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28 August 2011

Damage to the Ecuadorian Embassy

My wife Lily is an Ecuadorian citizen. She was born in Quito, and we have traveled there together. (She’s also a U.S. citizen.) After the big earthquake on Tuesday, significant structural damage was reported at several Washington landmarks including the Washington Monument and the Smithsonian Castle. Another one, less recognizable to most folks, but key in our personal geography, is the Embassy of Ecuador. Not only is it an outpost …


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27 August 2011

Animated GIF of Virginia quake aftershocks

So last Tuesday we had an earthquake, and we expected some aftershocks as the crust in the Mineral, Virginia, area adjusted to the new stress regime. We expected those aftershocks to be lesser in magnitude, and to take place after the main shock. In other words, we would predict the following: And, indeed, over the past several days, that’s actually what happened:


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25 August 2011


Since Tuesday’s big earthquake, we’ve had 5* aftershocks in the same area (and possibly on the same fault). The most recent one popped off last night at 1am. Here’s a plot showing the size of the events (moment magnitude) relative to the passing of time: Note that the quakes that came after “the big one” are smaller in their size (the amount of energy that they release into the surrounding …


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24 August 2011

Cracking up

Callan shares a geological analogue that developed in his house yesterday: en echelon tension fractures, common in sheared rocks, appeared on his ceiling due to the Mineral, Virginia earthquake.


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23 August 2011

The Mineral, VA earthquake of August 23, 2011 – UPDATED

Callan describes his experience with the widely-felt east coast earthquake of August 23, and provides an analysis of the fault(s) that may be reponsible.


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15 March 2011

New GPS vectors

Just wanted to call your attention to two new maps showing GPS displacement vectors from Japan. (Barry left links to these images in a comment yesterday.) These images are hosted on the website of the Geospatial Information Authority of Japan, and though I can’t read the Japanese to verify their authorship, I presume that agency produced them as well. They are easier to read than the one I posted on …


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12 March 2011

Secondary effects

Earthquakes themselves are rarely directly responsible for deaths… If you’re out in a field, or a park, it’s a disorienting experience, and you may see some weird stuff, but you’re not likely to be killed via whiplash. Usually, casualties are induced due to the collapse of buildings, or roads, bridges, tunnels, or other infrastructure failing due to being shaken by the seismic waves. Someone paraphrased the NRA yesterday with the …


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The morning after

A new resource for the Japanese earthquake is online this morning, a “supersite” similar to the ones that exist for other huge events. Checking it out this morning, I found some interesting stuff. Over night, there have been more aftershocks, and here’s the most recent 600 or so events in the area, taken from IRIS’s interactive map. You can see the big circle that represents yesterday’s main shock: Explore the …


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11 March 2011

Japan M8.9 quake + tsunami

I’m not usually the “report on current events” type of geoblogger, but someone needs to throw a few details up ASAP for those who are interested in the details of the big Japanese earthquake and resulting tsunami that is currently crossing the Pacific Ocean. First off: links to other geoblogs already reporting on the event: Geotripper, Paleoseismicity, Hypo-theses, Dan’s Wild, Wild Science Journal , Eruptions, Georneys, Hudson Valley Geologist, and …


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6 December 2010

Gerede segment of the North Anatolian Fault

The author recounts a field trip in October along the section of Turkey’s North Anatolian Fault that last ruptured in 1944. The rock types on either side of the fault are compared, offset markers are illustrated, and several types of landforms particular to strike-slip faults are shown. The post concludes with an examination of the town of Gerede itself, which is built directly atop the fault.


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