Thursday, April 9, 2015

Concept of Earthquakes in Ancient India

'Close up of the boundary with the Eurasian, African and Arabian plates; the 2005 Kashmir earthquake occurred at the northern tip of the Indian plate.

The Free Encyclopedia.'Concept of Earthquakes in Ancient India.
 Ancient Indians invented zero. Sanskrit is the world’s most ‘scientific’ language. Ayurveda experts claim they have cures for many diseases allopathy is still struggling to find answers for. Here is another one that should make people sit up and take notice of the wisdom of an old civilization: predicting earthquakes.
A model to predict earthquakes, developed by a California-based scholar of Chinese origin, uses the concept of “earthquake clouds”, something that has been dealt with in detail in the 32nd chapter of Varahamihira‘s Brihat Samhita.
The greatness of philosopher, mathematician and astronomer Varahamihira (505-587 AD) is widely acknowledged. The Ujjain-born scholar was one of the Navaratnas in the court of King Vikramaditya Chandragupta II. His works, Pancha-Siddhantika (The Five Astronomical Canons) and Brihat Samhita (The Great Compilation), are considered seminal texts on ancient Indian astronomy and astrology.
'Image:' Varahamihira was a celebrated astronomer-astrologer-mathematician sought to study earthquakes on the Indian subcontinent. He drew correlations between terrestrial earth, the atmosphere and planetary influences. He described earth as a mass floating on water and spoke of unusual cloud formations and abnormal animal behaviour as precursors to earthquakes.
What has astonished scientists and Vedic scholars here and has renewed interest in the Brihat Samhita, are references to unusual “earthquake clouds” as precursor to earthquakes. The 32nd chapter of the manuscript is devoted to signs of earthquakes and correlates earthquakes with cosmic and planetary influences, underground water and undersea activities, unusual cloud formations, and the abnormal behavior of animals.
“I find it rather odd that the description of earthquake clouds in Brihat Samhita matches the observations made by Zhonghao Shaou at the Earthquake Prediction Centre in Pasadena, California,” said B D Kulkarni, head of the National Chemical Laboratory’s Chemical Engineering Division.
Varahamihira categorises earthquakes into different kinds and says that the indications of one particular kind will appear in the form of unusual cloud formations a week before its occurrence. Its indications appearing a week before are the following: “Huge clouds resembling blue lily, bees and collyrium in colour, rumbling pleasantly, and shining with flashes of lightning, will pour down slender lines of water resembling sharp clouds. An earthquake of this circle will kill those that are dependent on the seas and rivers; and it will lead to excessive rains.”
'Movement of the Indian Plate.

Image:' He made an attempt to list out the various concepts on the origin of earthquake and demarcated certain seismological zones based on geographical location, occurrence of earthquake when moon transit certain constellations. He named these zones as Agneya, Vayavya, Aindra and Varuna. He also indicated the Velas (period) in which earthquake occur in these zones and the indications a week ahead.
The geographical locations of his earthquakes are in tune with the modern zones of high seismicity in the Himalayan frontal arc. When the directions suggested by his zones are plotted in the corresponding geographical locations they show a sense of correlation with modern stress zones.
The present study indicates that the seismology developed during Varahamihira’s time is quite interesting and cannot be ignored particularly while discussing about the history of geological science. Such study may contribute its might to modern seismology and even supplement modern studies.

'Giant tsunami waves hitting Phuket, on December 26, 2004.'The Indian Plate.
The India Plate or Indian Plate is a tectonic plate that was originally a part of the ancient continent of Gondwana from which it split off, eventually becoming a major plate. About 55 to 50 million years ago it fused with the adjacent Australian Plate. It is today part of the major Indo-Australian Plate, and includes most of South Asia – i.e., the Indian subcontinent – and a portion of the basin unde...r the Indian Ocean, including parts of South China and Eastern Indonesia.
About 55 million years ago, plate tectonics made the land that is now India break off from what is now Africa. For five million years India floated slowly away from Africa until, about 50 million years ago, India bumped into Asia. The force of this impact slowly pushed the land between them to fold up into big new mountains which we call the Himalayas. So at the very top of the Himalaya mountains you can find limestone that formed at the bottom of the ocean. Plate tectonics pushed the limestone up to the top of the mountain. The Himalayas are older than the Alps, but they're younger than the Rocky Mountains.
'Himalayas.''The Indian Plate, shown in red.

The Free Encyclopedia.' 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake
The 9.1-9.3 moment magnitude 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake was caused by the release of stresses built up along the subduction zone where the Indian Plate is sliding under the Burma Plate in the eastern Indian Ocean, at a rate of 6 cm/yr (2.5 in/yr). The Sunda Trench is formed along this boundary where the Indo-Australian and Eurasian Plates meet. Earthquakes in the region are either caused by thrust faulting, where the fault slips at right angles to the trench; or strike-slip faulting, where material to the east of the fault slips along the direction of the trench.
Like all similarly large earthquakes, the December 26, 2004 event was caused by thrust-faulting. A 100 kilometres (62 mi) rupture caused about 1,600 kilometres (990 mi) of the interface to slip, which moved the fault 15 metres (49 ft) and lifted the sea floor several meters, creating the great tsunami.
2005 Kashmir earthquake.
On 8 October 2005, an earthquake of magnitude 7.6 occurred near Muzaffarabad, Kashmir, Pakistan killing more than 80,000 people, and leaving more than 2.5 million homeless.
Mystery of
Seismological Zones of Varahamihira by Srinivas Madabhushi and P. Srirama Murty – Indian Journal of History of Science, 33(2) 1998
Images 2-3-4:…/platetec…/himalayas.htm
The Free Encyclopedia

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