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Monday, June 23, 2014

Cool Antipodes Tool and Earthquakes in Alaska and New Zealand

     Today two high Moment Magnitude Scale* earthquakes in Alaska (8.0)

              and New Zealand (7.0)

sent me looking for a tool to see if the two quakes were antipodal (on the other side of the earth) to/from each other. This site is quite fun and useful:

                ANTIPODAL TOOL

     What would you guess is antipodal to each location? Have a look. I was a bit surprised.

       The New Zealand quake is described in this USGS link :


         And the Alaskan earthquake here:


        Both areas are tectonically quite active. I currently have a friend in both locations so have been paying particular attention to the tsunami warnings in the Aleutian Islands.

         Discussion of antipodal earthquakes is mostly anecdotal but this scientific paper looks at antipodal earthquakes as a way of determining that the earth's core is anisotropic:


          *Here's a link to our earlier Richter Scale vs Moment Magnitude Scale discussion (if you need a review):

            Moment Magnitude Scale vs. Richter Scale

           And a bonus photograph of spectacular orthorhombic cornetite crystals: (take a close look at the color and crystal shape of this secondary copper mineral):

            Any thoughts on Antipodal Earthquakes? Cornetite? 

Whole lotta quaking' going on,

(Word Woman)

Antipodal Map (in case the tool isn't working):

Beach time at Medano Creek in The Great Sand Dunes, CO. And reading is fundamental...




  1. Posting a few hours early today. May it not rattle you ;-).

  2. And on a different topic: plumage and song in tanagers from the Cornell Ornithology Site (study released 6-18-14):


  3. 1. How about a little help with terminology? PKIKP vs PKIIKP, etc? Looks like it has to do with the path of the seismic waves through the mantle and core, but I was having trouble following the argument.

    2. Cornetite looks like a pomegranate chip cookie. Sounds tasty.

    3. Seems silly to me that birds weren't thought to be able to have colorful plumage and complex song. I mean, if you can fly and sing, dressing up nice doesn't seem that much of a stretch.

  4. SS,

    Wasn’t Antipodes a tragedy by Sophocles?

    Your bonus orthorhombic cornetite crystals photo reminds me of a generously raisined piece of raisin toast I had for breakfast this morning. (jan, your pomegranate (or should that be pomegranite chip cookie sounds tastier!)

    I tried downloading the cool antipode tool but can’t make it work (bad computer). I typed in my city, then just my state, and clicked on the blue “Find the other side of the world!” but nothing happened. I plan to keep working to make it work, though.

    But I think it would also be cool too to have an older-school, more hands-on version of this compiter-app antipodal tool.

    I envision a translucent globe, the size of a beach ball, with two diameter-length transparent rods (one connecting the north and south pole, the other connecting two antipodal points on the equator) intersecting at the sphere’s center. Aim a laser pointer from your hometown, or wherever, through the globe’s center (the rods’ intersection) and see where it exits on the other side.

    Or you could just poke long needles though one of those toy spongy globes as if it were a voodoo doll!


  5. 1. Great question. It is not clearly defined in the article. Hope this helps:


    The conventional notation is ascribed to seismic waves on the basis of their travel times from their earthquake sources. Letters are used to designate the type of wave along the different portions of its travel path: P and S refer to P-waves and S-waves that do not travel through the Earth's core; K and I refer to P-waves only, which travel through the core and inner core respectively. For example, the wave PKIKP travels from the surface, through the mantle to the outer core, into the inner core, and then back to the surface; a PKIIKP wave is a P wave reflected from the inside of the inner-core boundary. So it is useful to have data from antipodal earthquakes to delineate the inside of the inner-core boundary. Clearer than mud? Molten earth?

    2. Can't believe you passed up the opportunity to riff on pomegranite chip cookie, jan. ;-)

    3. I agree. Where do these ideas originate anyway?!

    4. On a different front, just learned about Cloacina, Roman goddess of plumbing, which, of course, ties to the cloaca in birds and dinosaurs, the single exit point for both urine and feces.

    Flying around to lots of different topics this week.

    Update: several 6.9 and above aftershocks in Alaska today.

    1. Here's the correct link to the seismic discussion chapter. It's good and long but if you are short on time, read the intro then skip to where the color illustrations begin near the end:

    2. Yeah, how did I miss that pomegranite opportunity?

      Anyway, you should never confuse cornetite with a pomegranate cookie. You could break a tooth, and need a dentist, who would be in no mood to help if British Airways had just flown him to Grenada instead of Granada. Which, of course, shares an etymology with the pomegranate (and the hand grenade, which should be left off all flights, regardless of destination).

