Posted by: drgeophysics | July 22, 2016

Temblor, like it or not, it is a thing.

The word temblor associated with reporting of earthquakes seems to be a thing, have you encountered it?  Temblor was also a Batgirl villain (in the Kid’s WB animated TV series), but that’s not what we’re talking about.

Need more details about the English language word “temblor” usage associated with earthquakes; please check this fascinating Word Routes contribution.

Don’t like the use of this word -> temblor?  Here is something you might enjoy reading.

Looking for a single-word definition of temblor?  This link has you covered.

Word detective jumps into temblor waters (be sure to read the comments), with an enjoyable read with this link.

When all else fails–check the Wiki page.  Even Sonicfrog got into this.

Hope you are enjoying the summer!



Sorry for the gap in posts!  Geophysics continues to be central to everything. Lately I’ve spent some time living in Berlin and continue working in the areas of induced seismicity and seismic monitoring.  I enjoyed Berlin, it is one of the world’s great cities, and Berlin reminded me somewhat of New York City in the 1980s.  What a place.

The USGS has released their hazard assessment for induced earthquakes in several key regions of the United States.  As usual they have excellent resources; check this URL:

The Open File Report (OFR) (there never seem to be enough TLAs, Three Letter Acronyms in the world I guess) can be found here:

Seismic hazard communication is important.  This web-based insurance estimation (?) tool is really unexpected and does not incorporate the new induced database (it uses the older USGS seismic hazard assessment for natural events), but you might find the presentation interesting:

The downturn in the energy industry has also focused my attention on longer term guesses at the energy framework globally over the next couple of decades.

Having experienced directly the downturn of the 1980’s I think that this latest crash was just as bad.  The energy industry trends in booms and busts, but this was somewhat extreme given the desire of a major energy player to preserve market share.  The price of oil has probably stabilized, although the shale gale (vast amounts of natural gas and gas liquids resulting from horizontally drilling, hydrofracturing, and more accurate geophysical characterization) will probably continue to decrease the natural gas prices through this year.  BP had a couple of excellent web-based events.  Their energy outlook through 2035 documents can be found here:

If you wish to jump directly to their download pages for the Energy economics, statistical review use this URL:

BP Magazine reduced this interesting outlook to 7 points at this URL:

On an unrelated topic I was shocked at the Brexit vote.  I’ll spare you the campy you tube videos about this, but honestly still cannot believe the outcome.   IHS and other groups have been trying to present and incorporate economic scenarios related to Brexit to energy professionals, but we are collectively off the map at this point.  There are so many questions that I was interested to note that CarbonBrief has summarized 94 unanswered questions related to energy policy and climate related to Brexit: Find their list here:

On an unrelated (dogs!) topic, I enjoyed this idea greatly:

The Atlantic article is charming imo; check it here:

Hope you are enjoying the summer.

Posted by: drgeophysics | July 9, 2015

More induced seismicity resources.

I hope you are enjoying the summer. Things are especially busy this summer for reasons unknown.

For those who might be living in a cave somewhere, the investigation of background variation in earthquake frequency related to produced water injection has become a very hot topic.   Some earlier posts covered this, but here is another one.

An excellent USGS reports about the subject, focused on Oklahoma, can be found here.

An easily understood overview regarding these events can be found here.

A USGS OpenFile report: Incorporating induced seismicity in the 2014 US National Seismic Hazard Model–Results of the 2014 workshop and sensitivity studies. Can be found here.

A series of presentations and other documents from an excellent induced seismicity workshop, coincident with a major winter weather event in Oklahoma (!), can be found here. 

An important Science article, by William Ellsworth, can be found here. Be sure to carefully review this and his excellent and accessible presentations that can easily be found on the web.

A Virginia Tech resource related to induced earthquakes can be found here.

The Kansas Geological Survey (an excellent organization), has induced seismicity related information that can be found here.

As earlier posted, but very useful and helpful, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory site discussing induced seismicity can be found here.

The induced seismicity wiki can be found here.

To prove that people are following this activity, take some time and read this popular press article about “Underground Weather”.

Predicting earthquakes–that should be easy eh?  IMO, if the appropriate tensor nature of the earth system,  multi-scale physics, heterogeneity, and anisotropy  are properly incorporated it should be a piece of cake.

Posted by: drgeophysics | April 20, 2015

Earthquake information on the web.

To help you find immediate information about earthquakes please find some sites I check routinely.

Map of seismographs in the US.

Earthquakes observed in the last two weeks (IRIS site).

Select a seismic station and view seismograph data for last 48 hours.

Determine the seismographs closest to your site using this handy table.  They using the Station name examine the earthquake records directly using their station name.  This is the tables of all sites, including the states located within.

Examine latest 24 hour vertical seismograph data (the up and down earth motion of the seismograph) for every Transportable array seismograph.

USGS 1 Day, Magnitude 2.5+ Worldwide earthquake list and data.

Earthquake instant notification service (computer and text messages from USGS).

