Interesting earthquake related articles - Lawsuit: Quakes caused by frack water disposal damaged homes

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Lawsuit: Quakes caused by frack water disposal damaged homes
Two Johnson County residents filed a lawsuit saying their homes were damaged by earthquakes related to fracking, the Cleburne Times-Review reported.
The suit, believed to be the first of its kind in the Barnett Shale, goes after Houston-based EOG Resources, Houston-based Shell Trading Co., Sinking Spring, PA.-based Sunoco Partners Marketing and Terminals, LP and Houston-based Enterprise Crude Oil LLC, the plaintiff’s attorney Christopher C. Cooke, told the newspaper.
Johnson County recorded nine small earthquakes from June 5 through June 13, 2012. Another quake hit March 10.
The lawsuit alleges that the quakes caused significant damage to the homes owned by Dan and Jan Marie Finn and Ed and Norma Specht of Alvarado.
Read the full article here

Wikipedia Image courtesy Mike Norton

Wikipedia Image courtesy Mike Norton


Oil companies begin 'fracking' in China’s most dangerous earthquake zone - (August 3)
The Chinese want to join the shale gas revolution, even if it means drilling for oil in China’s earthquake hot bed in the Sichuan region, where nearly 70,000 died in an earthquake in 2008.
Royal Dutch Shell Plc and China National Petroleum have started 'fracking' operations in the province.
China hopes to boost annual shale gas production to 6.5 billion cubic meters by 2015, and reserves are estimated at about 1,115 trillion cubic feet, according to the US Energy Information Administration, higher than the estimated 665 trillion gas reserves on American soil.
Europe's largest oil company plans to invest $1 billion per year in China’s shale gas industry, as part of its goal to increase global output to four million barrels of oil and gas by 2017-2018, up from current levels of 3.3 million.
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Uganda : Damming the Nile and Reservoir Induced Seismicity - (July 28)
Is Karuma dam on track now? Perhaps yes. Bujagali took ages to come on. But opponents of damming will not give up! Through local compatriots like Oweyaaga Afunaduula (New Vision, 8 July 13), they are opening a new front - in the form of Reservoir Induced Seismicity (RIS) - to stop dam building on the Nile.
In this article, I will address four things: One - current scientific thinking on the subject; two - current recommended engineering practice in design of dams in earthquake-prone areas; three – question intentions of opponents when they do not provide alternatives to damming; and finally, hazard a motive in light of experiences elsewhere. Hopefully, I reassure Ugandans that we should move full throttle in building Karuma Dam and any other on the Nile.
Reservoir Induced Seismicity (RIS) is a condition where earthquakes are thought to be helped by filling of a big, deep ‘hole’ – or reservoir on the surface with water. The quakes are not caused by the reservoir but by pre-existing conditions in the rocks below.
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Steam And Groundwater Raise Concern At Japanese Nuclear Plant - (July 25)
The troubles at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant began over two years ago when an earthquake and tsunami sparked meltdowns in three reactors. But events over the past week serve as reminder that the problems are far from over.
First, a remote camera spotted steam rising from one of the melted down reactors at the plant. The steam was first seen at the unit 3 reactor late last week, and it's continued on-and-off ever since.
Steam rising from the ruins became an iconic image from the early days of the accident, so many were startled by the fresh video. They had reason for concern: The uranium fuel is still inside unit-3, and even two years after the accident it is still warm. Some fuel could have shifted and created an unexpected hot spot, or worse restarted nuclear reactions.
But both scenarios appear unlikely. The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), which owns the plant has been monitoring temperatures, pressures and radiation levels, and has seen little change since the steam started rising. Instead, they're pointing the finger at rainwater, which may be turning to steam as it strikes the hot outer shell of the reactor vessel.
Read the full article here


