Maps of Japan may need to be rather redrawn, following the massive 8.9 magnitude earthquake that shook the nation and triggered a powerful tsunami that roared up to 10 kilometres inland. While it devastated the local area, it also believed to have had an effect on the globe as a whole.
Dr. Daniel McNamara, a seismologist with the U. S. Geological Survey, says that the disaster left a huge rupture in the sea floor, 217-miles long and 50 miles wide. He affirms it also altered Japan's coast between 13 to 8 feet, along a 300 mile stretch, though he was quick to say that much of the coast most didn't move as far.
At the Japan Trench, the Pacific plate then slipped underneath Japan, producing violent tremors and sending a tsunami ten meters high, slamming into the eastern coast. Satoko Oki, of the University of Tokyo's Earthquake Research Institute, said the massive quake was created by a rupture near the boundary between the Pacific and North American tectonic plates.
According to Japanese seismologists, earthquakes of this magnitude are only seen once in every thousand years off the coast of Japan.
McNamara affirms the way in which the quake actually lowered the elevation of the country's terrain, to be more troublesome than coastal movement. He says that parts of the terrain will permanently stay below sea-level. "You see cities still underwater; the reason is subsidence. The land actually dropped, so when the tsunami came in, it's just staying. "
Experts now say that the huge shake, produced by movement in the tectonic plates deep underwater, besides thrusting the earth off its axis point by at least 8 centimeters.
Canadian geologists claim that the ‘very, very tiny’ changes won't be noticeable for centuries. “It's going to make minute changes to the length of a day. It could make very, very tiny changes to the tilt of the earth, which affects the seasons, but these outcomes are so small, it'd take very precise satellite navigation to pick it. "
Besides the many conflicting figures, a movement in the Earth's axis wouldn't be obvious. The 8.8-magnitude earthquake in Chile last year, which also reportedly moved the planet's axis slightly, only resulted in shortening the day by 1.26 microseconds. (A microsecond is one-millionth of a second. )
McNamara quickly dismissed any link that what occurred in Japan “is not connected in any way to that climate change. " Maybe when the Shinmoedake volcano suddenly leapt back into life, sending a 3000 metre high plume of smoke into the air, after a 52 year old sleep, it was a sign of things to come?
Ms Oki warned that the residents of Tokyo should not consider they are safe and should still be prepared for a large quake hitting the city.