Tsunami Earthquake Disaster Causes: Facts And Speculations

Is it reasonable to question possible alternative causes for the tsunami earthquake disaster?

Are you really so sure that earthquakes cannot be easily triggered by either planned or careless human action?

Types and locations of earthquakes induced by man - Click on the map to enlarge it - Source: Oilfield Review Summer 2000

If you are someone who loves to get news from TV, while getting some of the rest from a major newspaper, this article is not for you. Here you will only get pissed, frustrated and angry at me, as what is written here below shows how little we ask, question or even explore major issues to get some personal understanding and insight into whatever may interest us.

The facts and wild speculation you will find in this article will put your ability to stay cool to the test and to ask yourself some serious questions.

The most important of all being: do you have some hard data to prove things went actually differently?

This is not an attempt at proving anything but a good exercise at evaluating how open you are at considering things from angles that are not the ones offered to you by the mainstream media.

Can you momentarily suspend your assumptions and explore some alternative ways to understand what may have really caused this tragic event?


On December 26th two plates in the earth's crust shifted, tearing the sea floor for 1,000 kilometers north of Indonesia. This very rapidly created an undersea cliff, between 10 and 30 meters high. The shockwaves and displacement of water created waves through the ocean into the entire surrounding region.

What our planet is now experiencing is in many cases the simple repercussion of decades of environmental exploitation done by man. Lots of this exploitation circles around unique natural resources interests. In fact, it would be more accurate to say that much of it circles around oil.

As I have reported earlier, according to independent reporter Andrew Limburg writing for Independent Media TV, it would be worthwhile to ask ourselves some questions before discounting the Asian tsunami tragedy as a simple coincidence of uncontrollable earthly forces.

Andrew Limburg, who is not a scientist himself, has uncovered and pointed to interesting information and facts relating to the tsunami earthquake. His article has been pointing in particular to possible connections between the tsunami earthquake and deep-sea seismic testing for oil off the coast of Australia.

Most people assume the technology used for such type of deep-sea oil exploration has insufficient power to trigger such large scale geological events, discarding the need to go out to do their personal research, exploration and finding.

Too bad. They would have found some interesting things.

What in fact not many people know, is that just below the speculation layer valuable resources are available that are worth giving a good read. Some provide you with more detailed information about this sonar-like sound waves that are sent into the ocean floor at up to 40 km of depth. The rest focuses on the analysis of how much man-induced action on or underground can effectively facilitate if not altogether trigger true serious seismic activity (read earthquakes).

For most everyone getting that feeble, highly processed and refined news stream that TV provides it is impossible to have enough information to evaluate alternative scenarios or to even question what gets reported. The key enabler here in fact is the ability to access more information sources, directly and without filters. Direct access to multiple independent sources of information provides who accesses them with the real ability to evaluate, assess, explore and choose the explanation that best fits his goals.

While I am in no way suggesting a conspiracy or the glaring evidence for a man-generated disaster, here is some seriously unique speculation and some quite interesting and unexposed facts about how the tsunami earthquake could have had in pure principle nothing of the coincidence and everything of a millimetric plan or of a careless human overlook.

Wikipedia also reports:

"The earthquake came just three days after a magnitude 8.1 earthquake in a completely uninhabited region west of New Zealand's sub-Antarctic Auckland Islands, and north of Australia's Macquarie Island [8].

This would normally be unusual, since earthquakes of magnitude 8 or more typically occur only about once per year on average [9].

Seismologists have speculated about a possible connection between these two earthquakes, saying that the former one might have been a catalyst to the Indian Ocean earthquake, as the two quakes happened on opposite sides of the Indo-Australian tectonic plate."

Read the full original article:
Tsunami Earthquake: Tragedy or Oil Drilling Disaster?

And here is a summary on my take on the Limburg original story:

"On November 28th, one month ago, Reuters reported that during a 3 day span 169 whales and dolphins beached themselves in Tasmania, an island of the southern coast of mainland Australia and in New Zealand.

Whale Beachings in Tasmania, Australia and New Zealand on November 30th, 2004

The cause for these beachings is not known, but Bob Brown, a senator in the Australian parliament, said "sound bombing" or seismic tests of ocean floors to test for oil and gas had been carried out near the sites of the Tasmanian beachings recently.

