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You are browsing the archive for Anniversaries Archives - The Trembling Earth.

March 11, 2015

Hollywood and the USGS both have announcements about California quakes

The last day has been chock full of big public-facing announcements regarding earthquakes, so it’s a good time to step in and sort them out, as well as a good time for (real life) earthquake scientists to capitalize on the surge of awareness. The big real news comes from the USGS, which has finalized and released the most advanced seismic hazard model of California to date, the Uniform California Earthquake Rupture …



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April 18, 2014

What would the 1906 earthquake look like today?

Today is the 108th anniversary of the devastating M7.8 San Francisco earthquake. As with any “quakiversary” it’s a ripe opportunity for reflection on how earthquake knowledge and engineering have progressed since we learned from that disaster, and to consider how we would fare if faced with the same catastrophe today. One powerful way to consider how modern-day San Francisco would fare in a repeat of the 1906 quake is by …



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March 28, 2014

The second largest quake on the planet: photos, videos, and its informative legacy

As I am sure everyone has recognized by now, one of the biggest earthquakes recorded in our planet’s history–and the biggest in the United States–rocked Alaska for some three+ minutes 50 years ago today. The 1964 Good Friday earthquake, known also as the Great Alaska earthquake, measured magnitude 9.2. The earthquake shocked the fledgling state with catastrophic environmental effects, including most notably the lateral-spreading collapse of entire neighborhoods in the capital …



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March 12, 2014

Tohoku tsunami maps: lessons for the Pacific Northwest

As we pass the three-year mark since one of the most astoundingly gargantuan earthquakes in human history, we marvel at the unprecedented opportunity it gave us to understand earthquakes, tsunamis, oceanic subduction, litho-hydro-atmospheric coupling, plate tectonics, and the Earth itself. We can also appreciate, with humble reverence, the lessons it continues to teach us about the social dimensions of disaster trauma, risk, and resilience. Japan continues to struggle, now largely …



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January 16, 2014

Two decades since L.A.’s Northridge earthquake

It’s already been twenty years since Los Angeles was last really rocked by an earthquake. The 4:31am Northridge temblor, a magnitude 6.7 that literally threw the city from its sleep, was the iconic natural disaster of the 1990s and the last in a string of quakes, fires, and mudslides to pummel Los Angeles in the early half of the decade. Though violent, destructive, and memorable, the Northridge quake struck merely …



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October 17, 2013

Are you ready for an earthquake? Make sure today.

What if an earthquake hit right now, the moment you read this? A big one. You get a few seconds of puzzling low rumbling to figure out what’s going on, and then the room you’re in lurches to the side and back. The floor bounces, the walls creak and crackle, books and papers topple and slide, and heavy things all around you start to wobble and flop over. You had no …



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June 5, 2013

China’s earthquake ruins: a memorial ghost town

Last month China unveiled an earthquake memorial park to commemorate the lives lost and damage wrought by the M7.9 Wenchuan earthquake that occurred 5 years ago this May. The Atlantic has a set of great photos showing the haunting site.   In addition to a brand new museum and memorial wall naming the >80,000 who lost their lives, the memorial includes the entire destroyed city of Beichuan, its crumbled and …



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June 2, 2013

Danse de la Terre

Last week marked 100 years since the debut of my favorite piece of music of all time: Igor Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring. The ballet debuted to a legendary amount of controversy, but its cacophonous, haunting beauty has been recreated and rechoreographed countless times in the past century, including for example this 1975 Pina Bausch version of the culminating “Sacrificial Dance,” which I’m pretty certain forms the main inspiration for the 1983 Thriller …



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January 17, 2013

Remembering Northridge

Today is a day of significant quake anniversaries for the U.S. and Japan. The last U.S. quake to kill more than a few people struck the L.A. suburb of Northridge 19 years ago today, in the wee hours of the morning. The San Fernando Valley was hit hard, but the whole L.A. area rattled violently, and seismic waves from The Valley were focused through the Santa Monica Mountains into the …



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November 5, 2012

Ten years ago Denali shook

Saturday [November 3, 2012]  marked the ten-year anniversary of the largest quake to hit the U.S. since 1964, and the 1906 SF quake before that. The M7.9 Denali earthquake tore a ~250 mile gash through Alaskan glaciers and pine forests along the Denali Fault, which runs beside the eponymous mountain also known as Mt. McKinley, North America’s highest peak. Much like the Haida Gwaii earthquake last week, the Denali quake …



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