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clacton0
2009-Mar-20, 11:06 AM
HI
What would happen if you were to set of a nuclear boomb around 60 to 500 MTs on a fault line in california around LA?

I saw this on a movie the other day.
They detonate a bomb which was 500 MT and LA started falling into the sea but they managed to stop it.

Would this happen in real live?

01101001
2009-Mar-20, 12:33 PM
What would happen if you were to set of a nuclear boomb around 60 to 500 KTs on a fault line in california around LA??

I wouldn't expect anything significant to happen to the fault. The target fault is probably rocked monthly with similar force from nearby earthquakes (probably around Richter 2 to 3), and nothing happens. To get an effect the fault would probably have to be very close to slipping anyway.

USGS FAQ: Nuclear Explosions and Seismology (http://earthquake.usgs.gov/learning/faq.php?categoryID=12&faqID=88) (which is more about distant testing causing quakes)


The elastic strains induced in the epicentral region by the passage of the seismic wavefield generated by the largest of the [south Asian] nuclear tests, the May 11 Indian test with an estimated yield of 40 kilotons, is about 100 times smaller than the strains induced by the Earth's semi-diurnal (12 hour) tides that are produced by the gravitational fields of the Moon and the Sun. If small nuclear tests could trigger an earthquake at a distance of 1000 km, equivalent-sized earthquakes, which occur globally at a rate of several per day, would also be expected to trigger earthquakes.
[...]
One last point. The largest underground thermonuclear tests conducted by the US were detonated in Amchitka at the western end of the Aleutian Islands and the largest of these was the 5 megaton codename Cannikin test which occurred on November 6, 1971. Cannikin had a body wave magnitude of 6.9 and it did not trigger any earthquakes in the seismically active Aleutian Islands.

Earth powerful. Human weapons puny.

novaderrik
2009-Mar-20, 06:15 PM
i'm waiting for some enterprising producer to make a movie about a terrorist that is threatening to set of a nuclear bomb in Yellowstone to set of the volcano.
maybe it could be the next Austin Powers movie...

sithum
2009-Mar-22, 03:52 PM
Superman I staring Christopher Reeves..

This was Lex's brilliant plan.. he bought up desert land miles off the coast, he then wanted to collapse the west coast into the sea by putting a 500 megatonne bomb on the fault line so his desert property would become the new coast and its value would sky rocket..

it's a classic film ;)

cjameshuff
2009-Mar-22, 06:41 PM
Earth powerful. Human weapons puny.

Springs are a surprisingly dense energy storage medium, and can release it all very quickly. Rock doesn't make the best of springs, but when you use it to make a very-high-stiffness spring the size of a large chunk of landscape...

Maha Vailo
2009-Mar-22, 11:58 PM
I think the worst that could possibly happen if you detonated a large enough nuke (50 megatons or so?) right on or in a fault line would be for the fault line to go off and produce a quake similar in magnitude to San Fran 1909. Devastating, but it wouldn't make anything slide into the sea.

I doubt anyone would want to test this theory in real life, however.

- Maha Vailo

kleindoofy
2009-Mar-23, 12:07 AM
... or we can all invest in real estate just east of the fault and then get the Chinese to get up on their chairs all at once ... ;)

mugaliens
2009-Mar-23, 01:21 AM
What would happen if you were to set of a nuclear boomb...

Well, if it's truly a nuclear boomb (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pink_Panther), you may wind up with a peg-legged man on a dock with an inflatable parrot. On the other hand, if it's just your garden-variety sub-nuclear boomb, expect nothing more than a visit from an annoying sidekick... :)

Noclevername
2009-Mar-25, 03:03 AM
And just to nitpick, California won't "fall into the sea". In a few million years it'll move away from the main North American landmass, but most of the Hollywood Hills will still be well above water. Whatever's left of them by then.

Gandalf223
2009-Mar-25, 03:28 AM
Would this happen in real live?

Of course it would. There is no fiction in science fiction.

NEOWatcher
2009-Mar-25, 04:43 PM
What would happen if you were to set of a nuclear boomb around 60 to 500 MTs on a fault line in california around LA?

It would go boomb... (and thank you Mugs for the link to what I was thinking):lol:


Would this happen in real live?
No; but my reasoning is that you would need some effect to move the entire techtonic plate.
I don't see anything special about exploding it at a fault line instead of elsewhere, except that maybe the local conditions might be a bit more fragile.

trinitree88
2009-Mar-25, 07:03 PM
... or we can all invest in real estate just east of the fault and then get the Chinese to get up on their chairs all at once ... ;)

kleindoofy...we all thought this was quite amusing many moons ago, and legions of college students from greater Boston began planning a big party along the San Andreas fault for exactly that effect.....The Sierra Club got wind of it and had a court injunction declared against our labors.
Sierra Club 1
Knuckleheads 0 :shifty::lol::doh: pete

mugaliens
2009-Mar-25, 11:02 PM
I think if you were to detonate 1,000 MT weapons all along the fault...

...California would still not "slide into the sea."

Talk about a rumble, though...