Earthquakes increase when the moon is closer to Earth and when there is a full Moon.

Seismologists at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre have found that the earthquake counts go up steadily as the moon comes closer to the Earth (perigee) and also when it is Full Moon.


The scientists have also found that major earthquakes occur more in numbers when perigee coincides with Full Moon and New Moon than at apogee (position of moon farthest from earth) with similar combination, going upto a magnitude of 6.0 on the Richter scale, Dr Vinayak G Kolvankar, senior seismologist from BARC said.

His latest papers are published in ‘New Concepts in Global Tectonics Newsletter’ and ‘Journal of Indian Geophysics Union’.

It has also been shown that most of the global earthquake catalog data when examined systematically indicated seismicity variation with local time over 24 hours basis and observed the occurrence of earthquakes to be more during the night than during the day.

The earthquake counts go down during the day and it is minimum in the afternoon (between 3 pm and 4 pm) and then steadily goes up till midnight, Kolvankar said.

“This typical signature of the diurnal seismicity plots (DSP) seem to be consistent for the global earthquake data for different periods, seasons, longitudes and depths.

The drop in earthquake counts during the day, reduces for latitudes away from the equators and larger effect is seen for smaller earthquakes, which proportionally reduces for earthquakes with higher magnitude up to 5.0,” Kolvankar said.

BARC scientists made an attempt to realign the earthquake data from standard catalogs for 36 years (1973-2008), to the different periodicities of the moon to check if any consistent patterns emerge out of this exercise, Kolvankar said.

Via Times of India