about American history, either. Fortunately, this article is written for exceptional Americans who are far better informed than the average Joe.

Socialism keeps running out of other people's money

Greece is bankrupt. Like all socialist states, it has "run out of other people's money," and in this case the "other people" are primarily the German people. Modern-day Germany is the economic miracle of Europe, having risen out of the ashes of World War II, defeated and shamed, to reclaim its role as the single most powerful nation in Europe. What Germany once commanded with its military might, it now commands with its economic miracle machine.

The German people are smart, diligent, innovative and quality-minded. But they've grown weary of bailing out the miserably inefficient government spending of Greece and what they see as a "culture of incompetence and corruption" in that nation. (Can you blame them?) When Germany demanded Greece cut its government spending through austerity programs, the Greek people elected a radical, inexperienced new government into power that declared the austerity cuts to be implausible and refused to play ball with Europe's central bankers.

Right now, Germany and Greece are in a dangerous game of chicken, with Greece saying it won't repay its debt obligations to European banks because those very same central banks functioned as criminals that unfairly exploited the Greek economy through dishonest imperialist debt schemes. Yes, there's a long story here involving Goldman Sachs, mafia banksters and dastardly financial ploys that crippled Greece's economic future, but that's all too much for this short article.

A Greek exit could unravel a cascade of debt

At stake here is the future of the European Union. If Greece pulls out -- a scenario now called a "GRexit" -- most observers believe the European Union will crumble soon after. To call such an outcome catastrophic is a vast understatement. It could cause a massive global unwinding of debt-ridden nations and their banks, potentially leading to a cascading global debt collapse that would very quickly find its way to American shores.

First, as the collapse spread like a virus across Europe, capital would flee to the U.S., causing an unprecedented blowout skyrocketing of U.S. stocks. Soon after, the U.S. stock market would crash hard as even U.S. banks became insolvent due to their exposure to the cascade of European bank failures. (All the globalist banks are strongly intertwined at this point...)

But this isn't even the interesting part yet: Greece is now correctly asserting that Germany has never repaid its war debts to Greek central banks. During the war, the Nazi regime forced the Greek banks to loan it money (at gunpoint, the same way the CDC wants to force Americans to take vaccine shots). These loans accrued over many decades, never being repaid. Instead of repaying the debt, Germany's politicians have attempted to memory hole the issue, pretending that fundamental principles of debt and accounting don't apply wherever the political elite say they don't. But according to this extraordinary article in Der Spiegel, "The commission calculated the outstanding German "debt" to the Greek central bank and came to a total sum of $12.8 billion as of December 2014."

Germany, in other words, owes Greece $12.8 billion on a debt dating back to the era of Adolf Hitler. Greece is now demanding repayment of this debt as an implied condition of it staying in the European Union. $12.8 billion isn't pocket change. Not even for Germany. And the willingness of the German people to keep funneling money to Greece is rapidly eroding.

Beyond that, there's also the issue of a few hundred million dollars worth of gold stolen by the Third Reich. As Der Spiegel reports:

Karakousis spent five months reading 50,000 pages of original documents from the central bank's archives. It wasn't easy reading. The study calculates right down to the gram the amount of gold plundered from private households, especially those of Greek Jews: 7,358.0014 kilograms of pure gold with an equivalent value today of around [$250 million].

It seems the Greeks want their gold back... or at least a currency equivalent of all the gold that was stolen from them. And now this has become an issue with huge implications for the future of the world.

Why does any of this matter, you say?

A collapse of the European Union would catastrophically destabilize all of Europe

What most Americans don't realize is that Europeans have very long memories of crimes against their people. These memories are passed down from generation to generation and can't simply be greenwashed out of the history books.

The European Union was formed on the hope and assumption that people from an incredibly diverse array of cultural backgrounds might forgive the past and surrender to cultural homogenization as "Europeans." But the hope turned out to be false. The people of Greece in 2015 still remember the crimes of Nazi Germany from 1943, even long after they have been officially absorbed into the European Union. And now that memory may very well result in the shattering of the European Union itself.

If the European Union crumbles, Europe will see a wave of regional wars breaking out over so-called "borderlands" and strategic nations like Ukraine. The fall of the European Union, in fact, would likely embolden Russia to be even more assertive in the Ukraine as it attempts to defend itself from America's ever-encroaching military bases which now occupy most of Russia's border states. (Why did Putin put his country so darn close to all our military bases? Geesh...)

Russia, you see, must maintain strategic control over these border states in order to export its primary resource: energy. Germany, meanwhile, must maintain strong economic ties with wealthy nations that can afford to import Germany's high cost value added exports -- the backbone of the German economy. A shattering of the European Union would destabilize both Germany and Russia for these two reasons (exports of energy and exports of manufactured goods), reigniting the same sort of fears and insecurities that drove the German invasion of Russia in World War II. That invasion was a strategic move to occupy Stalingrad not for the city itself, but because the city was a gateway to the enormous energy and strategic resources of Mother Russia, which Hitler needed to fuel his thirsty war machine.

NATO and Germany are militarily weak

Today, Germany has no military to speak of. Russia, on the other hand, is re-emerging as a very powerful military force with considerable leverage throughout Western Europe due to its energy pipelines. NATO, meanwhile, exists in name only and is primarily backed by the threat of military force from America, a nation bogged down in endless (and pointless) military action in the Middle East.

While America was defusing roadside bombs in Afghanistan, Russia was busy occupying the "strategic high ground" of the North Pole, as described in this article by Dave Hodges. This places Russia in a position where it can credibly threaten all of western Europe and North America with nuclear strikes (if it ever comes to that).

