Since August of this year, state and federal specialists will start — under the supervision of the National Administration National Oceanic and Atmospheric USA (NOAA) — a laborious and time-consuming work: preparation of detailed maps of California coastline length of 1,200 miles. For the implementation of the project cost $ 3.3 million involving the newest equipment, aircraft, LiDAR (laser radar-infrared), etc. Images of these, according to project manager Doug George, are so clear and detailed that the new map will be possible to see some boulders.
Why should the federal and local authorities took it right now, not in the most successful for the "side" spending quality time? Officially, it is reported that the data collected will be used to monitor the level of the ocean, beach erosion and possible flooding.
Let's start with the erosion. The destruction of the shoreline in areas with soft or loose soil is permanent. It is best to know this rich owners of houses built close to the water. Owners of multi-million dollar estate in Malibu (including Pierce Brosnan, Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks) — the most prestigious and favorite Californians resort city — annually spend up to 60 thousand dollars on the barricades of the 70-kilogram bags of sand, which can easily lick wave and carried away into the ocean.
Not getting help from the authorities and concerned that their mansions facing a slow but steady destruction, homeowners have decided to go it alone — namely, to fence off their possessions from the harmful effects of tidal and wave walls up to 3 meters. In total, the protective wall will stretch for a mile. Its construction was started in the spring. As a building material used scattered along the beaches and underwater debris of rocks and large boulders.
Then it was about flood (often becoming landslides), which of course is directly related to global warming and the melting of glaciers, which teems with the north-west of California.
Global warming triggers rise in sea level, which is reflected in enhanced coastal erosion continents and in various anomalous phenomena in the ocean — from natural disasters to a mutation of its inhabitants and their migration to the things they would not climate zones.
There is such a project "Census of the World Ocean", conducted jointly by more than 70 countries, which has lasted for 10 years and ends this year. The project has identified a lot of these anomalies, including the emergence of previously unknown inhabitants of the oceans.
So, for example, about Alaska were recently discovered gigantic jellyfish and two-meter Humboldt squid ("Red Devil") appearing before only in the tropical latitudes of the Southern Hemisphere. And the California coast appeared giant exotic shellfish — oysters 23-centimeter (local variety is less than 6 cm). In the icy seas of the North Canadian fishermen began to catch salmon. "Salmon in the Arctic — a sure sign of climate change", — experts say.
But there are things more serious, forcing American scientists rush to the careful and thorough study of the country's west coast. "We need a more modern, more detailed map for timely action," — says Doug George.
What does he mean? It may be that various geological anomalies such as seamounts frozen "asphalt" found recently? These mountains, at a depth of about 220 meters, 15-20 km from the coast, were called "asphalt volcanoes." Of them from time to time do not spontaneously erupt lava and oil. Just like the well in the Gulf of Mexico. Only here for some reason it does not reach the surface and freezes on the bottom of the "asphalt" shell, mixed with sand and sediment, stratifying each new eruption. Other volcanoes, mountains reach a height of 6-storey building.
The changing before our eyes, the climate will lead to the activation of anomalous phenomena in nature and disasters on the planet, climate scientists warn that, in fact, we can observe. One of two things: either the scientists and the authorities do not want to sow panic among the population, or they themselves have not yet learned absolutely predict future disasters. However, the second so obvious. But it looks like it something alarming oceanographers and seismologists, if they come for the preparation of detailed maps of this particular area.
The entire western edge of the coast of the Americas, including the coast of California, is a segment of the Pacific Ring of Fire, named for the active tectonic and volcanic activity. At the junction (or faults) tectonic plate subduction occurs in some places — the edge of the Pacific plate under the continental crawl, occasionally shaking her and pushing up. (Hence the growing to this day the Rockies.)
The last 20 years of the North American plate relative to the displacement of the Pacific (and they even move in opposite directions) is monitored using high resolution satellite imagery, data from the global navigation system, surface and subsurface seismic measurements. Aerial photography was swept strip length of almost 1,000 km, on which the details of the Earth's surface along a fault sealed with a visibility of up to 5 cm
California, with its infamous San Andreas Fault, one of the most active and dangerous in the world, is under particular scrutiny seismologists. In order to capture the appearance of instability in the Earth's interior as a harbinger of possible earthquakes in the San Andreas Fault have implemented an extensive network of 250 GPS-stations that monitor the movement of the earth's crust and generating an alarm. A group of computer scientists, programmers, together with geologists have developed a computer model of the "Virtual California", which was introduced about 600 small and large faults formed around San Andreas. The created model drove for 40 000 years ahead and got evidence that in this region about every hundred years should a catastrophic earthquake forces.
Seismologists from the UK warn that in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Alaska, the expected massive earthquake that could occur at any moment, resulting in huge waves from the resulting tsunami will fall upon all the West Coast of Canada and the United States, down to Los Angeles . And that can mess things up a tsunami, we all remember the example of the Indian Ocean disaster, which occurred in 2004. In addition, Californians have long warned that the need to be prepared for a powerful earthquake: stock up on food, water, and keep handy things necessities, since the voltage of the tectonic plates on a fault is comparable to the "nine-month pregnancy."
I wish that it were empty fears that seismologists have once again mistaken.
Now to the modern system of monitoring the solid surface and added a West Coast project covering and the coastal area of the Pacific Ocean.