Hi Earthquake followers. The second quarter report may come as a bit of a surprise to you who saw our first quarter report, which surely indicated our planet might just shake into pieces at any time!
For those of you who are new to these reports, the explanation of averages is just below.
About The USGS and RHS1 Averages:
The USGS statistical averages are averages compiled from 1990 to 2000. That is when global tracking was achieved and we have no way of knowing for sure how accurately those statistics represent numbers before that time. There are scientists who did tracking, but there were also many very volatile areas that aren’t populated and it was impossible to track before. From old records we can assume that there have been more recently, but there is no way to know for sure.
We also use an RHS1 average which is 3 year statistical average which was drawn from my three year quake report from 2006, 07, 08 that I will compare the quarterly statistics to, so we can see a more current trend. At the end of this year we will add this average to the three year average, making an average of 4 of 5 years since the middle of the current decade. If data can be retrieved for 2009, a year in which our site was being rebuilt from hacker/virus injection damage, we will add those in to make a current half decade statistical average.
The Current Statistics for the 2nd Quarter of 2010:
8 Magnitude and Stronger:
We had none during the second quarter. We had one in the first quarter. The USGS average is 1, if any, per year. The RHS1 average is two per year. We are holding steady at low average for these massive quakes.
7 Magnitude and Stronger:
We experienced 5 of these extreme quakes this quarter. We had 3 during the first quarter. The USGS average is 17 per year RHS1 average is 11 annually, a 35% drop from the USGS average.
With 8 of these quakes at 1/2 year, we are high average for USGS averages, and 68% over for our RHS1 3 year averages.
6 Magnitude and Stronger:
We experienced only 29 of these quakes in the second quarter but had a whopping 48 during the first quarter, which brings us to a total of 77 at the half year mark. The USGS average is 134 per year. RHS1 average is up 16% and from the USGS at 159 annual mag 6 quakes per year. We are currently running below for the RHS1 3 year average at 96%, and high for the USGS 10 year average, running at 114%. Either way we are close to normal but over or under by just a bit depending on whose average you are comparing.
5 Magnitude and Stronger:
We experienced only 285 of these strong shakers this quarter – but we had extremely high numbers the first quarter – 565 of them! So far for the year that brings us to 850 mag 5 quakes at the mid year point.
USGS average is 1319 per year. The RHS1 average is only 1275 per year. If we continued this rate for the rest of the year we would see 129% of the USGS average and 133% of the RHS1 3 year average – a whole third more than average!
Despite a completely calamitous beginning to this year, quake frequency has slowed to a more normal rate of frequency than we could have expected from our first quarter. Of course with half of the year still in store for us, anything is yet possible. We could see either record highs or lows yet – but if frequencies continue as they did this quarter we will be having a pretty unspectacular quake year. When talking about earthquakes, unspectacular is a very good thing!