The fundamentals of earthquake mechanics are simple: Pieces of rock slip past one another along a fault to release pent-up energy. Some of that energy ripples outward, causing seismic waves that shake the earth. But how long it takes and exactly how the energy dissipates has remained elusive. To discern these processes, researchers recently built a machine at the University of Oklahoma to mimic what happens inside the earth's crust.
A deadly outbreak of cholera followed the 7.0 earthquake that struck Haiti three years ago this week. Jonathan Katz, the only American fulltime staff reporter stationed in Haiti at the time, explains what caused the outbreak--and why it was anything but inevitable.
By Jonathan M. KatzPosted 01.07.2013 at 10:00 am 3 Comments
When a 7.3-magnitude earthquake struck off Japan's eastern coast early Friday morning, we all feared a tsunami. But San Francisco gets earthquakes all the time, and we're not scared of a tsunami there. Why?