Can "MegaQuakes" really happen? Like a magnitude 10 or larger?
No, earthquakes of magnitude 10 or larger cannot happen. The magnitude of an earthquake is related to the length of the fault on which it occurs. That is, the longer the fault, the larger the earthquake. A fault is a break in the rocks that make up the Earth's crust, along which rocks on either side have moved past each other. No fault long enough to generate a magnitude 10 earthquake is known to exist, and if it did, it would extend around most of the planet.
The largest earthquake ever recorded was a magnitude 9.5 on May 22, 1960 in Chile on a fault that is almost 1,000 miles long… a “megaquake” in its own right.
Solar flares and magnetic storms belong to a set of phenomena known collectively as "space weather". Technological systems and the activities of modern civilization can be affected by changing space-weather conditions. However, it has never been demonstrated that there is a causal relationship between space weather and...Read Full Answer
No, California is not going to fall into the ocean. California is firmly planted on the top of the earth’s crust in a location where it spans two tectonic plates. The San Andreas Fault System, which crosses California from the Salton Sea in the south to Cape Mendocino in the north, is the boundary between the Pacific Plate...Read Full Answer
In the 4th Century B.C., Aristotle proposed that earthquakes were caused by winds trapped in subterranean caves. Small tremors were thought to have been caused by air pushing on the cavern roofs, and large ones by the air breaking the surface. This theory lead to a belief in earthquake weather, that because a large amount...Read Full Answer
The earliest reference we have to unusual animal behavior prior to a significant earthquake is from Greece in 373 BC. Rats, weasels, snakes, and centipedes reportedly left their homes and headed for safety several days before a destructive earthquake. Anecdotal evidence abounds of animals, fish, birds, reptiles, and insects...Read Full Answer
No. Neither the USGS nor any other scientists have ever predicted a major earthquake. We do not know how, and we do not expect to know how any time in the foreseeable future. An earthquake prediction must define 3 elements: 1) the date and time, 2) the location, and 3) the magnitude.
Yes, some people...Read Full Answer
Electromagnetic variations have been observed after earthquakes, but despite decades of work, there is no convincing evidence of electromagnetic precursors to earthquakes. It is worth acknowledging that geophysicists would actually love to demonstrate the reality of such precursors, especially if they could be used for...Read Full Answer
The coastal geology of Simeonof Island, the southeastern-most island in the Shumagin archipelago of the Aleutian Islands, suggests the region has not experienced a great megathrust earthquake in at least the past 3,400 years.
Ever since the great magnitude 9.2 earthquake shook Alaska 50 years ago today, scientists have suspected that the quake's rupture halted at the southwestern tip of Kodiak Island due to a natural barrier.
The USGS has updated the magnitude of the March 11, 2011, Tohoku earthquake in northern Honshu, Japan, to 9.0 from the previous estimate of 8.9. Independently, Japanese seismologists have also updated their estimate of the earthquake’s magnitude to 9.0.
A great earthquake along the southern San Andreas Fault could cause many tall buildings to collapse in Los Angeles, explains USGS earthquake expert Dr. Ken Hudnut in a new video interview.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), 2004 was the deadliest year for earthquakes since the Renaissance Age, making it the second most fatal in recorded history, with more than 275,950 deaths reported from the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and subsequent tsunami that hit the Indian Ocean on Dec. 26.
Southern California is not likely to experience a "huge earthquake,"according to two scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey.
A magnitude 7.0 earthquake occurred on southern Sumatra, Indonesia, at 2:09 p.m. EDT (local time on Sumatra 1:09 a.m., Oct. 7). The epicenter was about 105 miles southeast of Panang or 290 miles southwest of Singapore.
Block diagram illustrating an idealized geological setting offshore the state of Washington. As the subducting Juan De Fuca tectonic plate dives beneath North America, it can generate an earthquake, and trigger a tsunami.
April 2011 in waterfront area of Tohoku, Japan following the March 11 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
A severely damaged home, or a portion of one, sits atop debris in Banda Aceh on the island of Sumatra. Damage was caused by a massive, highly destructive tsunami, triggered by a magnitude 9.1 earthquake just offshore of Sumatra, on December 26, 2004.
Map of the 11 March 2011 Tohoku earthquake epicenter in relation to the Northwestern and main Hawaiian Islands
Damage from the magnitude 9.2 earthquake in Alaska on March 27, 1964.
A masonry building in the downtown part of Concepcion, Chile partially collapsed as a result of the M 8.8 earthquake on Feb. 27, 2010. Most modern buildings in Concepcion were undamaged during the earthquake due to the city's adoption of adequate building standards. However, many masonry buildings such as this one were heavily damaged.