Russia, too, is populated by strong, rugged, durable people who are used to surviving with little in the way of material goods. They can endure war far more readily than wealthy, pampered nations like America or the UK. As a matter of record, young Americans are now so obese that even the U.S. military must reject almost a quarter of all applicants due to excessive body weight.

Economic warfare will likely precede military warfare

On the economic side, Russia has joined forces with China to erect its own alternative to the SWIFT inter-bank money transfer system. China has been accumulating a massive amount of gold reserves to back its currency, while Russia has been selling off the U.S. dollar and bypassing western sanctions in creative ways by selling energy in exchange for physical gold.

The dollar itself is headed for a global collapse for the simple reason that it isn't backed by anything other than (dwindling) faith. President Nixon removed the gold backing of the dollar in 1971, and ever since, America has been headed toward a day of reckoning where the dollar would eventually collapse as all fiat currencies do. Faith in the dollar is eroding by the day as the Fed keeps printing more money, diluting the existing money supply and silently stealing wealth from those people foolish enough to still be holding dollars when the music stops (i.e. all U.S. wage earners and taxpayers). Fort Knox, meanwhile, isn't filled with gold but rather IOUs. Most of the physical gold has been quietly but diligently accumulated by China over the last two decades.

The stage is now set for a global economic war aimed at America and the dollar hegemony

I'm barely touching the highlights of the global dynamics at play here, but what's really taking shape is a global economic and military war, waged by China and Russia against the Western powers of the United States, NATO, the European Union and Germany in particular. Greece now plays the role of the lynchpin in all this, as its exit from the European Union could loosen the knot that unravels the empire of debt upon which western nations are now based. An economic implosion leads to systemic weakness which invites more aggressive economic warfare actions on the part of Russia and China.

If a combined economic action by Russia and China were to take place -- for example, China announcing a fire sale of U.S. debt while Russia cuts off energy supplies to western Europe -- the economic implications for Europe and America would be beyond catastrophic. They might be terminal. We would see the U.S. government, for example, instantly unable to sell any new debt to foreign nations. The only option is to print more money to finance the debt -- a form of economic suicide -- and with the loss of the dollar's global currency reserve status, this would lead very quickly to accelerating money debasement and price hyperinflation in consumer goods. Think Venezuela: price controls, biometric scanning requirements to purchase groceries. Armed guards at grocery stores. Food shortages, street riots, etc.

It wouldn't be long before the U.S. government would be forced to stop funding entitlement programs such as EBT cards and pensions. This would almost immediately lead to massive riots in the streets and the wholesale destruction of large cities such as St. Louis and Chicago. From here, it gets even uglier with declarations of Martial Law, the suspension of the Bill of Rights, and the military occupation of America's cities in order to maintain order.

The problem with all entitlement-based western nations (including America) is that sooner or later you run out of other people's money. When that day of reckoning comes, the population that has come to depend on entitlements for day-to-day existence finds itself abandoned by the very government that promised to take care of them. Chaos ensues.

This all explains why Germany and the United States are desperate to prevent the breakup of the European Union and the continued illusion of economic stability. As Germany is now discovering to its horror, the problem with debt is that sooner or later you have to repay it. But all the western governments of the world have accrued far more debt than they can ever repay, and the collapse of the European Union would savagely reveal those debts.

If there's one thing America, the UK and the European Union cannot handle right now, it's debt transparency. The day the truth about debt and spending becomes widely acknowledged, faith in the dollar collapses and the world nosedives into a tailspin. Watch Greece carefully, for your own future depends strongly on what happens there. - Natural News.

ICE AGE NOW: Mini-Ice Age 2015-2035 And The Global Food Crisis - China's Food Production Strategy For The New Grand Solar Minimum!

March 23, 2015 - CHINA
- China’s Food Production Strategy for the New Grand Solar Minimum. What is their Knowledge of Solar Minimums and Climate Change since trading for 2000+ years to faraway destinations? Do they know what the climate in Africa will change to this solar minimum and is why they are investing so heavily in N.Africa for future food production areas?

WATCH: China prepares for global food crisis.
3000 year sunspot record

Temperature record charts
(Holy Grail of Temperature Charts)

Silk Road Map
Zheng He Voyages
Other Chinese Voyagers
219 BC, Xu Fu
111 BCE, the delegates of Emperor Wu of Han explored Southeast Asia and India from the Gulf of Tonkin to make contact with central Asia states, the Silk Road of the Sea.
Yuan Dynasty Collapse final 40 years of the Yuan Dynasty era (1279–1368).
Ming Dynasty
Song Dynasty
Qing Dynasty
Mongol States https://historyofjapan.files.wordpres...

String of Pearls
Chinese Ghost Cities
African Mega Lakes
Chinese Investment in Africa

- Adapt 2030.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Very Strong 6.4 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Northern Chile - No Tsunami Warning! [TECTONIC SUMMARY + MAPS]

March 23, 2015 - CHILE
- A 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck northern Chile today, and there was no immediate word of any injuries or damage.

USGS earthquake location

The earthquake struck at 1:51 a.m. local time – at a depth of 75 miles – about 30 miles southeast of Putre, near Chile’s border with Bolivia, according to the United States Geological Survey.

USGS shakemap intensity

Chile is one of the world's most seismic countries and is prone to tsunamis because of the way the Nazca tectonic plate plunges beneath the South American plate, pushing the towering Andes cordillera ever higher. - ABC News.

Tectonic Summary - 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.

USGS plate tectonics for the region

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.

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, which was until recently the largest deep-focus earthquake instrumentally recorded (superseded in May 2013 by a M8.3 earthquake 610 km beneath the Sea of Okhotsk, Russia), 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.

More information on regional seismicity and tectonics