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Scheduled Earthquakes

initiate earthquakes on predictable, known schedule
  [vote for,

Every hundred years of so, perhaps we should face the inevitable earthquakes on our own terms, by initiating them with properly placed explosives. The housing stock probably needs replacing that often anyway, and its as good an excuse for a global holiday in the country as any. Could be combined with Jubilee debt extinguishing - what you owed money on might not survive anyway. Better use for those old nuclear weapons than war, too.
briancady413, Mar 14 2011

Wells and quakes http://www.kmbz.com...-in-Arkansa/9392252
As mentioned in an annotation [Vernon, Mar 15 2011]

Tsar Bomba http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsar_Bomba
Stand well back ... [8th of 7, Mar 15 2011]


       Good idea. It's better to set off the nuclear explosions to cause the earthquake, than have the earthquake set off the nuclear explosions.
rcarty, Mar 14 2011

       If we could actually initiate earthquakes, we'd do it before the fault pressure actually built up to destructive levels.
MechE, Mar 14 2011

       What's this "we" ? You might, but we certainly wouldn't ...
8th of 7, Mar 14 2011

       This (or something like it) has been proposed in many science fiction stories, in some cases to mitigate large earthquakes by releasing little bits every now and then, in other cases to fuse the tectonic plates permanently to stop them shifting altogether. Sorry I don't have any references or links.
neutrinos_shadow, Mar 14 2011

       Another way to precipitate controlled earthqaukes might be to pump lubricant into the fault. I vaguely recall that being proposed for California.   

       The objection was, I think, that it would only really be a good idea if you started doing it right after all or most of the stress had been relieved (which might not happen even after a really big earthquake). Otherwise, you might produce an earthquake which was no smaller -- but was a whole lot sooner -- than the one you were trying to prevent.   

       Which might also apply to precipitating earthquakes with explosions.
mouseposture, Mar 14 2011

       Years and years ago I read that small quakes have been triggered by wells tapping deep groundwater. ALSO, it was indicated that if water was injected into the deep ground, that could trigger quakes, too.   

       So right then and there I came up with the idea of drilling deep wells all along a fault line, and deliberately pumping water out, then back down, to sort-of-constantly "lubricate" the fault line, allowing constant small quakes to take place (meaning that no large quakes would occur).   

       The problem is that when you START doing this, you could trigger a big quake, and then get sued. Alas. There are plenty of idiots who think it is better to have a magnitude-9 later than a magnitude-7 today.   

       Logically, though, the time to start is right after a major quake happens, start drilling those wells!
Vernon, Mar 15 2011

       The scale of those earthquake causing things (plate tectonics) is immensely larger than anything man can hope to fabricate.
neelandan, Mar 15 2011

       The scale of a 25 ton block is immensly larger than anything a man can hope to lift. Yet stonehenge still got built.   

       The trick is not the brute application of force, but knowing where and how to apply a much more limited amount. Which we don't yet, admittedly.
MechE, Mar 15 2011

       //Better use for those old nuclear weapons//   

       Lex Luthor beat you to it.
ldischler, Mar 15 2011

       // immensely larger than anything man can hope to fabricate //   

       There is no theoretical upper limit to the yield of a fusion weapon.
8th of 7, Mar 15 2011

       According to The Web, a magnitude 9 earthquake releases something like 2 billion gigajoules of energy, or equivalent of 500 million tons of TNT, or 2 million Hiroshima bombs. Of course, we have much better bombs nowadays.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 15 2011

       In the 1960's the USSR developed a (max yield) 100 Megatonne fusion weapon, which was air-portable; so just five of those would be the same as your 'quake.   

       Such large weapons are not now considered useful, either strategically or tactically, but the technology to build them still exists.
8th of 7, Mar 15 2011

MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 15 2011


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