Earthquake Prediction

Ken Ring Quake PredictionsI’m puzzled. On this page, I think Ken Ring predicts that on March the 19th, plus or minus one day, there will be an increased chance of magnitude 5+ earthquakes worldwide. I say that “I think”, because he also predicts that on the 20th of March there will be an increased risk of magnitude 7+ earthquakes. So does that mean where they cross over we add them up? Magnitude 12+? Or do they cancel each other out?

Let’s give Ken the benefit of the doubt and assume he means that there’ll be heaps of global quakes over magnitude 5 (ish) on the 19th (ish), and heaps of global quakes over magnitude 7 (ish) on the 20th (ish).

So taking the 19th (plus or minus one day*) just which of these 170-odd global quakes between the 18th and 20th of March 2011 does Ken mean? There’s a lot of quakes there, and I can’t really discern the pattern that Ken is pointing out.

Maybe a graph will help?


Nah, that’s just not helping either. I know my Excel graphing skills suck, but I’m struggling to work out the pattern Ken is pointing out. He says nothing about the 14th thru 18th of March, but to my mind I just can’t see any difference between those dates and the 19th and 20th. If anything, the maximum global earthquake intensity is trending down on those days?

Perhaps Ken Ring is talking out of his arse? Surely not?

Source for quake data: USGS (USGS doesn’t provide quakes below mag 2.5).

*GMT or NZDT? The questions just keep coming.


  1. LOL!
    Predicting earthquakes in the Canterbury region is a no-brainer at the moment. They happen every day, up to and including quakes of 5 magnitude on the 20th.

    According to Paul Nicolls of Canterbury Uni’s tracker, there were 9 today, up to 3.2M.

    Total of over 5500 since the september event, 710 since Feb22.

    70 of those have been over 4M

    It’s like saying it will probably rain in Auckland in an average week.

  2. If we’re talking about global quakes, prediction of a 5 is completely useless:

    There has been only one day this year that there *hasn’t* been a 5 according to the PDE-Q dataset: the 28th of Feb.

    Last year, only 4 days in the entire year didn’t have a mag 5 or greater quake somewhere in the world.

    Interestingly, he has 19th of Feb listed as high probability, when it only had a single quake on the entire planet:

    Can we give up on this nonsense now?

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