Can thunderstorms cause earthquakes?

Thunderstorms, lightning, cyclones, and earthquakes are few natural phenomena that can cause a large-scale destruction of life and property. We can predict them to a certain extent but not perfectly.

Meteorological tsunamis, or meteotsunamis, are caused by weather events such as squalls, tornadoes, thunderstorms, frontal systems – generally, anything that causes an abrupt change in atmospheric pressure.

Can the weather trigger earthquakes?

Importantly, both studies say weather impacts can accelerate an earthly act that was bound to happen sooner or later. In other words, low pressure is not the cause of an earthquake, just the trigger. The findings follow warnings about strengthening thunderstorms related to higher levels of atmospheric greenhouse gases.

You should be thinking “Do solar flares and magnetic storms cause earthquakes?”

Indeed, over the course of the Sun’s 11-year variable cycle, the occurrence of flares and magnetic storms waxes and wanes, but earthquakes occur without any such 11-year variability. Since earthquakes are driven by processes in the Earth’s interior, they would occur even if solar flares and magnetic storms were to somehow cease occurring.

Solar flares and magnetic storms belong to a set of phenomena known collectively as “space weather”. Technological systems and the activities of modern civilization can be affected by changing space-weather conditions. However, it has never been demonstrated that there is a causal relationship between space weather and earthquakes.

Here is what my research found. Earthquakes induced by human activity have been documented at many locations in the United States and in many other countries around the world.

How does earthquake magnitude affect tsunami generation?

Although earthquake magnitude is one factor that affects tsunami generation, there are other important factors to consider. The earthquake must be a shallow marine event that displaces the seafloor.

Tsunamis are caused by violent seafloor movement associated with earthquakes, landslides, lava entering the sea, seamount collapse, or meteorite impact. The most common cause is earthquakes.

Submarine landslides, which often occur during a large earthquake, can create a tsunami. During a submarine landslide, the equilibrium sea level is altered by sediment moving along the sea floor. Gravitational forces then propagate the tsunami given the initial perturbation of the sea level.

Unlike ocean-wide tsunamis caused by some earthquakes, tsunamis generated by non-seismic mechanisms usually dissipate quickly and rarely affect coastlines far from the source area. Come and visit the Pacific Tsunami Museum to learn more about the science of tsunamis!

Onshore landslides in which large volumes of debris fall into the water Scientists do not use the term “tidal wave” because these waves are not caused by tides. Tsunami waves are unlike typical ocean waves generated by wind and storms, and most tsunamis do not “break” like the curling, wind-generated waves popular with surfers.