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You are browsing the archive for Earthquake Management and Mitigation Archives - Page 2 of 4 - The Trembling Earth.

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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February 18, 2014

How hard has your zip code shaken?

Did you feel it? …Ever? These USGS maps show the highest shaking intensity reported in every zip code throughout the U.S. (and cities of the world) in the past two decades. 1991 – 2012  The USGS’s crowd-sourced Community Internet Intensity Maps, popularly known as “Did-You-Feel-It” maps, have been collecting online surveys of seismic shaking intensity since 1997. There’ve been plenty of quakes in that time, and in 2012 researchers put together …

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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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January 11, 2014

New map of Hollywood fault released

Amid an atmosphere of contention and high stakes, the California Geological Survey this week released a preliminary official map of the Hollywood Fault, one of the most threatening urban earthquake faults in the U.S. The map ( available in PDF format here ) delineates the best estimate surface trace of the Hollywood fault, which forms the southern boundary of the Santa Monica Mountains in urban Los Angeles. It also defines a “special …

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December 9, 2013

AGU 2013: Earth Science-palooza

After braving excruciating cold, ice-bound airports, and snow-covered mountain passes to get here, some 21,000 Earth Scientists have descended on San Francisco for the annual AGU Fall Meeting. They’ll all be happy to know that the National Weather Service calls for freezing temperatures in all areas except San Francisco tonight. So everyone from Back East can still pretend they’re having a balmy California vacation while we locals wrap our heads …

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November 19, 2013

The dilemma of earthquake retrofitting

The Los Angeles Times in October went on a bit of a crusade against lagging earthquake preparations in their quake-threatened home town. They have published a series of exposés investigating the lack of public awareness and the governmental inaction regarding building safety in the aging metropolis of L.A. “Concrete Risks” is indeed an illuminating piece, publicizing the fairly alarming prevalence of dangerous, quake-prone construction throughout a city that’s doomed to …

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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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October 7, 2013

Earthquake PSAs around the world

Earthquake public service announcements run the gamut from trite and dry to hip, beautiful, and even charming. The production quality of recent campaigns attests to both their importance and the practicality of raising awareness inexpensively through the Internet Media Machine. Public awareness and training about earthquake risks forms the foundation of any risk mitigation effort; building retrofits cost tons, but people can be trained how to protect themselves for far …

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July 29, 2013

Teaching earthquake hazard at Field Camp

You may have noticed a lull in my blog posting before last week. I’ll go ahead and attribute that to a busy spate of scheduling, planning, and traveling for work; next time I’ll try to leave some auto-posts. Among the many tasks that diverted me were two particularly enjoyable ones: preparing for and teaching a module of UC Davis’s summer Field Geology course–“field camp” as it is widely, famously, and …

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July 22, 2013

Help the USGS record a building implosion!

We all love watching the coordinated kabooms and dusty disappearance of a defunct building imploding in demolition, right? Heck, in Las Vegas it’s a spectacular ritual, touted flamboyantly as a tourist draw. Well the thunderous collapses of these buildings don’t merely satisfy our childish, sand-castle-smashing destructive tendencies; they radiate rumbling seismic waves through the soil and deep into the crust beneath them, “echoing” off of layers and boundaries hidden in …

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