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August 18, 2016

Studying Earthquakes from England

I’m back at it! This blog has suffered a long hiatus for which I could prattle on with a multitude of excuses, but suffice it to say that the shift from U.S. PhD student life to European postdoc life resulted in a pretty vast rearrangement of my day-to-day activities, priorities, schedule, and habits, and I’ve struggled to carve the time for all the things I’m still even more excited to …

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October 26, 2015

Indian slab lurches downward beneath Afghanistan

As I walked into the department this bright brisk morning, coffee cheerily in hand, the live global seismogram display in the atrium caught my eye with an alarming event that had just happened during my bike ride into work. BIG earthquake, somewhere in the vicinity of Central/Southern Asia. Indeed, an earthquake deep (>200 km) beneath the Hindu Kush mountains of Afghanistan had shaken a huge swath of Central and South …

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May 6, 2015

It’s 2015. We respond to earthquakes from space.

The seismic waves ringing out from Nepal on April 25 reached sensors around the planet, mobilizing a vast, remote response that’s truly a sign of the times in modern seismic disaster recovery. While Kathmandu and the surrounding towns and villages stood shocked and crippled by the now-named Gorkha earthquake, satellites sweeping by overhead quickly gathered a picture of the scene, transmitting intricate detail of the disaster to the world with …

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June 23, 2013

John Muir’s 1872 earthquake and Sierran rockfalls

When you gaze upon the breathtaking vistas in Yosemite National Park the mind reels trying to take in and process the breathtaking natural beauty in front of you. At the same time, it strains and cringes as hordes of tourists unloading by the bus-full elbow to carve out their own little section of the crowd in which to pose for a stranger-free shot of the stunning natural scenery. It’s the …

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May 2, 2013

Welcome to The Trembling Earth, now an AGU blog

Welcome to The Trembling Earth, a blog where you can find commentary, context, and consideration of developments in earthquake science. And to my existing readers, welcome to the new home! Here you’ll find periodic musings on seimological advances as well as media that unveil and illuminate the phenomenon of earthquakes. I’ve been studying earthquakes–in some form–since I felt my first one at age 13 and just needed to know how and why the Earth …

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January 21, 2013

Yakko, Wakko, and Dot recount the Northridge quake

“It’s just the planet moving granite several city blocks.” Our favorite cat/monkey/dogs reflect on their experience of L.A.’s 1994 temblor. Of course the Warner Brothers studios–where the writers work and the Animaniacs themselves live–is situated in the heart of Burbank, where shaking from the Northridge earthquake (on January 17, 1994, at 4:30 in the morning) was severe. In the early 90s L.A. truly established itself as the city of disaster …

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January 18, 2013

Follow me @TTremblingEarth

I’ve done it: I’ve taken the plunge into the Twittersphere. Tweet-a-sphere? Twit-osphere? Well anyway I plan to use Twitter to send out all the glorious little things I find neat and interesting and have nowhere near enough time to blog about, or which don’t really warrant a whole bunch of additional talk, like this and this and this (ew) and this (oh please at least click that last one). My …

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January 7, 2013

Trembling Ice: The largest glacier you’ve ever seen collapse

Straying briefly into the hydrosphere, I’d like to bring to your attention a video of an event that no doubt trembled the Earth for miles around, and wrought seismic and tectonic havoc on the Ilulissat glacier in Greenland. In the course of capturing footage and ice-cap scenes for their new and acclaimed movie “Chasing Ice“, a team of young sciency filmmakers/photographers witnessed the most enormous collapse of a glacier ever …

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September 6, 2012

Field work: Accomplished

I’m back! …from my fourth and “final” field season in western China. I spent a month on the northern edge of the Tibetan Plateau, hunting around in the dirt for evidence of past earthquake ruptures. Fortunately the Altyn Tagh fault is a pretty big deal, so there’s plenty of geologic history to scrape out of it. Theoretically I’ve collected all the maps, surveys, geochron samples, and frantically scribbled thoughts about …

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May 19, 2012

Trembling from above – first-hand tornado wrath

This past weekend The New Yorker‘s new “Weekend Reading” feature directed me to a fascinating disaster survival narrative that was so good I figure I can take a little departure from solid Earth phenomena to point you all to the enthralling account… and the first-hand videos that accompany it. The disaster in question was an EF-5 tornado that scored a direct hit on the modest southwest Missouri town of Joplin on …

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