Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Impact of Crustal Displacement Part 1

One comment asked if there would be any problems for people not living in costal, earthquake, or volcanic areas. Consider this. If the Earth's crust makes a sudden, jerking shift in any direction, for any reason, of a few degrees longitude or latitude, virtually every structure ever built will collapse. Some, will probably remain standing - such as the Great Pyramids in Egypt and Mexico - simply because of their weight and footprint. But nothing built even to the most extreme earthquake standards of modern construction will withstand such instantaneous torsion.

Another point is that every stress point on the Earth's surface will let loose as tectonic plates adjust to the sudden strain put on their already stressed faults. And while dead volcanoes will remain mountains, everything else will suddenly find itself under a tremendous urge to erupt. Including those volcanoes that produce sheets of lava that spring upwards from under fragile cracks along thinner portions of the Earth's surface.

Consider this: If you lived in Denver and tonight there was a relatively minor 3 degree crustal shift, you would wake up at the same latitude as Casper, Wyoming, or Albuquerque, New Mexico. If there was a 15 degree displacement during the night, you would wake up about where the bottom of the Hudson Bay is today, or perhaps as far south as Mazatlan. In addition to the stress such a move would put on the mountains, volcanos, and tectonic fault zones, either every water source would freeze overnight from moving into the colder latitudes, or all the mountain snow and ice would melt as you woke up in the middle of Mexico.

As you ponder this, I'll be working up another post to talk about some of the other issues sure to arise from the upcoming catastrophe.


  1. This leads me to another question regarding the *sudden* continental shift. Will the gravitational forces applied to the Earth be sudden, or as we travel up through the central galactic plane, will the effects be gradual? Does it matter, or will the maximum force be applied at a single moment which causes the shift/destruction. I'm reminded of that text in physics class of pulling steel being like pulling Silly Putty. If you do it fast, it snaps, but if you do it slow, it (steel and silly putty alike) stretch like soft taffy.

  2. ANother question (having just watched "The Universe" on Discovery Channel about the moon. Any chance the pressure of this event might throw the moon out of orbit?

  3. It's doubtful the moon will be tossed out of orbit. But the shift of the crust could be significant, and sudden. As noted in early 2010, there have been several record setting earthquakes around the world, some in locals, such as Eastern Turkey, not normally experiencing such severe ground-shaking.