How exactly does one build an earthquake-proof building? If you answered "make sure the structure rocks completely off its foundation," you're actually in good company. A research team led by Stanford and the University of Illinois successfully tested a structural system that holds a building together through a magnitude-seven earthquake, and even pulls it back upright on its foundation when the quaking stops. The key: embracing the shaking, by limiting the damage to a few flexible, replaceable areas within the building's frame.
Today's stealth fighters, such as the F-22 Raptor, may do pretty well in concealing their radar signature, but mathematicians say that a new active cloaking technique could someday generate electromagnetic fields to hide submarines from sonar, or even protect buildings from earthquakes.
Disaster film director Roland Emmerich must be quaking in his boots knowing that his movies may soon have to be a little less destructive. With the invention of an "invisibility cloak" for buildings, earthquake damage could be significantly minimized. Using a series of concentric rings in the foundation of a building, this "cloak" directs seismic waves around a building, rather than destructively against and through it.
Southern Californians may be living on borrowed time. At least two sections of the notorious San Andreas Fault, a hotbed of tectonic tension, are apparently overdue for a huge earthquake that could devastate Los Angeles County or San Francisco. Though they can neither prevent nor pinpoint it, scientists would like to get as much information as they can as to where and when the next "Big One" could happen. Increasingly, they're turning to air and space to learn what's happening 10 miles underground.
A new radar plane developed at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory is the first American system designed to map earthquake hot zones.
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.
Earthquakes, tsunamis, cyclones -- disasters like these make the natural environment both unnavigable and dangerous for human search-and-rescue teams. That's when it's time for robots to come to our rescue.
Earthquakes are a recurring problem in Japan, an archipelago that rests on four tectonic plates. Japan also happens to be a hotbed of robotics research, so the two have come together in surprising ways.
In earthquake-prone California, where geologists say that the “Big One” is virtually certain to strike before 2040, a few seconds of warning could save lives. Allowing more time to duck and cover is one of the major goals of the new Quake-Catcher Network (QCN), an affordable, citizen-based earthquake-detection system that turns idle laptop computers into seismic sensors.
By measuring changes in rocks, seismologists may have found a way of predicting quakes hours in advance
By Molika AshfordPosted 07.15.2008 at 1:47 pm 0 Comments
For seismologists, the dream of a perfect earthquake forecasting system may be a step closer. In a letter published last week in the journal Nature, scientists announced they've discovered a way to read changes in rocks that could be used to predict dangerous quakes as much as ten and a half hours in advance.
Two months worth of shaking hit a peak Friday night in Nevada
By Gregory MonePosted 04.28.2008 at 4:23 pm 6 Comments
Some residents of Reno, Nevada, are leaving their homes after two months of scattered earthquakes. An earthquake that registered 4.7 on the Richter Scale hit Friday night - the strongest in a string of shakes that started way back at the end of February. But that wasn't all: More than 150 aftershocks rumbled through the region over the weekend.
Could we avoid the big one by setting off smaller quakes?
By Jim ObergPosted 06.30.2005 at 6:00 pm 0 Comments
An earthquake is a sudden release of stress that has built up along a fault line, where rock faces push against each other. If that stress could be released over a longer period of time—with a series of smaller quakes—the result might be less catastrophic.
Engineers have known for 40 years that injecting fluids deep into wells can accidentally trigger mini—quakes by lubricating “sticky” rock faces. Since that time, there have been numerous proposals to pump fluids into stressed fault lines.