USGS Earthquake related products and services.

USGS PAGER service.

GFZ (German) map of global seismicity.  Does not include smaller events in North America that are seen in the USGS and IRIS sites.

List of recent earthquakes from GFZ (German).

Does not include smaller events in North America that are seen in the USGS and IRIS sites.

Seismograph not close enough?  Need one closer?  How about working with IRIS and a local school to install one!

 That would give you a local seismograph right in your neighborhood and inspire kids to look at tiny wiggles; like true geophysicists!  What could possibly be more inspiring?
This link describes the atmospheric sensors useful in detecting air shocks.  Please note that there is another post on this site just looking at nuclear monitoring using atmospheric data.  The link below describes the hardware added to some seismographs to detect airshocks.

There is a lot of information out there a function of the faster than exponential technological change we live within.  Good luck!  Enjoy the spring.

Posted by: drgeophysics | March 31, 2015

Happy International Geologists Day 2015


I hope you have a pleasant International Geologists Day 2015.  This is celebrated on the first Sunday of April, or April 5th, 2015 this year.    You can also celebrate the date that this wonderful holiday was proclaimed in the USSR, March 31st, 1966.    Happy Geologists Day!

Posted by: drgeophysics | February 23, 2015

Geophysical (reflection seismic) and Well Log data available

new-1Does anyone still use “the net” any more when describing the Internet?  You can learn about the terminology here in a short piece that describes the difference between the Internet and WWW.

In my recent review of seismic and well logs I’ve been on the look out for reflection seismic and digital well log data.  I’ve been surprised to actually find some on the web.  Please note that there are excellent resources one can purchase on DVD from which research groups as CREWES from the SEG.  Personally I am grateful for such resources being shared.

In addition there are numerous sites on the web one can find decently documented datasets.  Some are listed below.

There are a variety of portals that provide well log (in .las format) and seismic data a few are listed below.

NL Olie-en Gasportaal  is excellent for wireline log datasets and located here.

OpendTect has an excellent “Share Seismic Data” site.  You can find this resource here.

The IODP (International Ocean Discovery Program” Log Database can be found here.

The IODP main site is located here.

I have personally found the seismic data much more challenging to actually locate.  The Marine Geoscience Data System for the IEDA can be found here.  Good luck.  Please feel free to post any other sites in the comments.

Posted by: drgeophysics | September 8, 2014

When in London–an informal list of cool things.

I enjoy London greatly.  When visiting you might consider the following places to visit.  These are listed in no particular order.

National Gallery :

Imperial war museum (London):

Royal Museums Greenwich (3 museums):

RAF museum (London):

Saint Paul’s (London): (Find the tomb of Nelson!)

Royal Geological Society (London):

(Interesting talk on September 10th, 2014: )

Abbey Road Studios (London): (

The John Snow (society:

Bletchley Park: (

Down House (

Enjoy!  Walk a lot.

Posted by: drgeophysics | July 30, 2014

Siberian craters–Explosive release of Methane.

In following the excellent reporting of the recently observed craters that have formed in Siberia, I am convinced that these were formed by explosive release of Methane gas.  If you have been following these reports, in my opinion, the best reporting has been in the Siberian Times.

The first report is here and includes excellent pictures.   I agree completely with the expert Andrey Plekhanov quoted in this first report.  Because of production activities in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Region, some 30 kilometers from the Bovanenkovo gas field, changes in this system as a result of gas production might be a possibility, although this is difficult to determine without more detailed information.  A youtube video of the site, collected by Russian scientists, can be seen here -> Siberian crater.

A second news report can be viewed here.

There is a sense in this article that methane clathrate might be related to this crater formation.  You can review methane clathrate definitions here.  A summary specific the oceans can be found here.  These should not be confused with cold seeps.  A scientific paper that describes explosive release of such clathrates, following the last ice age, is located here–this might be behind a fee-wall; just google until you find something similar, these terms will get you started.  An open source link to the abstract, including the authors contact information can be found at this Harvard University site.  Bottom line–the structures with respect to crater topology are identical with the Siberian craters.  Unsurprisingly these crater structures were hinted at in bathymetric charts from 1954 and more a more detailed translated report completed during the Soviet Union era.

The world’s largest crater like structures have been documented offshore of New Zealand and are described here.

All these observations lead to the question–how much Methane is being released by oceanic and land systems from geological partition of the earth system?  Here is a cool site showing work being completed in the East Siberian Arctic Ocean.  This link has an interesting plot of the atmospheric methane concentration.  There are several atmospheric methane gas spikes, these are very interesting to consider.  NASA methane monitoring is described in this press release.  Methane science is described here, along with budget cuts being enacted.   The NOAA Global Monitoring Division is described here.   The global surface measurements are well presented here, available in ArcGIS format also.  An interactive mapping tool is presented here.

Methane hydrates are commonly found in sub-oceanic settings.  A possible link with the Deepwater Horizon tragedy was proposed and is documented here.


