Until buildings can be cloaked from earthquakes or built to levitate above them, seismic sensors will help warn people of impending temblors — but seismologists always need more data. Rather than expanding earthquake tracking through expensive sensors, a new project in Taiwan aims to crowdsource quake data through Internet-savvy high school science students.
Instead of building super-strong yet flexible structures to withstand earthquakes, what if you built your house to levitate on a cushion of air? This is already being employed in Japan, a little less than a year after the massive earthquake and tsunami that devastated the country.
Using lasers to map the Earth following an earthquake could reveal exactly where the planet’s crust ruptured, augmenting other seismological networks that document the destruction. With detailed maps, experts could potentially judge where the Earth might split — not necessarily predicting earthquakes, but pinpointing their likely locations and preparing for the worst hazards associated with them.
Chinese scientists have reportedly cloned six piglets from a pig that survived the devastating 2008 earthquake in Sichuan province. The piglets’ DNA is identical to that of their father, Zhu Jiangqiang, or "Strong-Willed Pig,” who is something of a national celebrity in China.
Several of Japan's nuclear power plants, especially the Fukushima Naiishi plant in northeastern Japan, are experiencing serious problems in the wake of Friday's earthquake and tsunami. If you've been following the news, you've seen some pretty alarming stuff going on at this plant--terms like "explosion," "partial meltdown," "evacuation," and "radiation exposure." With details sparse from the chaotic scene, here's what you need to know to understand and make sense of the news unfolding in Japan.
Earth-mapping satellites have been snapping photos of the aftermath of the massive earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan last week. Combined with earlier photos, the images put the path of destruction carved by the tsunami into stark relief.
Seismologists are putting together some impressive computer models of the devastating earthquake that struck Japan Friday. As the tragedy continues to unfold, it’s pretty breathtaking to see the Earth’s destructive power in action.
It’s easy to think of tsunamis as phenomenon that mimic the behavior of ripples on the surface of water; you toss a stone into a pond and the resulting energy from the splash moves out away from the epicenter in a series of even, concentric circles. But this NOAA energy distribution map from the 8.8 magnitude earthquake in Chile over the weekend tells a different story.
This morning, a 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck Belize and Honduras, resulting a few fatalities and some property damage.
Paul Earl, a seismologist with the United States Geological Survey, told Popsci.com that the quake emanated from the Swan Island Transform fault, a strike-slip fault not unlike the San Andreas fault in California. Both the location -- 80 miles off shore -- and the type of fault helped minimize the destruction caused by the event.