Have Great Earthquakes Increased Since 1900?

Great earthquakes receive a lot of media attention these days. Great earthquakes do not need to occur near land to earn a breaking news banner on major news websites. The widespread attention great earthquake reports receive in the media leads to the question: “Are great earthquakes becoming more common these days?” I will address this question by examining trends in 8.0 and greater earthquake activity since 1900 in this article.

Why Care about Great Earthquakes?

Why should we care about great earthquake activity? Luke 21:11 suggests that we will hear about great earthquakes-rather than regular earthquakes-in diverse places prior to the Second Coming of Christ.

And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.” (Luke 21:11)

I utilized two data sources to account for the magnitude 8.0 and greater earthquakes that have taken place since 1900.

  • The U.S. Geological Survey’s Centennial Earthquake Catalog dataset. I rely on this dataset to account for magnitude 8.0 and greater earthquakes that have taken place from 1900-2007.[1]
  • The U.S. Geological Survey’s Preliminary Determination of Epicenters (PDE) dataset. I rely on this dataset to account for magnitude 8.0 and greater earthquakes that have taken place since 2008.[2]

The following chart compares the number of 8.0+ magnitude and greater earthquake activity across different time periods since 1900.

You will notice that there is no apparent trend in the number of magnitude 8.0 and greater earthquakes since 1900. However, the chart does show that there has been a record number of magnitude 8.0 and greater earthquakes over the past fifteen years or so.

The above chart suggests we are living in a period of historically high magnitude 8.0 and greater earthquakes activity. However, we should recognize that we are only able to compare decades over the past century. We do not have the data to compare recent years with other periods over the past 2,000 years…

It remains to be seen whether we will see an increasing number of magnitude 8.0 and greater earthquakes in the coming years, but the number of these earthquakes should increase in the coming years if we are approaching the end times…

I hope you found this article on trends in magnitude 8.0 and greater earthquake activity since 1900 informative. If you have any questions or comments please share in the comments section below.

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  1. Centennial Earthquake Catalog numbers from 1900 to 2007 were obtained from a text file found on the USGS’s Centennial Earthquake Catalog page: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/data/centennial/centennial_Y2K.CAT
  2. PDE numbers for 2008 to the present were obtained on May 18, 2018 from the USGS’s Search Earthquake Archives, which can be accessed at the following link: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/search/ I set the custom magnitude at 8.0 and set the search range starting on January 1, 2008. Under advanced options I selected: “US – National Earthquake Information Center, PDE”. Under output options, I choose CSV and ordered results by time: oldest first.
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Wayne Croley
Wayne Croley

Hi! I’ve studied and written about Bible prophecy since I was a teenager. My goal is to make Bible prophecy easy for you to understand while avoiding the sensationalism seen elsewhere. I am the author of Prophecy Proof Insights on the End Times, a comprehensive book about the end times. I hold an M.B.A. and degrees in Managerial Economics and Political Science.


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  1. Matthew 24:23-26 “Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there, BELIEVE IT NOT. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders: insomuch that, if it were possible, THEY SHALL DECEIVE THE VERY ELECT. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; BELIEVE IT NOT.”

    When Camping is asked a question he can’t answer, he starts spouting Scripture or changes the subject. I have yet to hear him answer a question directly. You do the same thing. I have asked you direct questions before, and you ignore them and spout more Campingisms. Answer me the following questions. Do you believe Michael shed his blood for your sins? Do you believe Christ only became the Son of God upon the resurrection? Do you believe you worship the same god as the Muslims? And lastly, please answer this one, because I simply don’t understand. If you believe salvation is strictly a matter of being elected, and repentance is non-essential as Camping says, then why are you all bothering to shout judgment at us? If we are elect, we are going. If we aren’t nothing can change that according to your theology. So what is the point of telling everyone judgment is coming if they can’t do anything about it to be saved? It is pointless to be doing this from your perspective. Now, for once, answer the questions directly. I am tired of the politician waffling.

  2. “And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.” Hab 2:2-3

    Let’s make it “plain upon the tables”…

    May 21 is Judgment
    To God be the Glory

    May 21 is Judgment
    We Are Almost There!

    May 21 is Judgment
    I Hope God Will Save Me

    May 21 is Judgment
    The Wheat and Tares

    May 21 is Judgment
    The End of the Church Age

    May 21 is Judgment
    No Man Knows the Day or the Hour?

    May 21 is Judgment
    Another Infallible Proof

    May 21 is Judgment
    Gay Pride: Planned by God as a Sign of the End

  3. Just for clarification, when I said I see multitudes coming to the god of Camping i.e. Allah, I meant the Muslim god Allah.

  4. Just for everyone’s benefit, it should be noted that ebiblefellowship that Jim has mentioned is a Camping promoter. Back to the old May 21 thing are we? Here are some facts that I got from reading all of Camping’s books, lots of his articles, listening to his forum, etc. 1) Camping says that he worships the same god as the Muslims and that his god’s name is Allah. 2) Jesus and Michael are the same person and it was Michael who shed his blood on the cross 3) Jesus did not become the Son of God until the resurrection 4) knowing Jesus or even having heard of Him is not necessary for salvation. 5) a baby can be saved as well as an adult 6) salvation is purely by election, not repentance, not belief in Christ. 7) The thief on the cross showed that you do not have to do anything as Christ assured him that he was going to paradise because he had been elected, so the fact that he never led a life for God was irrelevant. (One deduces from this teaching that I can live whatever way I want with no regard to God, as if I am elect I am elect no matter what. I don’t even need to know Jesus) 8) The gospel message is not repent and believe to be saved, but there is judgment coming. 9) There is presently a great multitude that no man can number coming to Camping’s god. I do not see multitudes professing belief in Christianity, in fact I see the opposite. I do however see multitudes coming to the god of Camping i.e. Allah. They are growing in numbers at a huge rate. 10) Camping’s method of interpretation and his numerology has come to him and him alone from his god. Nobody else has ever had this message. 11) only a handful of people knew God before the flood, very few after, nobody at all was saved during Jesus “sorry” ministry as he called it, and virtually nobody has been saved since until Camping gave the world the true interpretation of God’s word. As far as I can see, Camping has a different god, a different Jesus, a different gospel. Therefore what he is saying is irrelevant to those of us who worship the God of the Bible. All of his interpretations, numerology and date setting comes from this god of his. Since his god in no way resembles the god of the Bible, we need not pay any attention to Camping.

    The question that has me puzzled – if you are elected no matter what, why does anyone feel the need to warn the world. Either they are elect or not, and telling them isn’t going to change anything, right? It’s not like you can have a change of heart and repent. So it is pointless to preach at us under Camping’s theology. Let it go already.

  5. “He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red. And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times? A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed ” Matt 16:2-4

    There is a reason God chose to include verses such as those above. If we are humbly searching God’s Word(rather than the 5 o’clock news) we will indeed “understand” the signs are staring us right in the face.

    “And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.” Matt 24:6-8

    Notice the language. These are “the beginning of sorrows” and “but the end is not yet”.

    Here is fair discussion concerning the fulfillment of the many signs given to us:

  6. I see a very definite trend. Compare your chart to the print out a pregnant woman gets from the heartbeat/contraction monitor during labor.