According to Jim Cummings of the Acoustic Ecology Institute, seismic surveys utilizing airguns have been taking place in mineral-rich areas of the world’s oceans since 1968.

The impulses created by the release of air from arrays of up to 24 airguns create low frequency sound waves powerful enough to penetrate up to 40km below the seafloor. The “source level" of these sound waves is generally over 200dB (and often 230dB or more), roughly comparable to a sound of at least 140-170dB in air.

On December 24th there was a magnitude 8.1 earthquake more than 500 miles southeast of Tasmania near New Zealand, with a subsequent aftershock 6.1 a little later in the morning that same day.

On December 26th, the magnitude 9.0 earthquake struck at the intersection of the Australian tectonic plate and the Indian tectonic plate. This is the devastating tsunami tragedy that we have all heard about in the Indian Ocean.

On December 27th, 20 whales beached themselves 110 miles west of Hobart on the southern island state of Tasmania.

What is interesting about this is that the same place where the whale beachings have been taking place over the last 30 days is the same general area where the 8.1 Australian earthquake took place, and this is the same area where they are doing these seismic tests. Then 2 days after the Australian tectonic plate shifted, the 9.0 earthquake shook the coast of Indonesia.

A great deal of interest and seismic testing has been taking place in this area, as the government of Australia has given great tax breaks to encourage the oil exploration.


a) Some heavy speculation

Tsunami Explained
by Larry Chomstein

April 12, 2001. After the Indonesian government condemns Bush’s Iraq policy, The World Bank (at which George H. W. Bush once had a savings account) cancels a $300 million loan to Indonesia, destroying the tiny nation’s fragile economy and condemning millions to a slow death by starvation.
(Source: CNN)

October 30, 2001: In an act reminiscent of the Boston Tea Party, a group of romantic freedom fighters known as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) attack and sink an oil tanker off the coast of Sri Lanka. Millions of gallons of petrol are dumped into the sea. Enron CEO Jeff skilling resigns as stocks plummet 89%. Halliburton stock drops 67%. A federal investigation is launched into the financial activities of both companies.
(Source: CNN)

July 24, 2002: Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe meets with U.S. peeResident George W. Bush in Washington to apologize for the loss of the oil, and to seek his support in the eradication of the peaceloving Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

October 22, 2003. Bush visits Indonesia, home of the world’s largest Muslim population, under the guise of offering the nation education funding in return for support in his War on Terror. In secret, he strikes a deal with President Megawati to construct a pipeline from his oil rich country to refineries in Sri Lanka. In return, the World Bank would secure a loan for the developing country in the amount of $300 million. (Source: White House)

July 17, 2004. Halliburton Indonesia is awarded a three year contract to provide temperature setting technology for oil pipelines. (Source: Pipeline Magazine)

November 2, 2004: Prime Minister Wickremesinghe of Sri Lanka meets with Bush and consents to the plan, but worries that the peaceloving Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam might try to sabotage the pipeline. Bush assures him that the Tigers will cease to be a problem as soon as Sri Lanka endorses his unholy “War on Terror". (Source: WSWS)

November 5, 2004: The Sri Lankan Prime Minister issues gushing praise of Bush, declaring, “You have given hope to many countries in the world that are saddled with the menace of terrorism.” (Sources: ColomboPage, WSWS)

December 17, 2004: Indonesia, a wholly owned and operated subsidiary of Halliburton, Inc., receives a World Bank loan in the sum of $300 million. (Sources: International Herald Tribune, CCMEP)

Now all of dots are re-connected. Only one thing stands in his way of gaining complete control of South Asia’s oil - the Nicobar Islands.

If one draws a straight line from Indonesia to Sri Lanka, they’ll find it dissects the southernmost tip of the Nicobar Archipelago, specifically Great Nicobar Island.

India claims dominion of the Islands, yet the superior Chinese Navy has exerted influence on the surrounding waters for years.

Bush may be an imperialist aggressor bent on world domination, but he won’t bully someone who can fight back.

So in order for his pipe-dream to be fulfilled, he’d have to either build it around the Nicobars or move the entire island of Sumatra southwest 100 feet.

