Jul 31, 2009 | 4
For the first time, researchers have been able to drill deep (more than 1,600 meters) into an ocean fault zone.
The expedition team, onboard the Japanese research ship Chikyu, is searching for answers in the depths of the Nankai Trough about why the previously active fault has locked up in the past several decades—and what type of activity might be likely in the near future.
The Nankai Trough, off the southeast coast of Japan, is strikingly similar to the Cascadia subduction zone near the West Coast of North America, making more local researchers keen on the forthcoming data. “It’s almost as if we are drilling our own subduction zone because we’ll see a lot of the same things,” Kelin Wang of the Geological Survey of Canada told Wired.
Apr 7, 2009
A powerful, magnitude 6.9 earthquake shook the Kuril Islands off of Russia’s Pacific coast today as deaths from the 6.3 quake in Italy surpassed 200.
The Kuril Islands temblor, which occurred at 4:23 P.M. local time (12:23 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time), was in a sparsely populated area, according to CNN. It didn’t prompt the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center to issue a tsunami warning.
Meanwhile, 207 people were declared dead, 1,000 were injured and 15 people were still missing following yesterday's devastating quake in the Abruzzo region of Italy, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said during a tour of the region today, according to The New York Times. At least 280 aftershocks have hit the area since yesterday’s early morning quake, the newspaper said.
Feb 12, 2009
A magnitude 7.2 earthquake and three dozen aftershocks injured at least 42 people and set off a tsunami warning in eastern Indonesia.
The strongest quake struck 195 miles (320 kilometers) north of the Sulawesi island coast at 1:34 A.M. today in Indonesia (12:34 P.M. Eastern time yesterday), according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The strongest aftershock measured 6.2 on the Richter scale.
The tsunami warning lasted only an hour, according to the Associated Press. But that was long enough to scare residents, they told the newswire. "We were so afraid," said Damian Geruh, adding that women were screaming as they fled their homes. "We ran to nearby hill. I saw others climbing trees."
Indonesia is part of the "Ring of Fire," an area of active volcanoes and fault lines around the Pacific Basin. The country’s Aceh province was the hardest hit in the devastating December 2004 tsunami, which killed an estimated 230,000 people following a massive, magnitude 9.2 earthquake.
Jan 3, 2009 | 1
The waters off of Indonesia were rocked by a 7.6-magnitude earthquake at 4:43 a.m. local time Sunday, the US Geological Survey reports. The quake's epicenter was about 150 km (95 miles) off the coast of Manokwari, in the West Papua province, and 170 km (105 miles) from the city of Sorong. It was followed by at least two aftershocks, one measuring 7.5 on the Richter scale.
There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage, although the BBC quoted a police officer in Manokwari saying that power outages made assessing the area difficult.
The strength of the earthquake prompted authorities to issue a tsunami warning for the area, which was hit by an 8.2-magnitude earthquake on February 17, 1996. That quake, and an associated tsunami, killed more than 100 people, according to the USGS. The tsunami warning today was withdrawn within an hour.
Dec 30, 2008
Did a big wave hit the Big Apple way back when? Scientists say a tsunami struck the New York City area 2,300 years ago, possibly as a result of a meteorite crashing into the Atlantic Ocean.
“It would have been a bad day to end all bad days,” research scientist Dallas Abbott of Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory tells today's New York Times.
While no one has found a large crater that would indicate that a meteorite struck, Abbott discovered miniscule diamonds and tiny carbon spheres in Hudson River sediment that may be signs that a rock 330 feet (100 meters) across hit the New York City area. Abbott and colleagues at Harvard University reported their finding earlier this month at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco.
Dec 12, 2008 | 1
Another major earthquake along the same fault line that sparked the devastating 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami is likely in the next several decades—and it could unleash as much or more destruction, new research suggests.
The tsunami, which killed an estimated 250,000 people, was sparked by a magnitude 9.2 earthquake along the Sunda fault off the coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. A major 8.4 temblor and aftershocks along a southern section of that fault called the Mentawi patch shook up the region last year.
Now, analysis of coral growth patterns along the Mentawi patch suggests that the 2007 quake may have been just the first episode in an "earthquake supercycle," or set of large quakes that have occurred in the region roughly every 200 years for the past seven centuries. Sections of the Earth's crust called tectonic plates are likely to rupture again under the Mentawi patch within several decades, possibly generating a magnitude 8.8 temblor, according to research published in this week's Science.
Nov 17, 2008 | 1
At least four people died and 30 were injured after a major, magnitude 7.3 earthquake shook Indonesia early today, prompting authorities to activate the country's new tsunami warning system.
The quake struck at 1:02 a.m. local time (12:02 p.m. EST yesterday) 85 miles (135 kilometers) northwest of Gorontalo in the country's central Sulawesi region, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The new tsunami warning system was turned off a couple hours after the quake struck and no cyclone developed, but residents were still panicked and clustered on high ground, the International Herald Tribune reports.
Aug 28, 2008 | 1
Canada's Vancouver Island has been jolted by a string of earthquakes and their aftershocks since Monday, but residents have barely noticed because the tremors are so far offshore. The latest and most powerful quake—registering magnitude 5.5 on the Richter scale—ripped through the Pacific Ocean floor off the island's west coast at 5:37 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time, according to Natural Resources Canada.
Though more vigorous than those experienced in the area in years past, the quakes are not causing alarm at the Ministry of Public Safety's Emergency Management British Columbia.
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