The Dust That Drives Earthquakes - (July 18)
It takes more than plate tectonics to cause an earthquake, according to geologist Ze'ev Reches of the University of Oklahoma in Norman. The gradual buildup of stress in a fault as plates collide or slide past each other is necessary, he acknowledges. But if nothing else were going on, all the pent-up energy could be released via fault creep, a motion so sluggish it's virtually unnoticeable by human standards, and the temblors that create so much havoc across the globe wouldn't exist.
"There's no real reason that this [energy] must be released in the form of earthquakes," Reches says. For something catastrophic or even detectable to occur, the fault must abruptly get so much weaker that it can no longer cope with the stress by simply plodding along.
Scientists have uncovered several mechanisms that could make a fault lunge into earthquake mode. The heat from friction can melt its sides, or quartz grains can react with water to create a silica gel that slickens the rocks and makes them slide faster. Reches and his colleague David Lockner took a closer look at fault gouge, the fine powder fault slabs create as they grind against each other, and discovered something surprising: The same material that weakens the fault—making earthquakes much more likely to occur—can also strengthen it.
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Is Fracking for Enhanced Geothermal Systems the Same as Fracking for Natural Gas ? - (July 17)
Advocates for both natural gas and geothermal are up in arms over whether fracking for enhanced geothermal systems should be scrutinized with the same parameters as natural gas.
The U.S. geothermal industry recently scored a big win when its first enhanced geothermal system (EGS) project went online in April. ORMAT (NYSE:ORA) was able to stimulate a previously unproductive well at its Desert Peak project with EGS technology — injecting fluid into a well to reopen cracks and create a resource reservoir — and found an additional 1.2 megawatts (MW) of capacity. Renewable energy experts applauded the project, dubbing it a "game-changer" and a "shining moment" for the industry.
Though the project represents a breakthrough for EGS technology and the geothermal industry in general, EGS has come under fire, with opponents accusing it as being just as dangerous as oil or natural gas hydraulic stimulation, commonly known as fracking. While traditional geothermal energy is viewed as clean renewable energy, could EGS technology, with its similar "fracking methodology," coupled with its rocky past, come under the same intensive scrutiny as natural gas fracking?

EGS and Earthquakes
Perhaps the most notorious EGS project is one that was never completed in Basel, Switzerland — constructed on a known seismic fault and suspended in 2006 when it generated earthquakes that reportedly caused millions of euros in damage to local infrastructure. The project was cancelled in 2009 after several reports said that if continued, it would cause more earthquakes and would lead to more damage each year.
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New Japan Emergency Warning System to be Launched 30 August 2013 - (July 16)
As of 30 August 2013, the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) will launch the Emergency Warning System*. Emergency Warnings are issued to alert people to the significant likelihood of catastrophes in association with natural phenomena of extraordinary magnitude.

* The law for Meteorological Service Act amendment states that the date of enforcement shall be specified by a government ordinance and shall be within three months of the day on which the law is promulgated (in this case, 31 May, 2013). The formal launch date of the Emergency Warning System will be specified by a government ordinance.

Residents should take all measures possible to protect themselves in the event that an Emergency Warning is issued.

What is an Emergency Warning?
JMA issues various warnings to alert people to possible catastrophes caused by extraordinary natural phenomena such as heavy rain, earthquakes, tsunami and storm surges. In addition to such warnings, advisories and other bulletins, JMA plans to start issuing Emergency Warnings to alert people to the significant likelihood of catastrophes if phenomena are expected to be of a scale that will far exceed the warning criteria.
Read the full article here

Image courtesy and copyright JMA, Japan

Image courtesy and copyright JMA, Japan


Seafloor sensors to monitor earthquake activity near Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power plant, California - (July 12)
Starting this week, PG&E will deploy a series of ocean-bottom seismic sensors that will help the utility study earthquake activity around Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant.
The string of four sensors will be in place for at least 10 years. They will allow seismologists with PG&E and the U.S. Geological Survey to better understand earthquake activity along the Hosgri Fault and the newly discovered Shoreline Fault, said Marcia McLaren, a senior seismologist with the utility company. The project is part of PG&E’s ongoing efforts to study the earthquake hazard facing Diablo Canyon, which is located in an area crisscrossed by several active faults. The dominant fault is the Hosgri Fault, about three miles offshore of the plant. Diablo Canyon is designed to withstand a magnitude 7.5 quake, the largest jolt the Hosgri Fault is likely to deliver. However, seismologists are studying whether a quake along both the Hosgri and Shoreline faults could deliver a more powerful jolt.
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Image CC Commons Wikipedia by Magnus Manske

