Thread: Japanese earthquake effect: axis of rotation or figure axis?

1. Japanese earthquake effect: axis of rotation or figure axis?

I have read many news reports that state that the recent Japanese earthquake moved the "earth's axis" by several inches. As someone at the mercy of the "experts", I did some research and it seems that the axis that moved is the "figure axis", not the "axis of rotation". Indeed, I then saw an article in the NY Times that explained this also. But then I heard a rep from Lamont-Doherty on the radio state that the "earth's axis" moved as a result of the earthquake, without any qualification. Sigh.

So, which axis actually moved? And was this deduced from observations or from theoretical calculations?

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j.gardavsky (03-17-2011)

3. Welcome to the forums.

It probably moved the figure axis which in turn would affect how fast the Earth moves around its axis of rotation. If it moved the axis of rotation I think that would be felt world wide.

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bosky (03-18-2011),ozzmozizz (03-17-2011)

5. Originally Posted by bosky
I have read many news reports that state that the recent Japanese earthquake moved the "earth's axis" by several inches. As someone at the mercy of the "experts", I did some research and it seems that the axis that moved is the "figure axis", not the "axis of rotation". Indeed, I then saw an article in the NY Times that explained this also. But then I heard a rep from Lamont-Doherty on the radio state that the "earth's axis" moved as a result of the earthquake, without any qualification. Sigh.

So, which axis actually moved? And was this deduced from observations or from theoretical calculations?
Hello Bosky,

I have heard about it in the media, but this is not for sure, you know. Someone has reported, the Earth got rotating faster by 1 microsecond, but not telling us, if per hour, or per year, or per millenium.

I would highly acknowledge any geophysical analysis of that deadly earthquake.

Best

JG

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bosky (03-18-2011)

7. Originally Posted by pederv
Welcome to the forums.

It probably moved the figure axis which in turn would affect how fast the Earth moves around its axis of rotation. If it moved the axis of rotation I think that would be felt world wide.
i so agree, i mean theres been lots of earthquakes in the past and i don t think it makes the axis move, if if did trust me we would be in for a ride.

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bosky (03-18-2011)

9. As I understand it, it's per day, right?

[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HW9tTJ2RkGA]YouTube - Michio Kaku Explains The Earth Axis Shift Caused By Chilean Earthquake[/ame] I found this to be a good explanation. Although it doesn't really answer the original thread question.

Edit:
Maybe this helps?
http://www.nightfall-project.com/3/p...arthquake.html
http://gulfofmexicooilspillblog.com/...th-axis-shift/
Last edited by Simona; 03-17-2011 at 08:34 PM.

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bosky (03-18-2011),j.gardavsky (03-17-2011)

11. Originally Posted by Simona
As I understand it, it's per day, right?

YouTube - Michio Kaku Explains The Earth Axis Shift Caused By Chilean Earthquake I found this to be a good explanation. Although it doesn't really answer the original thread question.

Edit:
Maybe this helps?
Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Blog Japan Quake Tsunami Earth Axis Shift | Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Blog
i found this too
The Times Leader Online - Princeton, Kentucky

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bosky (03-18-2011)

13. Thanks Simona,

well, we will be living faster.

Best

JG

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bosky (03-18-2011)

15. Originally Posted by pederv
Welcome to the forums.

It probably moved the figure axis which in turn would affect how fast the Earth moves around its axis of rotation. If it moved the axis of rotation I think that would be felt world wide.
Thanks.

Yeah, it did seem that it would be weird to move the axis of rotation relative to the surface of the earth, but then I thought that maybe it moved the position of the axis relative to the celestial sphere, with some kind of impact on things like precession or nutation? This article from National Geographic seems to clarify what happened (if it is accurate!), including impacting the "wobble" of the axis of rotation (sorry, as a newby, I can't post URL's):

news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/03/110316-japan-earthquake-shortened-days-earth-axis-spin-nasa-science (Japan Earthquake Shortened Days, Increased Earth's Wobble)

16. Simona, Thanks for the links (as a newby, I couldn't quote your post, because of the URLs, sorry). The second article seems to contradict the first, in that it says the axis of rotation moved, and the first says this can't be moved by terrestrial events. I guess I'm still not sure if the experts are saying that the location of the axis of rotation relative to the surface of the earth moved, or not!

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