*Earth Shakes

Earthquakes and volcanic activity are worrying if you live near them, but overall should we be worried?

Every now and then the Earth needs to have a good shake to re-align itself and keep itself steady. It’s like a dog shaking itself after a swim, shaking off the surplus water and settling its fur back into place. As the Earth rotates within a field of gravitational pushes and pulls between its neighbouring bodies in the solar system, sometimes it just needs to have a good shake to maintain its equilibrium and stability. Recently we have observed unusual alignments between our planets, the moon, the sun and the centre of the galaxy – and we can see the dramatic effect that is having on the sun. The stresses and pressures in the molten rock under the Earth’s crust have to vent too and the volcanoes are perfect valves to let off steam. Humans do the same!

Reports tell us that the axis on which the Earth turns and the polarities of its magnetic field are changing, as it does regularly over cycles of many hundreds or thousands of years and of course we, as inhabitants of this planet, will feel it. We, like the flees on a dog’s back, get a good shake up now and then. It can feel disturbing but things normally settle down again. What we notice most is the damage these shake-ups cause, when buildings and roads break up and collapse – but the Earth cannot stop its natural shakes for us – we, as individuals can just hang on.

It is interesting to note how the very ancient stone structures around the world have managed to survive over eons of time, but their structural design seems to have been well thought out. The stones of megalithic monuments were built with joints that could move, or with spaces to allow movement, or in a geometric shape that kept it stable (pyramids for example). Our buildings are tightly cemented together, which crack and break under stress, and steel girders that cannot flex. The newest designs for large buildings in earthquake zones are now incorporating a kind of shock-absorbing system in their foundations.

To watch the activity around the world, visit the Earthquake and Volcano sites below.

Earthquakes – ‘World Earthquakes’

Volcanoes – ‘Volcano Discovery’

Grateful thanks to my Chief Research Assistant – Joni Gardner

Published in: on March 22, 2012 at 11:46 am  Leave a Comment  
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