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Posts Tagged "earthquake"

Budding Scientist

Get Your Own Earthquake Sensor, and Other Temblor Tips

If you live anywhere between North Carolina and Connecticut, chances are you felt the earth shake a couple of hours ago. If you have kids, they are probably asking you lots of questions–or will be, soon. Here are some resources to help you answer them, adapted from the blog of the National Science Teachers Association:   [...]

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Cross-Check

Japan earthquake demonstrates the limits—and power—of science

replica of 2nd century chinese seismograph

Will seismologists ever be able to reliably predict the exact location, time and magnitude of earthquakes like the one that just devastated Japan and sent tsunamis racing across the Pacific Ocean? If so, they might be able to save many lives. Consider how many people have been killed by large earthquakes just in the last [...]

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Doing Good Science

Complacent in earthquake country.

composite-square-02

A week ago, there was a 6.0 earthquake North of San Francisco. I didn’t feel it, because I was with my family in Santa Barbara that weekend. Even if we had been home, it’s not clear that we would have noticed it; reports are that some folks in San Jose felt some shaking but others [...]

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Expeditions

RV Atlantis: Safe from the tsunami

Editor’s Note: Journalist and crew member Kathryn Eident and scientist Jeremy Jacquot are traveling on board the RV Atlantis on a monthlong voyage to sample and study nitrogen fixation in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean, among other research projects. This is the fifth blog post detailing this ongoing voyage of discovery for ScientificAmerican.com. RV ATLANTIS, [...]

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Guest Blog

Earthquake triggering, and why we don’t know where the next big one will strike

As I came through airport security in Connecticut, upon presentation of my California driver’s license, the TSA officer asked me, "Aren’t you folks worried about how that big Japan quake is going to hit you next?" I was glad to be able to tell him that we’re not any more worried than we were before, [...]

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Guest Blog

Why we live in dangerous places

Natural disasters always seem to strike in the worst places. The Sendai earthquake has caused over 8,000 deaths, destroyed 450,000 people’s homes, crippled four nuclear reactors and wreaked over $300 billion in damage. And it’s only the latest disaster. Haiti will need decades to rebuild after its earthquake. New Orleans still hasn’t repopulated following Hurricane [...]

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Guest Blog

Impact of the Japan earthquake and tsunami on animals and environment

On Friday, March 11, Japan was rocked by an earthquake. People were displaced, a nuclear reactor was in trouble, and the world watched as a tsunami flooded Japan, threatened the islands of the Pacific, and ultimately hit the western coasts of North and South America. Chris Rowan pointed out that “Very little of the devastation [...]

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Guest Blog

Japan earthquake: The explainer

Around 3 P.M. local time on Friday, there was a massive earthquake about 100 miles off the east coast of northern Honshu Island, Japan. Initially calculated to be a magnitude 8.9, it has since been upgraded to at least a magnitude 9.0, which means that this earthquake released around 8,000 times more energy than the [...]

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Guest Blog

Failure of imagination can be deadly: Fukushima is a warning

The extent of the damage at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear facility is still unknown, but comparisons to Chernobyl were inevitable as soon as fuel rods became exposed and an explosion rocked the site. But is the analogy accurate? Chernobyl, the worst nuclear disaster thus far in the history of the industry, was the result of a [...]

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Guest Blog

Beware the fear of nuclear….FEAR!

It is frightening to watch what’s going on with Japan’s nuclear plant at Fukushima. It is also worrying to watch the fear racing around the world as a result of those events, fear that in some cases is far in excess of what’s going on, or even the worst case scenarios of what might happen. [...]

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Guest Blog

The essential lesson from the Japan earthquake for the U.S.

Explosion at JFE Steel Chiba factory after Japan 2011 earthquake

As we watch in the images rolling in from Japan we are yet again reminded of the sudden destructive potential of mother Earth. The number of fatalities is currently in the hundreds; the number displaced from their homes is in the tens of thousands. The tsunami generated by this magnitude 8.9 earthquake sent a wall of water [...]

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Guest Blog

Nature : Earthquake dispatches from the correspondent in Japan [Updated]

Our partners at Nature have a correspondent in Japan. On their blog The Great Beyond they post regular dispatches, which we reproduce below and will update as new articles come in. Japan earthquake: report from Tokyo – March 11, 2011 Posted by Brian Owens on March 11, 2011 on behalf of David Cyranoski, in Tokyo. [...]