Posted by: drgeophysics | July 7, 2014

Hope you are having a great summer–crazy busy.


U. S. Drought Monitor for California--most of the state is in D3-D4 drought conditions.

U. S. Drought Monitor for California–most of the state is in D3-D4 drought conditions.

Geophysics seems to be an important component to the answer for most of the energy problems of the world. This has been a very busy winter, spring and summer for me with four weeks of continuous travel just ending.  Two of these weeks included activities in and around Yellowstone National Park and the remainder in California.  In Yellowstone the snow pack and water conditions are favorable, it reminded me of the 1970’s with high rivers and a gradual melt of snow that would continue through July.

While in California I took an  in-depth tour of this fascinating facility–The Geysers in northern California.

Calpine runs the facility; the tour was really excellent.  Here is their corporate web site.

During the tour is was clear that the resource had been impacted by management decisions in the 1980’s (to rapidly increase production without managing formation pressures and conditions carefully).  This was one of the most interesting parts of the tour for me personally.   Through innovative use of grey-water some production was restored, while some permanently lost.

Geothermal technologies and resources are well described by this DOE link.

It was clear that the state of California is in desperate straits regarding drought conditions present throughout the entire state.   The closed record policy of California, with respect to water wells, is rather unique and causing some issues.  The Sacramento Bee article can be accessed here.   Emergency regulations were passed on July 2 and are described here.   It was surprisingly to see reservoirs so low that grass was growing in the bottom of these resources.   The Huff-post has an entire web portal for the California Drought that can be accessed at this link.   The USGS also has an excellent summary of resources related to the California Drought, including Webcams.  These data and resources can be accessed at this link.

As noted in an earlier blog the earth system has exceeded 400 ppm CO2 (just now we are at 401 ppm; but check the link to see what the atmospheric concentration is when you read this).  This CO2 level is simply terrible news.  A variety of feed-back mechanisms in the Gaia system are engaging.  Stay tuned for updates!  Enjoy the summer.  Stay safe.


“Granted that we face a world crisis which leaves us standing so often amid the surging murmur of life’s restless sea. But every crisis has both its dangers and its opportunities. It can spell either salvation or doom. In a dark confused world the kingdom of God may yet reign in the hearts of men.”  Martin Luther King

PBS has aired an excellent program “Hunting the Nightmare Bacteria”, which you can watch entirely at this URL.

Stop everything and watch this one hour program, then meditate on what you saw.  I was thinking about this for many hours following the program.  I mean, really thinking about what was presented;  It’s a complicated story.  The Good: The courage of the people involved is inspiring.  The Bad and The Ugly: The reaction of business and government is problematical.

Ignorance can extract a terrible price. The price on society has proven to be cumulative over the time period that ignorance and greed have been in charge of policy related to important topics such as this.

Living in a world where these dangerous bacteria are untreatable is not where you want to pitch your tent in “camp rest of your life”.  As a younger man I worked in some very remote, poor, and far away regions of the world.  I remember seeing people with diseases that could be treated in a first or second world country, but where deadly and untreatable, in the countries I was working.  This included seeing people with, well, it’s hard to think about even now, think of a horror film, but with real people.  In those places everyone dies, there is no hope.

You can learn much more by watching these other videos.  They begin in a very approachable format and become more complicated as you move down the list.  It is no surprise that this danger has been warned about since the development of the first true wonder drugs in the 1940’s.  As usual in the areas of public health the US is not well organized.  The response of Israel in 2007 to an outbreak mentioned in the PBS program is interesting.   I found it interesting the information missing in the PBS piece, especially the progression of superbugs through India and Pakistan and the strong response to superbugs mentioned in the second to last video link below.  These are all excellent, I hope you find time to watch them.

Be sure to talk with other people about this important topic.

Initial overview–Virginia Commonwealth University describes what super bugs are.  Brief and to the point.

Brain warm up– High school science teacher and LLNL scientist explain what is going on.  Free T-shirts!  What a great event, wish I could have attended.

Take is up a notch — American Society for Microbiology.  Drug resistant bacteria in the wild, source–Seagulls in Miami.

In my opinion : One of the best presentations about this important subject.  Two well known public health officials (neither from the US) describe what is happening with these superbugs and correct public health responses.  They also identify global dangers and concerns during their excellent discussion.  This is an excellent panel presentation.  Very understandable, includes interesting questions from the listening audience.

Final world–Dr. Stuart B. Levy, global treasure and someone who has actively warned about this danger for almost 40 years!  What a scientist.  In my own work I have talked with scientists who had the correct answers 40 or 50 years before anyone appreciated the questions, and am inspired by such individuals; this is a fascinating interview with Dr. Levy and well presented.

You can learn more at the Better Health ChannelWiki (of course),   CDCmore from the CDC,  and an excellent 2008 story from The New Yorker.

It amazes me that while various diseases that occur in Horses must be reported immediately to Health authorities, there is no such rules for national reporting of these dangerous superbugs.  This must be changed.

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