Japan Earthquake Waves Affect Antarctic

An earthquake measuring 9 on the Richter scale that shook Japan (11 / 3) produces a very strong seismic waves. The flow of ice in the south polar region (Antarctica) underwent a change.

Is Jake Walter of the University of California, Santa Cruz, along with his colleagues who discovered the phenomenon. They both since 2007 to monitor the movement of glacier ice remotely from California by using the GPS in the field station on the ice shelf.

When being observed on Sunday (14 / 3), they see the Whillans ice stream in West Antarctica became faster as much as two times a day on the events of a shift that lasted 30 minutes. They were immediately aware of events before the shift happens more quickly than usual.

Further analysis of the events shows, the events of the first shift more quickly than usual, it happened right when the surface seismic waves from earthquakes that occurred in the Japanese hit Antarctica. It also causes the Whillans ice stream shift of about one meter.

Large earthquakes is often generate seismic waves that continue to walk around the earth before finally weakening. "The earthquake that occurred last year Chile had a similar impact on the Whillans ice stream,"Walter told New Scientist.

Whillans ice stream is a channel of ice from the West Antarctic Ice Shelf (West Antarctic Ice Sheet) to Padang Ice Ross (Ross Ice Shelf). In normal times the glacier was moving at a speed of about one meter per day. However, when a shift event occurs, these glaciers can move nearly half a meter at a time. Sudden shift is closely related to flow and strong enough to generate seismic waves that can be recorded by observation stations in Antarctica and the Dry Valley of Antarctica.