Image CC Commons Wikipedia by Magnus Manske


Work starts on Japan seismic  alert system - (July 10)
The government started work Tuesday to install undersea seismometers and tsunami observation equipment in wide areas off the Pacific coast, including along the Japan Trench, in a government-sponsored project designed to enable quicker and more accurate quake and tsunami alerts. A ceremony to mark the launch of the installation was held in Minami-Boso the same day. The observation system will be placed in offshore areas from the Tokachi region of Hokkaido down to the Boso Peninsula in Chiba. The 32 billion yen project of the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry comes over two years after the magnitude-9.0 Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011. Centered near the Japan Trench off Miyagi Prefecture, the quake generated massive tsunami. The installation work will be carried out in stages at six target areas, including one along the Japan Trench, for completion by the end of March 2015.
Read the full article here
ER : This system will certainly be an improvement but means only a limited improvement in safety. Why ? People are still living in areas impossible to reach higher safer grounds within the time tsunami waves will reach the shores. Authorities should at the same time impose NO BUILDING laws in coastal areas who cannot evacuate everybody in 10 to 15 minutes. Measuring a possible upcoming danger is one thing, be able to react to it another even more important.

Location of upwelling in earth's mantle discovered to be stable - (July 8)
A study published in Nature today shares the discovery that large-scale upwelling within Earth's mantle mostly occurs in only two places: beneath Africa and the Central Pacific. More importantly, Clinton Conrad, Associate Professor of Geology at the University of Hawaii -- Manoa's School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) and colleagues revealed that these upwelling locations have remained remarkably stable over geologic time, despite dramatic reconfigurations of tectonic plate motions and continental locations on the Earth's surface. "For example," said Conrad, "the Pangaea supercontinent formed and broke apart at the surface, but we think that the upwelling locations in the mantle have remained relatively constant despite this activity."
Read the full article here

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Screen Shot 2013-07-06 at 12.51.54Studying mini earthquakes provides clues to volcanic behavior - (July 6)
Open vent volcanoes constantly pop with small eruptions, causing low-level, low-frequency earthquakes. These are not the big high-profile earthquakes that come from the slip of a fault line, resulting in widespread destruction. These rarely make trouble.
But studying the earthquakes that accompany low-level eruptions can provide a wealth of data for scientists, offering important clues about volcanic behavior and, ultimately, better ways to predict when major eruptions might occur.
"We can apply what we learn about these small, repetitive events to other active volcanoes that are capable of large, damaging eruptions," says Greg Waite, an assistant professor of geological and mining engineering and sciences at Michigan Technological University. "We are trying to get a better handle on what these little earthquakes mean so we can better forecast major eruptions."
By understanding the behavior of these mini-earthquakes, he hopes to collect more details about the behavior of all eruptions, including information about the shape of volcanic plumbing systems and the dynamics that result in eruptions.
Specifically, he and his team are studying two volcanoes in Guatemala, Pacaya, located just south of Guatemala City, and Fuego, 20 miles west of Guatemala City, both part of the Central American Volcanic Arc, a chain of volcanoes that extends parallel to the Pacific coastline of Central America.
Read the full article here

Mystery of Loch Ness Monster Nessie revealed - (July 3)
A geologist has explained the mystery of the Loch Ness monster appearing with Earth tremors and swirling bubbles from the Scottish lake of the same name.  According to Scientific American, Italian geologist Luigi Piccardi has credited the Great Glen fault system for reported sightings of the legendary beast, Fox News reported. Piccardi said in an interview that was published in the Italian newspaper La Repubblica said that there are various effects on the surface of the water, which could be related to the activity of the fault. He also claimed that the sightings of the Loch Ness monster have coincided with the periods of seismic activity.
Read the full article here

Wikipedia image courtesy CC commons Sam Fentress

Wikipedia image courtesy CC commons Sam Fentress

Why (probably) earthquakes make volcanoes sink - (July 1)
Seismic shakes may release pent-up hydrothermal fluids within volcanoes, and as those fluid escape, the ground settles and sinks.
The massive earthquakes that struck Japan and Chile in 2011 and 2010, respectively, sank several big volcanoes by up to 6 inches (15 centimeters), two new studies report.
This is the first time scientists have seen a string of volcanoes drop after an earthquake. Even though the mountains are on opposite sides of the Pacific Ocean, their descents look remarkably similar. The two teams have different explanations for why the volcanoes sank, according to the studies, published on June 30 in the journal Nature Geoscience. However, both groups agree it's likely scientists will discover more examples of drooping volcanoes after big earthquakes, and find a single mechanism that controls the process.
"It's amazing, the parallels between them," said Matthew Pritchard, a geophysicist at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., and lead author of one of the studies. "I think it makes a really strong case that this is a ubiquitous process."
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Nevado de Chillan volcano - image courtesy Hugo Moreno, 1973 (University of Chile)

