The TV miniseries Earthquake 10.5 is just airing in the UK. It is – bluntly – an unmitigated pile of shit. Interestingly if you search for it online, pretty much the first thing you get is a long page by earthquake experts explaining precisely why it’s total bunk:
Fiction: There can be a magnitude 10.5 earthquake
Fact: The magnitude of an earthquake is related to the length of the fault on which it occurs–the longer the fault, the larger the earthquake. In order to have a magnitude 10.5 earthquake you would have to have a fault that circles the Earth – no such fault exists.
Fiction: Thinking an earthquake is an aftershock because they couldn’t find an epicenter – all earthquakes have epicenters
Fact: Aftershocks ARE earthquakes!! The only difference is that they occur after a larger earthquake instead of by themselves.
Fiction: Nuclear explosions can “seal” faults
Fact: Nuclear explosions CANNOT seal faults. Earthquakes are part of a global tectonic process that generally occurs well beyond the influence or control of humans.
Additional Earthquake 10.5 fictions that are enough to drive you nuts:
- An earthquake creates dust clouds visible on satellite radar
- Using the term lateral skip
- Earthquakes can cause trucks to sink in dirt, long after the earthquake happened
- Scientists being able to successfully predict earthquakes over short time intervals
- Plates conjoin at 324 feet below the earth’s surface
- The magnitude of an earthquake in progress cannot decrease/stabilize
- Water draining into the faultline
- Fault opening at the ocean and water rushing up the fault
Now I know it’s churlish to expect entertainment to be completely accurate, but this is just a few things from a list of dozens! I’d like to think that people doing stuff like this had some grasp of what they were talking about, but evidently not…