December 25, 2004. An earthquake measuring 9.0 on the Richter scale strikes deep in the Indian ocean, moving the entire island of Sumatra 100 feet southwest and sending tidal waves crashing into Indonesia and Sri Lanka.

continues here:::

Bush's Lust for Oil Claims 24,000 More Lives
December 26 2004
by Larry Chomstein

b) Some hard facts

"Seismic surveys utilize airguns to produce explosive impulses of sound directed toward the ocean bottom.

Echoes produced by these impulses are used to gather information on sub-surface geological features; this information is used by academic geologists and the oil and gas industry."

"The impulses created by the release of air from arrays of up to 24 airguns create low-frequency sound waves powerful enough to penetrate up to 40km below the seafloor.

The “source level” of these sound waves is generally over 200dB (and often 230dB or more), roughly comparable to a sound of at least 140-170dB in air.

These sound waves become less intense as they travel away from the airgun array, due to both scattering off of the seafloor and “acoustic spreading”, by which the total sound energy is spread out into a larger and larger area as it spreads in a spherical or cylindrical fashion.

The sound is generally falls to below 180dB at about 1km from the source; the reduction continues, but at a slower pace, as distance increases, leveling off at around 100dB at a distances of 40-50 km, and remaining audible for hundreds of kilometers (depending on background noise levels); many researchers have tales of acoustic studies being interrupted or even abandoned due to airgun sounds from distant surveys."

"... it is important to realize that all the research that has been done to date still offers only an extremely limited picture of the extent and impact of human noise in the oceans, ....

Research scientists certainly do their best with what they have to work with, but there is a widely recognized lack of solid data in nearly all aspects of ocean acoustics."

Source: Seismic Surveys: What We Don’t Know Can Hurt
Executive Summary
The Acoustic Ecology Institute

Download Full Report (30p): [DOWNLOAD (doc)]
Download Bibliography: [DOWNLOAD(doc)]
Download Executive Summary (5p): [DOWNLOAD (doc)]

A report by Jim Cummings, Acoustic Ecology Institute
Prepared for Greenpeace USA
November 2003


Lamont-Dougherty Earth Observatory - Website of a leading geology research center run by Columbia University. Includes information on airguns used for academic research.

Description of operations of Seismic Airguns - A detailed explanation of the physical operation of airguns, from the website of Robertson Research International, an oil and gas consulting firm.

Airgun noise technology is unknown to most people.

"It is difficult to track industrial survey plans, which are often considered trade secrets, and involve permitting from countries around the world.

Some countries have begun to take a harder look at airgun noise; during 2004, Mexico has rejected permits for both academic and industrial surveys, and Brazil is prohibiting surveys near a key marine reserve.

Still, worldwide awareness of the long-range acoustic effects of surveys is only beginning to develop."

Seismic Exploration and Drilling:
Surveys and Leases Being Planned for the Near Future

Oilfield Review Summer 2000 - Seismicity in the Oil Field
PDF version

Earthquakes can be triggered by human action

Scientists have observed that earthquakes can be triggered by human action.

Induced seismicity, or seismic activity caused directly by human involvement, has been detected as a result of water filling large surface reservoirs, development of mineral, geothermal and hydrocarbon resources, waste injection, underground nuclear explosions and large-scale construction projects.

It is important to understand the conditions under which seismicity may be induced so that these operations can be performed safely.

The notion that human activity can provoke earthquakes is not new.

In the 1870s, proposals for impounding water in man-made lakes across regions of southern California, USA, were rejected because of concerns that this might trigger earthquakes.

The hundreds of small earth-quakes detected immediately after the 1936
drilling of the Hoover Dam in Nevada and Arizona, USA, provided the first definite evidence of such an effect. Since then, more than 100 other cases have been reported around the world."

"In all these cases, the result of human interference was to change the state of stress in the surrounding volume of earth. If the stress change is big enough, it can cause an earthquake, either by fracturing the rock mass—in the case of mining or underground explosions—or by causing rock to slip along existing zones of weakness.


In many areas where the rock is not under large tectonic stresses, the seismic energy released during induced events is low—typically of magnitude 0 to 3—and not even felt on the earth’s surface.

However, if the rock mass is already under large tectonic stresses, the energy added by man’s endeavors can have a destabilizing influence.

Even minor actions can trigger strong seismicity."

Correlating Seismic Activity with Hydrocarbon Exploitation

It is always difficult to know whether seismicity is the result of human modifications in the region or if it is natural seismic activity related to tectonic processes; timing could be the key to knowing the difference.

