Does the full moon trigger earthquakes?


Indonesia had a 7.3 earthquake this past January 10, 2012 (18:37 UTC)

There was a full moon which peaked January 9, 2012 (07:31 UTC). 

When the earthquake struck the moon was still 97% full waxing gibbous.

In 2004, six years and one month ago, the same area was hit by the giant Indian Ocean super earthquake.  It was a megathrust, over magnitude 9 (the third largest ever recorded).  It created a tsunami which killed 230,000 people, one of the deadliest natural disasters in history.

That earthquake occurred December 26 2004, (00:59 UTC).

On December 26, 2004 (15:06 UTC) the moon was also full.

Only coincidence?  Here is a news story about storms triggering earthquakes:

Heavy Rainfall Can Cause Huge Earthquakes

From this story:

“The water’s enormous weight causes the Indian plate to bend slightly under the pressure. That, in turn, causes the edge of the plate to move slightly. “Imagine having a big book and bending it in the middle,” Ader said. “The pages want to slide against each other at the edges.”

If a typhoon or monsoon can trigger an earthquake I would suggest so could the ocean’s tides.  The vast oceans put much more stress on the earth’s crust then any storm.  And what influences the tides?  The moon.  Does the moon trigger earthquakes?

Watching the full moon these past cloudless nights I was struck by how bright and beautiful…and potentially dangerous the moon is.

3 Responses to “Does the full moon trigger earthquakes?”

  1. susilo Says:

    moon always lnked with many things, from supernatural to natural ones. Like werewolf, lunar effects (luna=moon),chang`e, moon rabbit and many other things. But national geographic has articles about the connection between moon and earthquake, whcich is none. Here, take a look.

  2. David Says:

    Hi susilo,
    That was a good article. However, just because there is no absolute proof the moon triggers earthquakes does not mean it doesn’t. Who imagined flooding triggered earthquakes? I would not be surprised if one day they will discover a moon connection. Until then, it remains a curious anomaly.

  3. johnny Says:

    1989 Earthquake in Loma Prieta was on Oct 17th, the moon was 2 days after the full moon.

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