What kind of an affect can a big earthquake shifting the axis of the earth have?



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    A large earthquake can shift massive amounts of rock, altering the distribution of mass.  As this distribution changes, so does the rate of planetary rotation.  And because the rotation rate determines the length of a day, an earthquake with sufficient force can permanently affect the length of a day.  This happened earlier this year in Chile – the day has been shortened by about 1.26 microseconds.

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