In general, the answer might be obtained if a regional seismic network had been installed in advance of the hydrocarbon development, dam construction or mining operation. The seismic network could record a background level of natural seismicity and quantify its characteristics. If, after the beginning of human action, a significant change in seismicity character is recorded, it could reasonably be interpreted as a seismic reaction of the rock formation to man’s intervention.

Installation of seismic recording networks andassessment of background seismic activity are already common practice in regions where the level of natural seismicity is high. However, instable areas without a history of natural seismicity and where no sizeable earthquakes are expected, an advance seismic background study usually is not performed."

"The correlation between seismic activity andhydrocarbon exploitation means the two are related, but it does not indicate which one is the cause, which one is the effect, and how long it takes the cause to create the effect."

Exploiting Seismicity

Few will deny that there is a relationship between hydrocarbon recovery and seismic activity, but exactly how strong a relationship exists has yet to be determined. Furthermore, what can or should be done about it sparks another debate.

In regions of high tectonic potential energy, hydrocarbon production can cause severe increases in seismic activity and trigger strong earthquakes..."

Oilfield Review Summer 2000 - Seismicity in the Oil Field
PDF version
Google cache of the PDF

Vitaly V. Adushkin
Vladimir N. Rodionov
Sergey Turuntaev
Institute of Dynamics of Geospheres,
Russian Academy of Sciences
Moscow, Russia

Alexander E. Yudin
Ministry of Fuel and Energy of the Russian Federation
Moscow, Russia

Detailed References

Nikolaev NI: On the state of study of induced earthquakes, related with industrial activity. In: An influence of industrial activity on the seismic regime. - Moscow : Nauka, 1977 (in Russian).

Gupta H, Rastogi B: Dams and earthquakes. - New York : Elsevier Scientific Publishing, 1976.

Pasechnik IP: Earthquakes induced by underground nuclear explosions. In: An influence of industrial activity on the seismic regime. - Moscow : Nauka, 1977: 142-152 (in Russian).

Simpson DW: Triggered Earthquakes. Annu. Rev. Earth Planet Sci. 14 (1986): 21-42.

Nicholson C, Wesson RL: Earthquake hazard associated with deep well injection : a report to the US Environmental Protection Agency. US Geological Survey Bulletin 1951 (1990).

Milne WG, Berry MJ: Induced Seismicity in Canada. Engineering Geology 10 (1976): 219-226.

Grasso J-R: Mechanics of Seismic Instabilities Induced by the Recovery of Hydrocarbons. Pure Appl. Geophys. 139, no. 3/4 (1992): 507-534.2.

Bolt B: Earthquakes : a primer. - San Francisco : Freeman, 1978.3.

Guha SK, Patil DN: Large water-reservoir related induced seismicity. In Knoll P (ed): Induced Seismicity. - Rotterdam : Balkema, 1992: 243-266.4.

Evans DM: Man-made earthquakes in Denver. Geotimes 10, no. 9 (May-June 1966): 11-18.8.

Raleigh CB, Healy JH, Bredehoeft JD: An experiment in earthquake control at Rangely, Colorado. Science 191, no. 4233 (March 1976): 1230-1237.9.

Sadovsky MA, Kocharyan GG, Rodionov VN: On the mechanics of block rock massif. Report of the Academy of Sciences of USSR 302, no. 2 (1988): 193-197 (in Russian).

Rodionov VN, Sizov IA, Kocharyan GG: On the modeling of natural objects in geomechanics. In: Discrete properties of geophysical medium. - Moscow : Nauka, 1989: 14-18 (in Russian).

Believe nothing
merely because you have been told it
or because it is traditional
or because you yourself imagined it

Do not believe what your teacher tells you
merely out of respect for the teacher

But whatever, after due examination and analysis,
you find to be conducive to the good,
the benefit of all beings,
that doctrine believe and cling to
and take it as your guide.

Buddha (563?-483? BC),
[Siddhartha Gautama]
Indian mystic, founder of Buddhism

N.B.: On this article I am welcoming ONLY comments providing further factual references to the event and its possible causes. Thank you in advance for your critical and constructive contributions. Personal rants and opinionated commentary without any research or reference support will be deleted.


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