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Conformable Contacts
Notes from the intersection of faith, reason and geology
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Experts Expect More Earthquakes in China’s Dam-Choked South

Experts Expect More Earthquakes in China’s Dam-Choked South | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it

The most widely accepted explanation of how dams cause earthquakes is related to the extra water pressure created in the micro-cracks and fissures in the ground under and near a reservoir. When the pressure of the water in the rocks increases, it acts to lubricate faults that are already under tectonic strain, but are prevented from slipping by the friction of the rock surfaces. In deep and large reservoirs, the extra load of the water over an existing fault line can also lead to movement along a fault. Thus the rapid filling of a large reservoir may trigger an earthquake that would have otherwise naturally occurred several if not hundreds of years later.It is well established (although little known to the general public) that large dams can trigger earthquakes.

 

Experts in China and the US have for years researched the possible link between the Wenchuan quake and the filing of the Zipingpu Reservoir – just 5.5 kilometers away from the epicenter. While the results are not conclusive, the phenomenon known as RIS has been studied for decades, with global estimates identifying over 100 cases of earthquakes that scientists believe were triggered by reservoirs.

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Reindeer sausage and earthquake newspaper clippings

Reindeer sausage and earthquake newspaper clippings | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it

The blogger writes about her summer visit to Alaska, and a meal at Gwennie's Old Alaska Restaurant:

 

"Gwennie’s is full of kitsch and crazy: taxidermied animals and antlers are strewn about everywhere, and in-between one finds everything from Iditarod posters to stained glass windows depicting gold prospectors. The food is served on cheap plates with cheap cutlery, but it’s pretty good. Both my husband and I enjoyed the reindeer sausage with fries and a large drink since we were dehydrated from running errands all over Anchorage on a beautiful, sunny, warm summer day. ...

 

As we were wandering around looking at the various decorations, one of the waitresses suggested that we go over to the bar to take a look at all of the newspaper clippings from the 1964 Alaska earthquake. This earthquake was enormous, registering 9.2 on the Richter Scale. For reference, that’s the same magnitude as the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake that created the large tsunami that devastated parts of Asia.

 

Jackie and I had heard and read about the 1964 Alaska earthquake before, but seeing the newspaper clippings and pictures really put the earthquake in perspective. The clippings put a human face on the earthquake, which was so destructive that some Alaskan towns never bothered to rebuild but simply were abandoned. Looking at the pictures of the earthquake’s destruction was fascinating, humbling, and awe-inspiring."

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2011 quake sparked new study, rethink of seismic theory - Asahi Shimbun

2011 quake sparked new study, rethink of seismic theory - Asahi Shimbun | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it

"The devastating earthquake of March 2011 has left its mark on science, shaking up widely accepted seismic theory and forcing forecasters to reassess the chance of major quakes from  a soft seabed fault line."

 

Very interesting, but I've got to question the lower diagram--it seems to imply that Japan is on the North American plate.


Via Catherine Russell
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Earthquake where it wasn't supposed to happen--6.9-magnitude Negros Oriental Earthquake (on the Phillippine island of Negros) of Feb. 6

Earthquake where it wasn't supposed to happen--6.9-magnitude Negros Oriental Earthquake (on the Phillippine island of Negros)   of Feb. 6 | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it

(Caption: More than 50 people perished in the Solonggon Landslide where houses, built at the foot of a mountain slope, were crushed or buried.)

 

"The 6.9-magnitude Negros Oriental Earthquake of Feb. 6 came as a surprise to many, geoscientists included, because it occurred in an area where no active faults were known to exist. ... What happened in Negros Oriental reminds us that a map that does not indicate the presence of an active fault is no guarantee that the place is safe from earthquakes."

 

Shows that landscapes may have been rearranged by earthquakes without leaving surface evidence of faulting. Checkout the description of the boy who "surfed" a landslide, kite still in hand.

 

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Unshaken complacency

Unshaken complacency | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it

"It wasn't until about 2000 that scientists first reached a consensus that the (potential) earthquake could be a magnitude 8 or 9. ... During the long seconds of a magnitude 9.0 Cascadia earthquake, the soft loose soils along the Columbia River could quickly convert to the consistency of liquid or quicksand."

 

The image is from Japan, the article about the potential for an offshore earthquake to cause similar damage on the Pacific Northwest coast.

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Google Lat Long: Explore digital archives of buildings in Japan affected by the 2011 tsunami

Google Lat Long: Explore digital archives of buildings in Japan affected by the 2011 tsunami | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it

"A year ago we released Street View imagery of areas in Northeastern Japan that were affected by the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Our hope was that the 360-degree panoramas would provide a comprehensive, accurate and easy-to-use way for people around the world to view the damage to the region by enabling a virtual walk through of the disaster zones."

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Liquefaction

An exhibit at Discovery Science Center. What is soil liquefaction?

 

Found in a post at Google Earth Design, one of my new fave sites, in a teaching exercise on the San Francisco earthquake:  http://googleearthdesign.blogspot.fr/2012/09/san-francisco-earthquake-teaching.html

 

From a YEC perspective, liquefaction has a lot of potential explanatory power.

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