Friday, May 21, 2004

Moving Up In The World

Scientific studies have discovered that the melting of a ice sheet that stretches over the northern part of Canada is causing the Canadian land mass to rise higher than the United States. It's a see-saw effect. If you put weight down on one side, the other side rises. The ice was putting weight down on Canada, causing the U.S. land mass to be higher. Now that the ice is melting, the pressure is off the Canadian land mass.

This could mean earthquakes on the Eastern part of the U.S. where there are no fault lines or plate borders. My geological hazards professor at Buffalo State always said he knew there weren't any fault lines running underneath Western New York. However, his next comment that this meant New York State would never see a major earthquake seems bogus now. Note this seismic graph for the past decade. The orange spots are indications of earthquakes. The bigger the spot, the bigger the earthquake. The largest quake recorded in NYS was a 4.8 in Massena in 1944.

Quirk of note: if you look at the Great Lakes area of the map and note the area near Lake Erie and Lake Ontario where the green line goes through, they're essentialy saying that Rochester, Syracuse, and Niagara Falls (USA) are on the Canadian side, therefore moving up in the world. In other words, I'm screwed living down here in Jamestown.

3 comments:

Ryan said...
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Amy said...

That sucks! I thought that was at least one good thing about living in the northeast, but I guess not.

Anonymous said...

Now I'm confused, because years ago I learned (from a geologist) that NY, particulary WNY, had one of the biggest yet dormant faults running through it. Supposed worse than the San Adreas fault, except that it was quite inactive. Now, there's something to research.

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