Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Questions I Would Like to Ask – Part XVIII

Using strictly the scriptures, I would like to ask the following questions of those many Theorists who claim their pet theories about the location of the Land of Promise are consistent with the scriptural record. 
    This eighteenth question is directed to Phyllis Carol Olive and her Great Lakes Theory as well as Rod L. Meldrum and his Heartland Theory.
    The question to ask is quite simple and strictly scripturally based:
    18. “Where are the fault lines and mega earthquake activity in the Great Lakes or Heartland area lands of promise of the type that have been estimated at around 9.0 to 11.0 in magnitude that led to a “great quaking of the whole earth” as described by Nephi?” (3 Nephi 8:12).
    First, this was not just a local event for there was “great and terrible destruction in the land southward” (3 Nephi 8:11), and even “more great and terrible destruction in the land northward as the whole face of the land was changed” (3 Nephi 8:12).
    Second, mountains fell to become valleys, and valleys rose to become mountains, whose height is great (Helaman 14:23)
Black dots represent seismic activity across the United States. Note the lack of any activity southeast of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario (red arrow) and the very small amount in the Ohio and Heartland area
    Third, earthquakes east of the Rocky Mountains are too small to be felt or to cause damage, and most earthquakes large enough to be felt are still too small to cause damage. Damaging earthquakes east of the Rockies are rare, and of those few that do damage buildings or other man-made structures, most cause only slight, localized damage with few injuries.
    Fourth, in the last 200 years that earthquake info has been kept, only six earthquakes have been recorded anywhere in New York state, and none around Lake Erie, and all so moderate that the worst damage was old, brick chimneys knocked over.
Red Arrow is the location of Olive’s Land of Promise in western New York and into Pennsylvania; Linden Fault Line is to the east where Olive places her Sea East, and the Adirondack Mountains far to the northeast
    Fifth, the only major fault line in all of western New York, the Linden Fault, just east of Batavia, and extends through Orleans, Genesee, Wyoming and Alleghany counties (to the east of Olive’s East Sea). There are also numerous minor fault lines in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York, an area north of Albany between the St. Lawrence River and Vermont border—placing it nearly 200 miles from Lake Erie and far to the northeast of Olive’s Land of Promise.
    Sixth, while some moderate earthquakes have been felt in New York state, these were not around the Great Lakes in western or upstate New York. One earthquake of low intensity was felt around Lake Erie in 1857, in which a man was reportedly knocked off his chair, with rumbling noises heard for a full minute.
    Seventh, there was a magnitude 5.5 earthquake felt along the Atlantic Coast from southern Maine to central Virginia and westward to Cleveland, Ohio, in 1884, in which some chimneys were knocked down and walls cracked.
    Eighth, in 1925 a magnitude 7.0 earthquake was felt in eastern Canada, with its epicenter in Quebec, Canada, with New York state experiencing some intensity IV effects, and in 1929, Attitica New York experienced some chimneys knocked over and cemetery monuments fell or were twisted. And in 1931, an earthquake in Lake George knocked over chimneys, twisted a church spire, and caused a small landslide on McCarthy Mountain. In 1944, another earthquake knocked over chimneys with wells in St. Lawrence County running dry, and the tremor felt over a large area as far west as Michigan and Ohio.
A map of the seismicity in the New York area. Note that lack of even earthquake tremors in the area around Lake Erie—Olive’s Land of Promise. Also note that most of the activity in New York is north in Canada, or in the east toward the Atlantic 
    Ninth, the largest earthquake in Ohio ever recorded was only magnitude 5.4 in 1937 where a schoolhouse was cracked, chimneys broken or twisted, and the shock felt for several miles. Other quakes were 1884, 1901, 1986 and 2011, all 5.0 or under.
    Tenth, according to the USGS Earthquake Hazards Program, Michigan experienced only one earthquakes in its history, 1947, magnitude 4.6; Iowa one quake, 1905; Missouri two quakes, 1812 and 1895, magnitude 7.5 and 6.6; Pennsylvania three quakes, 1984, 1994, and 1998, 5.2, 4.6 and 4.4 magnitude; Tennessee has had two quakes, 1865 and 1928, 5.0 and 4.5 magnitude. By comparison with these Great Lakes and Heartland areas, Utah has had three quakes, of 6.6, 5.6 and 5.6 magnitude in 1934, 1959 and 1992—and California has had an amazing 115 earthquakes recorded during this same period.
A six minute long 9.0 Earthquake that struck off the coast of Tohoku, Japan, 80 miles from the city of Sendai, on 11 March 2011 
    Eleventh, in order to account for the extensive and widespread damage described in 3 Nephi, some seismologists have put the earthquakes Nephi describes as being in the 9.0 range. It might be of interest that such a megathrust earthquake hit Japan (Higashi nihon daishinsai) in 2011, with 15,887 dead, 6,150 injured, 2,612 missing, and 127,290 buildings totally collapsed, 272,788 buildings half collapsed, and another 747,989 partially damaged, with severe damage to roads, railways, collapsed dams, etc.
    Twelfth, such earthquakes occur in subducted zones, at destructive plate boundaries where one of these tectonic convergent plates moves under another tectonic plate and sinks into the mantle as the plates converge. Since 1900, all six earthquakes of magnitude 9.0 or greater have been megathrust earthquakes—no other type of known terrestrial source of tectonic activity has produced earthquakes of this scale.
Thirteenth, the Great Lakes and Heartland land of promise areas falls in about the middle (yellow arrow) of the North American Tectonic Plate, which stretches from the Pacific Coast to the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. As a result, it would not be possible for a tectonic plate subduction to occur anywhere around these two geographical areas, making megathrust earthquakes (9.0 or greater) impossible for the Olive or Meldrum's areas.
    So we ask again, “Where are the fault lines and mega earthquake activity in the Great Lakes or Heartland areas of the lands of promise of the type that have been estimated at around 9.0 to 11.0 in magnitude that led to a “great quaking of the whole earth” as described by Nephi?” (3 Nephi 8:12).


  1. After 12 years of moderate studying of all other possible theories! Last Jan I found this blog and have spent many many hours reading the blog. I also have read much concerning the worlds historical view of South America. I hate the fact it happened in South America it shatters so many theory's ideas thoughts books. Not to mention tennis shoes amoung the nephites. Never the less what an amazing marvelous culture. I love this blog I love this reasearch.

  2. Thank you for your kind words. We are also glad you found us and look forward to hearing from you more. As for a map, we have published maps before of the Andean area during the Nephite period when it was an island, and afterward. As soon as this current series is completed, we'll publish it again.