Nevado de Chillan volcano - image courtesy Hugo Moreno, 1973 (University of Chile)

How Earthquakes Heal Themselves—and Why That’s Important - (June 30)
On May 12, 2008, a powerful 7.9 magnitude earthquake struck the Wenchuan district of Sichuan province in south central China. It was the most powerful quake to hit China in at least 50 years, killing more than 69,000 people, creating thousands of orphans and leaving millions of people temporarily homeless.
Given the depth of the suffering, it verges on thoughtlessness to use the words “silver lining,” but a study in the latest Science has relied on the Wenchuan quake to add a small but possibly important clue to the mystery of why and how earthquakes happen. “Everyone who studies earthquakes would love to be able to predict them,” says Emily Brodsky, a seismologist at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a co-author of the new study. “This is one piece of that.”
Read the full article here

Seismic Data Set Could Improve Earthquake Forecasting - (June 28)
Sumatra 2004. Wenchuan 2008. Haiti 2010. Japan 2011. In each case, the story was the same: An earthquake struck without warning, taking thousands of lives and smashing buildings like sand castles.
Geoscientists still can't predict when a major quake will strike, and many have given up trying. But many do try to issue more general forecasts of hazards and potential damage. This week, researchers added a potentially powerful new tool to their kit: the largest seismic database of its kind ever constructed, based on tens of thousands of earthquake records stretching back more than 1000 years. Together with a new global map of strain accumulation at plate boundaries, the data sets will form the core of an international public-private partnership intended to reshape the science of earthquake forecasting.
Read the full article here

Image courtesy International Seismological Center

Image courtesy International Seismological Center


New component to earthquakes found (may be important for Tsunamis) -  (June 25)
Every so often a tsunami wreaks havoc somewhere in the world. Yet, so far, the size and destructive power of these mighty surging floods of water have been difficult to predict.
That may be about to change. Researchers have identified a key component in some earthquakes that cause some tsunamis to be larger and more devastating than previous models had forecast.

If you feel an earthquake, don't run – run like hell!
Richard Hagemeyer : who established the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre in Hawaii

Earthquake motions that generate tsunamis usually involve sudden vertical movements of the sea-floor that displace vast quantities of ocean water. This, in turn, creates individual waves with great distances between their crests.
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Wikipedia image


Seismic safety of light-frame steel construction being tested (June 23)
The final phase of a three-year project to increase seismic safety of buildings using light-frame steel construction is under way, a U.S. university said. Funded by a grant from the George E. Brown Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation, earthquake engineering researchers from U.S. and Canadian universities partnering with steel industry design professionals already developed a series of computational models to determine how a complete building structure will perform during an earthquake, Purdue University said Thursday in a release. Based at Purdue's Discovery Park, NEES is a collaborative, 14-site research initiative seeking ways to improve structural seismic design and reduce the damage of earthquakes and tsunamis, university officials said. It is funded by a $105 million National Science Foundation grant.
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Hydrological anomalies connected to earthquakes in southern Apennines, Italy (added June 20)
scientific paper
The study of hydrological variations in the watersheds of seismic areas can be useful in order to acquire a new knowledge of the mechanisms by which earthquakes can produce hydrological anomalies. Italy has the availability of many long historical series both of hydrological parameters and of seismological data, and is an ideal laboratory to verify the validity of theoretical models proposed by various authors. In this work we analyse the hydrological anomalies associated with some of the big earthquakes that occurred in the last century in the southern Apennines: 1930, 1980 and 1984. For these earthquakes we analysed hydrometric and pluviometric data looking for significant anomalies in springs, water wells and mountain streams. The influence of rainfalls on the normal flows of rivers, springs and wells has been ascertained. Also, the earthquake of 1805, for which a lot of hydrological perturbations have been reported, is considered in order to point out effects imputable to this earthquake that can be similar to the effects of the other big earthquakes. The considered seismic events exhibit different modes of energy release, different focal mechanisms and different propagation of effects on the invested areas.
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New Subduction Zone Forming Off Spain's Coast  (added June 17)
A budding subduction zone offshore of Spain heralds the start of a new cycle that will one day pull the Atlantic Ocean seafloor into the bowels of the Earth, a new study suggests. Understanding how subduction zones start is long-lasting mystery in plate tectonics, said lead study author João Duarte, a research fellow at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.
Subduction zones are key players in creating supercontinents and opening and closing Earth's oceans. In a subduction zone, one of Earth's tectonic plates dives beneath another, sinking into the mantle, the layer under the crust. As oceanic crust disappears, continents may draw closer together and collide, as has happened numerous times in the history of the planet. Subduction zones also spawn the biggest earthquakes on the planet, as in Japan, Chile and Alaska.
Read the full article here

