NASA: Chile Earthquake Earth Rotation?

According to reports, the Chile earthquake was so powerful that it made changes in the rotational speed of the earth on permanent basis.
While the authorities struggle to maintain order in quake-struck Chile, the world is coming to terms with the implications of such a powerful earthquake.
We all know about the devastation that the earthquake in Chile caused, but the effects of the 8.8 shake of fury from mother nature will be felt all over the globe – literally. This disaster caused the earth to shift three inches from her axis, which will shorten our day by a little over 1 microsecond.
What about the earth rotation? Did the chilean earthquake also affected the earth rotation ?

asked by David in Science | 3452 views | 03-03-2010 at 09:26 PM

The magnitude of the quake was so great it actually tilted the planetary axis — as a result, the world will spin infinitesimally faster and our days will be shorter by 1.26 millionths of a second. "It's interesting," says seismologist David Kerridge in the Wall Street Journal, even if "it has no particular consequence on anything."
NASA explained that the key to the shift was due to the location of the quake, with the fault slicing through Earth at a steeper angle, making “the Chile fault more effective in moving Earth’s mass vertically and hence more effective in shifting Earth’s figure axis.”
Chilean earthquake was produced due to sharp vertical angled fault in Earth’s crust. It seems very queer that an earthquake can change our planet’s axis position. After all, what a quake has to do with the rotational speed of the earth but reports say it has, because Earth revolves on its axis in response to the sudden shift of mass that occurs during a huge earthquake.

The earth is not rigid and movements of its constituent parts, including the atmosphere and oceans, occur. These effects introduce a wobble - a movement of the Earth's axis - which is small but detectable.

This is a picture of how the earth's rotation has been affected.

earth's rotation

answered by Seth | 03-03-2010 at 09:34 PM

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