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Observations

Oil Addiction, Not Fracking, Caused the 2011 Oklahoma Earthquakes

Earthquakes have become more than 10 times more common in normally quiescent parts of the U.S., such as Ohio and Oklahoma, in the past few years. Given the simultaneous uptick in fracking—an oil and gas drilling technique that involves fracturing shale rock deep underground with the use of a high pressure water cocktail—it’s common to [...]

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Observations

Paul Farmer’s Prescription for Restoring Health in Haiti–and Beyond

Paul Farmer

PHILADELPHIA—Paul Farmer is used to uphill battles. After decades working to fight HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis in impoverished areas of Haiti, the seemingly tireless doctor and anthropologist is now struggling to reassemble a health strategy for the country after last year’s earthquake and subsequent cholera outbreak. For Farmer, co-founder of the nonprofit organization Partners In Health [...]

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Observations

Top 10 Biggest East Coast Quakes on Record

Seismometer

Image courtesy of iStockphoto/kickers A magnitude 5.8 earthquake that shook buildings and sent people in New York, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and surrounding areas streaming outside into the summer weather on August 23 might seem like small shakes for residents of more quake-prone regions of the nation. California averages at least one earthquake larger than magnitude [...]

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Observations

UPDATED: Earthquake Shakes U.S. East Coast

Minutes ago, our 17-story building swayed side to side for a few seconds. Why? A 5.8 magnitude earthquake centered in Virginia, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, has shook the entire East Coast with reports on Twitter of shaking from at least Connecticut to North Carolina and inland as far as Ohio. You can get [...]

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Observations

Magnitude 7.1 aftershock disrupts efforts at Japan nuclear plant to stave off hydrogen explosions

japan,earthquake,tsunami,nuclear

As northeastern Japan coped with Thursday’s magnitude 7.1* aftershock, the largest since the disastrous March 11 magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami, the injection of nitrogen gas into one of the crippled reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant was interrupted as Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCo) workers evacuated to a safer site, according to [...]

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Observations

Rare perspective: Stereoscopic, color views of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake

The Smithsonian National Museum of American History recently discovered these images, the first 3-D, color stereoscopic photographs of San Francisco after the 1906 earthquake. Photographer Frederick Eugene Ives took the color images, known as kromograms, six months after the magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck the city on April 18, 1906. The top pair of images show [...]

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Observations

A “sixth sense” for earthquake prediction? Give me a break!

This post is a slightly edited version of my December 29, 2004, post written in reaction to media reports about a "sixth sense" in animals, that supposedly allows them to avoid a tsunami by climbing to higher ground. Every time there is a major earthquake or a tsunami, various media reports are full of phrases [...]

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Observations

Chile’s quake was the fifth largest on modern record

chile earthquake uplift coast

When a magnitude 8.8 earthquake struck Chile on February 27, residents and seismologists knew it was a big one. But a new analysis reaffirms just how massive it was. The megathrust quake shook the continent for hundreds of kilometers, sent tsunami waves throughout the region and some speculate could even have altered the Earth’s axis. [...]

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Observations

How the earthquake in Chile could change Earth’s axis

chile earthquake shorten days change earth axis rotation

The magnitude 8.8 earthquake that jolted Chile on Saturday was felt as far away as São Paulo. But NASA scientists are proposing that its repercussions are truly global in a geophysical sense: it likely shifted Earth’s axis by about eight centimeters. Such a shift would have the effect of shaking as much as 1.26 microseconds [...]

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Observations

Is the nuclear material at Los Alamos safe from an earthquake?

los alamos laboratory earthquake fire

Los Alamos National Laboratory conducts much of the nation’s nuclear security research, and a new study has found that the plutonium facility may not be equipped to safely ride out an earthquake. The lab, situated about 56 kilometers outside of Santa Fe, N.M., has long been known to be on a fault line, and builders [...]

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Plugged In

The Earthquake App — circa 1859

Screen shot 2011-08-23 at 11.27.08 PM

Okay, so we all had a swell time: the floor starts jiggling like a jello-mold, and those of us who didn’t run outside ran to Twitter, and it was on. Within seconds we were linking to the USGS site, the sites for the impenetrable Richter Scale and the simple, purely descriptive Modified Mercalli Scale (“III. Vibrations similar [...]

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Rosetta Stones

When Seahawks Fans Cause Seismic Events

Malcom Smith hoists his MVP trophy. Congratulations, Malcolm! Screenshot from same video as above.

After the Seahawks won the Super Bowl, I got curious: did all those fervent fans I’ve been seeing painting the town blue and green for the last several weeks cause another BeastQuake? From a brief browse of the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network, it would appear sadly, no. There weren’t enough fans packed tightly enough in [...]

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