Image courtesy and copyright

Image courtesy and copyright


Asian private sector works on disaster (tsunami, earthquakes, etc) safety (added June 13)
For years, the public sector and civil society have agonised over how to get the private sector, with its billions in cash and millions of employees, involved in reducing the risks of disasters and adapting to climate change impacts such as rising sea levels. There’s been much handwringing that the private sector is too much about profit and not enough about lives. Based on my experience this week, however, I’d say the private sector is one industry at least at the forefront of disaster risk reduction (DRR).  On Monday, I hosted a roundtable discussion at the Asia Pacific launch of the 2013 Global Assessment Report for Disaster Risk Reduction, the flagship report of UNISDR, the U.N. agency on reducing disaster risks. The focus was on the tourism sector, which contributes 9 percent to global GDP. It’s an important sector for many Asian countries, too.
In Maldives, 35 percent of the economy depends on tourism, and one out of five people are directly employed in the sector, said Ahmed Salih, the country’s permanent secretary for the Ministry of Tourism, Arts & Culture and one of the panellists.
So when a devastating tsunami smashed into 13 Asian and African countries on Dec. 26, 2004, including Maldives, the economy tumbled back to what it was eight years before, Salih said.
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Study : Pacific coast of Canada due for a major earthquake (added June 12)
A new study says the Pacific coast has experienced 22 major earthquakes over the last 11,000 years, and is due for another. The study looked at sediment disturbance in Effingham Inlet, on the west coast of Vancouver Island.
Study author Audrey Dallimore, of Royal Roads University, says researchers using state-of-the-art radiocarbon dating determined the last so-called megathrust earthquake in the zone that stretches from northern Vancouver Island down to California happened more than 3,000 years ago.
The world’s largest earthquakes are all megathrust earthquakes, which occur when there is a slip along the fault between a subducting and overriding tectonic plate.
Read the full article here comment : We do not like these kind of sensational stories. What do they like to create ? Scary people, more funds for their studies ?
Is it possible : YES
Very soon (1 second to several hundreds of years) ? : nobody knows,  BUT this story goes up for EVERY subduction area in the world. Whether you live in Chile, Costa Rica, Indonesia, Japan, USA or Canada, mega-quakes can never be excluded. This is simply the process of 1 (heavier oceanic) plate subducting a continental plate. The speed that this is happening is the only trigger for the frequency that it happens. What to do ? Build safely + be prepared and know what to do when it strikes.

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Philippines, North Cotabato : 300 living in danger zone ordered to evacuate (added June 10)
At least 50 families in Barangay (village) Kimadzil here were ordered to leave their homes and communities as the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology declared their areas danger zones following last week’s 5.7-magnitude earthquake. The move of the North Cotabato Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) was meant to save lives and properties in the wake of series of aftershocks since June 1. The forced evacuation was carried out starting last Friday and completed on Sunday. The families, with their valuables and work animals, were temporarily housed inside the barangay hall compound, where the local government provided them food. A 2-hectare lot is being prepared by the local government of Carmen as a relocation site of the families whose former community lies in the so-called  Carmen-Bukidnon fault line.
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Expedition to Study Ancient Continental Breakup (added June 9)
An international team of scientists has embarked on a shipboard expedition to study how Earth's crust was pulled apart in an area beneath the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Spain. The team includes geophysicists from University of Southampton Ocean and Earth Science (SOES) based at the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton, UK.
From the research vessels RVPoseidon and RV Marcus G. Langseththe team will use sound waves to create a three-dimensional picture of the rocks in the Deep Galicia Basin, located to the west of northern Spain. The new datasets will improve understanding of how continents stretch and break apart, creating new ocean basins in between.
About 250 million years ago, Spain and Newfoundland in Canada were connected as part of a larger continent. Then around 220-200 million years ago, the continental crust in between began to spread apart, exposing the mantle beneath and eventually forming new oceanic crust by volcanic activity.
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Chile will adopt a GPS based Tsunami system (added June 8)
Chile is set to become the first developing country to have a fully operational tsunami early-warning system that uses a satellite-based positioning system to provide alerts just minutes after an earthquake triggering a giant wave begins.
Such a system could have provided a warning just three minutes after the start of the March 2011 earthquake in Japan that caused the catastrophic tsunami — saving many lives, according to the authors of a paper published in Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences last month (17 May).
By placing GPS (Global Positioning System) instruments roughly every 40 kilometers along the coast to measure sea-floor deformation, they will be close to the epicenter of any future earthquakes. These instruments then send the raw data to a central station for calculating tsunami risk, the paper says.
Read the full article here
The entire paper where the system is based on can be found here

