back to article CERN boffins see strange ... oh, wait, that's just New Zealand moving 2m north

New Zealand's been hit by two nearly-simultaneous earthquakes that left two people dead, isolated some towns, cut telecommunications links – and rattled the Large Hadron Collider near Geneva. The quake might also inconvenience infosec types visiting the country for one of the Southern Hemisphere's pre-eminent conferences, …

  1. hekla
    Holmes

    More a storm than a quake

    There is a storm of quakes in NZ usgs.gov is showing

    7.8

    6.5 * 2

    6.2 (this is the size that did in Christchurch)

    6.1

    5.8

    5.7

    5.4

    5.3

    5.2 * 7

    5.1 * 4

    5.0 * 2

    and smaller ones

    1. Jemma Silver badge

      Re: More a storm than a quake

      That's not unusual, and having a swarm of earthquakes is a whole lot better than having a single massive quake because the displacement will be less abrupt, therefore less violent.

      It also helps being on thicker sediments rather than rock (acts like a shock absorber, hence the Nepal earthquake doing so much damage in comparison) but you want them to be dry, if they aren't you get liquifaction - which is bad, or liquifactive slump which is worse (basically an upper area of resistive sediment slides over another on a thin layer of liquidity and whole villages and towns either migrate for anything up to several miles or slide into the nearest body of water.

      And for heaven's sake, if the tide suddenly goes out 3 miles, you do not want to give the little fishies mouth to mouth! Unless you want a Darwin Award.

      You can also track volcanic activity with earth tremors, as the magma rises up the vent system the triangulation of the (small) earth tremor depth will get shallower.

      Of course, it could just be a graboid...

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: More a storm than a quake

        "It also helps being on thicker sediments rather than rock"

        In general, no. The sediments end up springing and amplifying the motion, That's why Mexico city (old lake bed on 200m of sediment) and christchurch (old swamp on 100-300m of sediment) got hit so hard.

        One 6.4 quake (Dannevirke) I experienced had an epicentre on the other side of a mountain range. Because my location was on top of 400 metres of sediment the rolling and damage was a _lot_ worse than other locations closer in, sitting on rock.

      2. Kiwi Silver badge

        Re: More a storm than a quake

        That's not unusual, and having a swarm of earthquakes is a whole lot better than having a single massive quake because the displacement will be less abrupt, therefore less violent.

        I think the people of Christchurch would disagree.

        Hopefully those of us being hit by this batch won't face the same result.

    2. mathew42
      Alert

      Re: More a storm than a quake

      GeoNet have a list of recent quakes.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: More a storm than a quake

      I beg to differ. It was 6.4 at 12:51 Feb 22 2011.

      I was there and it was a brown trouser time!

    4. MonkeyCee Silver badge

      Re: More a storm than a quake

      As mentioned in other comments, depth+intensity is far more relevant than intensity alone. NZ has masses of small quakes, I wouldn't bother getting out of bed for anything under 30 seconds duration.

      The quakes that done for Christchurch where shallow, hence the much wrecking, quite close together (long enough to repair and have it wrecked again) and with liquefaction being the major destructive force.

      Even then, Christchurch wasn't totally fucked. That took government spending ~4 years deciding on what parts of the city to save (so your property could be fine, but be in a red zone, so no road or utility repairs), using 10+ year old property valuations for insurance, and getting in some of the dodgiest salvage companies out there to do the cleanup.

      A story I've heard repeated in several differing formats goes roughly like this. Everything in a salvaged building belongs to the salvage company, apart from intact safes. If there is a row of buildings, with one quake damaged building at the end, then the business owners are not allowed back in the other buildings until the damaged one is demolished. In the process of demolishing the damaged building, the neighboring one becomes "unstable". Repeat down the row. Note that the salvage companies would then strip the remaining stuff in the buildings *prior* to demolition. Known at least three companies and a dozen individuals that lost much of their professional equipment, only to see it for available for auction a month or so later. Mainly engineering type kit, specialist tools, prototypes etc.

      Also, if you drop a safe ~10 times from a couple of stories it usually is no longer intact.

      So after being (legally) stolen from, being offered 60% of your properties value (if you had insurance), and then watching the various government bodies fuck things up, much of Christchurch's talent went to the 'naki or to Oz.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: More a storm than a quake

        "A story I've heard repeated in several differing formats goes roughly like this. "

        Yup, that's par for the course in New Zealand. Corrupt behaviour comes in many forms - right up to the point of taking over Transparency International's NZ branch to get them to toe the party line.(*)

        New Zealand only classifies bribery as corruption. Cronyism, Influence peddling, the kind of institutionalised thieving described and "minor" stuff like Tax/Customs and Welfare department staff systematically selling people's personal data to private investigators(**) are all either "not illegal, therefore not corruption and therefore OK" or "Isolated cases of employee fraud". As a result Cronyism in particular is rife in every part of the country's structures.

        Of course ordinary kiwis will get quite nasty if you point out that the emperor has no clothes. They've been drinking the Kool Aid for decades.

        (*) 100% govt funded, 100% opaque, kicked out its transparency activists, attempted to pull the wool over eyes outside the country. The wheels are starting to fall off that particular little wagon - see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transparency_International#Internal_scandals - but TINZ is still trying to parrot the official NZ position for the most part (TIUK have distanced themselves from the NZ operation)

        (**) Yes really, from every office in the country. I had the misfortune to be peripherally involved in the discovery of it happening. There was a lot of retaliation against those who (accidentally) unearthed it.

      2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Re: More a storm than a quake

        Everything in a salvaged building belongs to the salvage company, apart from intact safes.

        I don't understand.

        Are there fierce "gun control" (aka population disarmement / victim training) laws in NZ?