    3. Yes, the Grenada/Grenada-Tomato/Tomata mix-up involving the dentist was a bit disconcerting.

      Pomegranate or pomegranite sounds so tempting: "a several-celled reddish berry that is about the size of an orange with a thick leathery skin and many seeds with pulpy crimson arils of tart flavor." I did not realize grenades were named for their likeness to pomegranates.

      And here I am at Camp Granada (or ought I be at Camp Grenada?)

      Perfect tie-in to Spain being antipodal to New Zealand! Thanks, jan.

    4. Also, magic pentagranate ;-):

  6. Lego,

    Here's another tool you might try:

    I also added an antipodal map to the post above.

    I like your idea for non-computer versions also. Knitting needles would work well.


  7. Cloacina was also the goddess of sexual intercourse in marriage, which reminds me of the old joke about the three engineers who were discussing the nature of God....

    1. I think I know where this is headed. . .Are you going to tell us anyway? ;-)

    2. Well, the mechanical engineer says, consider the human heart. Who but an ME could design a pump so small and efficient and smooth and reliable, pumping billions of times in a lifetime? God must be a mechanical engineer.

      But, says the electrical engineer, think about the human brain? Billions of electrically active elements in a massively parallel computer producing such intelligence -- God must be an EE.

      But what about the human genitourinary system, says the civil engineer? Who else is gonna run a waste treatment facility right through the middle of a recreation area?

    3. Well-engineered, jan. Thanks for sharing.

  8. So much fun science, so little time:

    "What happens when you get a group of testate amoebae together, after they’ve been filmed in a Smith professor’s lab, and “interview” the microbial actors? It turns out that they’re prepared to reveal quite a bit about themselves. What follows is Insight’s look at the ultimate microbiology research subject:"

  9. The caudate nucleus, writing, and creativity:

    Lots of questions. . .

    1. That picture of a subject in an fMRI scanner, on his back, writing below his waist with a non-ferromagnetic pen on what looks like an 18th Century writing desk brings to mind the old analogy that word processor is to words as food processor is to veggies.

      I'd much rather see the video, if there were one, that illustrated Mary Roach's "Bonk: the Curious Coupling of Science and Sex", specifically the chapter, ""What's Going On In There? The diverting world of coital imaging":

      Though two will lie down, the bed is a single. It is a hospital bed, but more enticing than most. The bottom sheet is crisp and smoothed, and the bedclothes have been turned down invitingly, at an angle. Two sets of towels and hospital johnnies are stacked neatly at the foot. The effect is not unlike that of the convict's last meal: a weak bid for normalcy and decency in what will shortly be a highly abnormal and, to some people's minds, indecent scenario.

      For the first time ever—after-hours and behind locked doors in an exam room in the Diagnostic Testing Unit of London's Heart Hospital—a scientist is attempting to capture three-dimensional moving-picture (or "4-D," time being the fourth dimension) ultrasound footage of human genitalia in the act of sexual congress. Jing Deng, a senior lecturer in medical physics at University College, London, Medical School, has made his name developing a new technique for viewing anatomical structures in motion. ...

      In [a recent] paper, Deng mentioned the possibility of one day soon capturing an ultrasound sequence of real-time two-party human coitus. Though the first few scans would be dry runs to see if the technique works and whether it reveals anything new about coital biomechanics, Deng envisions the scan as a potentially useful diagnostic tool—for instance, in teasing apart the possible causes of dyspareunia (painful intercourse).
      I sent Dr. Deng an email asking permission to come to London to observe the first scan. He wrote back immediately.

      Dear Ms. Roach, Many thanks for your interest in our research. You are welcome to interview me in London. ... However, to arrange a new in-action would be very difficult, mainly due to the difficulty in recruiting volunteers. If your organization is able to recruit brave couple(s) for an intimate (but noninvasive) study, I would be happy to arrange and perform one.

      My organization gave some thought to this. What couple would do this? More direly, who wanted to pay the three or four thousand dollars it would cost to fly them both to London and put them up in a nice hotel? My organization balked. It called its husband. "You know how you were saying you haven't been to Europe in twenty-five years?" ...

  10. I just knocked off The Old Man and the Sea without being spotted. Do you think I'll stay out of trouble if I tackle Braden next?

  11. Yes, I'd say M. Braden was made for the beach. Surprised the main character isn't named Sandy. Reminds me of a NC Outer Banks summer beach house we rented called "Star Fish on the Beach." Enjoy, Paul.

  12. And I hope you are at the beach (the real one)!