Seismologists have long feared that “BIG” earthquakes might trigger other “BIG” earthquakes (a view that warms the cockles of catastrophist’s hearts who immediately connected global warming with this event). However, a March 2011 study published in Nature Geoscience finds this is highly unlikely. Since reliable records began back in the '60s, there has been no correlation of this sort. Rather, “BIG” earthquakes trigger “small” earthquakes, which relieve plate tectonic pressures building up elsewhere in the world. An interesting and reassuring finding -- Bad things don’t have to happen in concert! -- which suggests that at some point in the future (when our ability to work with nature is much greater than it is today) geo-engineers might select regions remote from population centers and trigger large quakes directly, relieving pressure on zones where damages would be more costly.
Too human-centric? Not really. Earthquakes are disastrous for nature as well as man, but only we will ever be able to do anything about such tragedies. Given man’s creative abilities (CEI and ARI just celebrated Human Achievement Hour this past weekend), we’ll be able to take on this responsibility at some future date. Unless, of course, the Blame Humanity First types prevail. Our duty is to ensure that they don’t!