        1. Kernel Silver badge

          Re: More a storm than a quake

          "Are there fierce "gun control" (aka population disarmement / victim training) laws in NZ?"

          More to do with the fact that the insurer has paid out on the loss, therefore what's left belongs to the insurer, not the original owner - this is fairly normal with insurance. The salvage companies may have either purchased the insured items off the insurer or be acting on the insurer's behalf to recover what they could. Either way, once your insurance claim has been accepted and paid out it's not your stuff anymore.

          Not that long ago someone from Christchurch was doing a moan on TV because they'd accepted the insurance money on some piece of artwork that had been destroyed, but they thought the insurer should also give it back to them as well once it have been recovered from under a pile of rocks.

      3. Kiwi Silver badge

        Re: More a storm than a quake

        So after being (legally) stolen from, being offered 60% of your properties value (if you had insurance), and then watching the various government bodies fuck things up, much of Christchurch's talent went to the 'naki or to Oz.

        Worse still. that twunt shon key is threatening to impose the same sort of crap on the poor people near Kaikoura. Haven't they had enough this past week? :(

    5. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: More a storm than a quake

      > 6.2 (this is the size that did in Christchurch)

      6.2 isn't particularly big in the NZ scheme of things. I've ridden motorcycles through the epicentre of a couple that size (thought my front wheel was coming off both times, but stayed upright)

      Christchurch was doubly unlucky in that most of its buildings had already been badly weakened by the 7.2 plus constant aftershocks AND that the 6.2 was extremely shallow plus directly under the city.

      It's worth watching "When a city falls"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIlxoV6uG3Q and "Three years on" - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aO0x5WRE8rY

      The fact that so many people died was down to pressure not to condemn buildings which should have had 20 foot exclusion zones around them (the busload of people that had the shopfronts fall on them(*)) and a couple of fraudulent engineers with fake qualifications signing off a building as safe when it wasn't (CTV building). The guy on the port hills who got killed by dislodged boulders was simply unlucky but a good half of the deaths in town were preventable.

      (*) I grew up in christchurch in the 1970s. Those 19th/early 20th century brick buildings were expected to be mashed at the first large quake (as was the Cathedral) and they were known to be badly weakened. Traffic should never have been allowed to be running close to them until fixed.

  2. bazza Silver badge

    CERN's data shows how wobbly the planet is, really. They've previously reported correlation between beam position and waves crashing ashore in the Bay of Biscay. So if nothing else they can give worthwhile surf reports for the Atlantic coast of Europe!

    1. Korev Silver badge
      Boffin

      They also found that the strange regular signals from their sensors turned out to be the local TGV railway line!

    2. Yes Me Silver badge

      Expensive seismograph

      Nothing new on the CERN side. One of the LHC's predecessors was affected by phases of the moon many years ago, and TGV trains passing by many km away are also detectable

      (electrically, not mechanically). It's expensive as seismographs go, though.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Expensive seismograph

        It's not a seismograph, it's a seismometer. Pet peeve.

  3. DougS Silver badge

    I'm glad they explained this at the end

    I was thinking that must have been one hell of a quake if Geneva was now located in New Zealand!

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Watched 'San Andreas' film last night

    Taught me that less than 7 is a fart in a paper bag and that the Rock can save you with helicopters, trucks, planes and boats.

    1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      Re: Watched 'San Andreas' film last night

      Not really - depth is very important, a smaller earthquake close to the surface can do a lot more damage than a stronger but deeper one.

    2. Teiwaz Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Watched 'San Andreas' film last night

      Played 'San Andreas' last night (GTA) - no relevance whatsoever there, sorry.

      - Did Rockstar purposefully code it so the moment your reached the other side of the map, a needy girlfriend at the far end would call you looking for a date? Happens in GTA 4 too

  5. jake Silver badge

    That's one hell of an ...

    ... expensive seismometer that CERN has invented!

    Opposite side of the Earth (Sonoma, CA, home of the Rogers Creek Fault, probable location of CA's next big one) sends best wishes to those affected.

    1. Paul Kinsler
      Happy

      Re: That's one hell of an expensive seismometer

      But now I'm just left wondering "where is the data from the proper (LIGO) seismometer?"

  6. Christian Berger Silver badge

    That sinoidal signal in the CERN data...

    ...is that because of the changing orientation of the device relative to the Aether? ;)

    1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      Re: That sinoidal signal in the CERN data...

      Nope, probably just a little local resonance.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. dukwon

      Re: That sinoidal signal in the CERN data...

      It's the tidal force of the moon on the Earth's crust

  7. Petalium
    Trollface

    CERN Shrugged

    CERN caused the earthquake. It is obvious that the CERN is a weapon and THEY* are testing it on a remotely located island…..

    * Insert your favorite value for THEY here

    1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Re: CERN Shrugged

      No, no, this is just a diversion from the real thing which is actually dfg6rfh7j$÷^££*... [carrier lost]

      1. Bob Wheeler

        Re: CERN Shrugged

        ... [carrier regained] whatever you do, don't blink ... [carrier lost]

  8. Florida1920 Silver badge
    Childcatcher

    Blame it on the Supermoon

    Trump will be building a blue-cheese wall around the moon and the Man In The Moon will pay for it.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Alien

      Re: Blame it on the Supermoon

      Maybe CERN can detect the tremors as fear-crazed passive-aggressive (or just plain aggressive) Soros Losers and SJW fight for the human rights of minorities / do some undocumented shopping / put US cities aflame?

  9. Howard Hanek Bronze badge
    Happy

    Period of Suspension Over

    ....and despite our best efforts and endless denials every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    On the plus side KIWICON is back on........

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019