Earthquakes on a grid?

Another interesting post over at Clare’s notes an unusual ‘grid pattern’ to earthquakes taking place near the Canary Islands and in Eastern Turkey recently.

“Surely this is unnatural” states Clare. And, yes, it certainly looks a bit odd. What could it be? Surely such a clean, delineated pattern must be the result of human interference?!

Well, to a degree, it is. The European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre website, from which the images of the grid-like pattern are taken, are rounding the longitude/latitude co-ordinates of every single recorded earthquake to 2 decimal points. As such, any swarm of quakes in the same area will appear to be evenly spaced from each other as the rounding effect pushes each quake onto the grid created from that mechanism.

The ‘gridding’ effect only becomes apparent when there’s a lot of earthquakes very close together, which allows for a zoom level high enough to allow it to become apparent, but, rest assured, every single earthquake on the EMSC gmap will appear on the intersection points of that grid. It’s impossible for them to not appear on those points!

Looking at it right now, you can see exactly the same effect is still taking place in the Canary Islands and Turkey. Here’s the snapshot of (at the time of writing) recent Canary Islands quakes, with the long/lat grid overlaid to illustrate what’s happening. (Edit: yes, I mislabelled the first longitude point – it shoud be 18.03W)…

Here’s another one, Turkey this time…

Now, as explained above, you need a pretty large number of quakes in a very small area for the grid to become obvious (you need to be able zoom in close enough for it to really jump out at you), and the only places where that kind of swarm is occurring at the moment is in the Canary Islands, and in Turkey, which have both already been fingered as ‘unnatural’. How about a series of four quakes in the North Atlantic, far from anywhere, and surely off the NWO’s radar? Are they on the grid…?

Of course they are.

Given the way the EMSC is plotting them, they have to be.

(Note: I’ve only drawn on the relevant long/lat grid lines here, as it was going to get too cluttered otherwise. This is a good example of how you need a decent cluster of quakes for the effect to show up in any obvious way. At this zoom level, the pattern is still there, but not so apparent.)

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2 thoughts on “Earthquakes on a grid?

  1. It is a common thread on places like Above Top Secret – has been for a couple of years….but I think it’s died off more recently as people realise why it happens.

    A few people have taken the trouble to post positions using 2 decimal places and also 4 decimal places such as the US Geological Survey uses, just to highlight the effect that can have – up to a couple of miles in some cases.

    • Yeah, saw a link from Clare’s to one of those ATP discussions this morning. Wish I’d found those examples first – would’ve save a few minutes of work capturing and adding grids to the images above! C’est la vie…

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