Example of a GPS station

Example of a GPS station


Earthquake ruptures zip along faster than thought (bis) - (added on June 7)
The inner workings of bizarre and potentially dangerous earthquakes that break the seismic sound barrier have now for the first time been confirmed in laboratory experiments with real rocks, report scientists in today’s issue of the journal Science.  What are called supershear earthquakes are strange events in which the rupturing fault breaks faster than certain seismic waves can travel, creating a sort of seismic mach cone that fires out the end of a fault’s rupture zone -- the part of the fault that breaks loose allowing two rock surfaces to jerk past each other. That cone and the waves that follow can cause inordinately severe shaking, out of proportion to the earthquake's magnitude.
Read the full article here

Earthquake ruptures zip along faster than thought - (added on June 7)
Ruptures from earthquakes could zip faster along Earth's surface than previously thought, new research to be detailed in Friday's issue of the journal Science suggests.  When faults in the Earth rupture to generate earthquakes, so-called shear waves are generated deep below Earth's crust. Generally, these ruptures move along the surfaces of faults more slowly than shear waves do. (Shear waves travel at about 7,800 mph (12,600 km/h)).
However, in recent decades, seismologists have identified a handful of large quakes where the ruptures move faster than the shear waves, traveling at speeds of up to nearly 13,000 mph (20,900 km/h). The result is a sonic boom-like effect in the rock similar to that seen from supersonic jets zipping across the sky.
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Earthquake acoustics offer hint that a tsunami is imminent, researchers find (added on June 6)
On March 11, 2011, a magnitude 9.0 undersea earthquake occurred 43 miles off the shore of Japan. The earthquake generated an unexpectedly massive tsunami that washed over eastern Japan roughly 30 minutes later, killing more than 15,800 people and injuring more than 6,100. More than 2,600 people are still unaccounted for.
Although various systems can detect undersea earthquakes, they can't reliably tell which will form a tsunami, or predict the size of the wave. There are ocean-based devices that can sense an oncoming tsunami, but they typically provide only a few minutes of advance warning.
Because the sound from a seismic event will reach land well before the water itself, the researchers suggest that identifying the specific acoustic signature of tsunami-generating earthquakes could lead to a faster-acting warning system for massive tsunamis.
Read the full article here


Earthquake generated cracks in Iranian nuclear power plant? (added on June 5)
Update June 6 : Russian engineers who have inspected the Nuclear Plant say that they had not found "any" crack or damage.
Iran’s only power producing nuclear reactor in Bushehr was damaged by earthquakes which struck Iran over April and May, diplomats told AP. Cracks have reportedly appeared in at least one section of the structure. Cracks of several meters long have appeared in one concrete section of the facility, claimed diplomats from countries monitoring Iran’s nuclear program. Cracks however were not visible around the highly-radioactive reactor core, they said. Tehran did not deny or confirm the report with Iran’s chief delegate to the IAEA, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, telling AP: “I know nothing about Bushehr.”
Read the full article here remark : Political weapon or truth ? Nobody knows. The least we can say is that people should keep in mind that there is a war of words in between the West and Iran. Iran is partly to blame for the "rumors" as it does not disclose every detail of their nuclear installations. At the same time "rumors" are in many cases just "rumors" and not facts. Most nuclear recently build plants can resist easily a M8.0 earthquake. lets hope that the next article in this series comes with more facts and less rumors.

