Is there any correlation of lunar proximity and quake activity?

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Mike Muczynski

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Mike Muczynski asked the Naked Scientists:
   
I just read an article about how the moon will be relatively close to the earth this weekend -- the closest it has been in 18 years.  And this is only a week after the 9.0 quake in Japan.  Coincidence?  Or is there any correlation of lunar proximity and quake activity?

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 26/03/2011 15:30:02 by _system »

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Offline Pikaia

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You might expect that there would be a correlation with the distance of the Moon, and also with the phase of the moon, because the sun also has a tidal effect which reinforces the moon's when they are aligned. However, when you look at the data, if there is any correlation it is very small.

The Japanese quake was a week before full moon, and half way between perigee and apogee, so the moon cannot be blamed.

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Offline myself

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If there were an effect, which has not been revealed statistically, it could be halfway between perigee and apogee since |dr/dt| is maximum then.