Bushehr nuclear plant - image courtesy and copyright Kiyanovsky Dmitry

Bushehr nuclear plant - image courtesy and copyright Kiyanovsky Dmitry


Christchurch, New Zealand : Smart science or Understanding what lies beneath (added on June 4)
The liquefaction that swamped Christchurch East streets with tonnes of silt and sludge has become one of the most enduring images of the city's earthquakes.  Well-known Canterbury geologist Dr Mark Quigley has since used slides of red-zoned Bexley, his old suburb, when arguing how better science and research could make it harder for such poorly-founded areas to be opened up for development. Now an ambitious project using state-of-the-art technology, being developed by GNS Science, may also prevent planners and developers from building another Bexley. A new Crown-funded 3D mapping project, which has began with a nearly complete model of Christchurch, will boost our understanding of the geology beneath our main centres, presenting masses of data in an impressive interactive model.
Read the full article here

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No flat in Karachi, Pakistan is quake-proof, says a University of Karachi geologist (added on June 3)
No flat in the city is quake-proof; any possible earthquake could cause mass destruction if the existing flats are not strengthened by installing strong pillars containing cement and iron, said a geology expert.
Prof Shamim A Sheikh, who is also the chairman of the Department of Geology at the University of Karachi, said the Sindh government and the Provincial Disaster Management Authority should devise an effective plan to tackle any possible earthquake that could hit the metropolis.
He said several local organisations and experts have advised the federal and provincial governments time and again for devising solid plans to tackle natural disasters, but no measures have been taken yet, which is a matter of great concern. The city also needs more earthquake-measuring instruments and heavy machinery for rescue, he added.
Read the full article here

Karachi - Image courtesy and copyright FaisalSarosh

Karachi - Image courtesy and copyright FaisalSarosh


Earthquake scenarios show potential for huge damage, loss of life (added on June 2)
If there were any lingering doubts that Washington state is earthquake country, a new set of scenarios developed by state and federal geologists makes it clear that no part of the state is immune to seismic mayhem.
From Tacoma to the Tri-Cities, the scenarios lay out potential impacts from a major earthquake on each region's most dangerous fault.
"Some level of earthquake damage is very plausible virtually anywhere in Washington," said Tim Walsh, geologic hazards chief for the state Department of Natural Resources.
Read the full article here

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Seafloor 'breathing' may help forecast big quakes (added on June 1)
Tracking tiny earthquakes with advanced technology could help scientists forecast the next devastating temblor, one expert says.
By deploying data-collecting ocean-bottom seismometers, marine researchers can keep track of small earthquakes created by the flow of the tides in the deep ocean. These small earthquakes are triggered by the expansion and contraction of the seafloor with the tides, which happens on a daily basis.
Read the full article here

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M7 slow release earthquake under Wellington, New Zealand (added on May 31)
To the west of Wellington, the equivalent of a magnitude 7 earthquake is happening right now, 40 km below ground. This would be Wellington’s largest earthquake in 150 years, yet nothing is felt at the surface. Even our sensitive earthquake recording instruments hardly notice a thing. This is because, unlike a normal earthquake, these plate movements happen very slowly in a process known as “slow-slip events”. This Kapiti slow-slip event is affecting an area spanning over 100 km from Levin to the Marlborough Sounds. Conventional earthquakes happen when one side of a fault moves past the other suddenly. A similar process occurs with slow slip, except it takes much longer for the fault to move and release energy, this is why slow-slip events are often called silent earthquakes.
Read the full article here

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Earthquake clustering, complex fault ruptures, and the geologic record
The last decade has perhaps been the worst ever for both earthquake scientists and earthquake victims. Some 630,000 lives have been lost since 2000 due to earthquakes and associated tsunami. Although technological advances have continued to improve our ability to monitor earthquakes, document their effects, and engineer earthquake resilient structures, some of our scientific short-comings have become strikingly, and very publically, apparent.
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Slow Earthquakes: Slippery Clays at Fault
Slow earthquakes don't kill anyone, but they're certainly suspicious characters. Recent great earthquakes, such as massive temblors in Japan and Chile, were foreshadowed by slow quakes shuffling through the regions in the months before the deadly shaking struck. The big difference between slow and regular earthquakes is speed. While the regular earthquakes with which most people are familiar release a burst of built-up stress in seconds, slow earthquakes release energy in ways that do little damage, either at low frequencies, or over days, months or years.
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  1. Nice article. I wish one day scientists could tell us even 5 minutes before quake occurs.


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