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Science for Everyone

Science briefs about new earthquake research written for non-scientists.

    • Listening to the Earth at the South Pole

      The darkest place on Earth may be deep within a cave, but the quietest place on Earth is deep within the Antarctic ice. If you want to listen to the softest whispers of the Earth, South Pole, Antarctica is where you want to be. Seismic station, QSPA (Quiet South Pole, Antarctica) has been allowing us to eavesdrop on the Earth for over six decades, and it may soon gain the equivalent of hearing aid...
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      Listening to the Earth at the South Pole

      The darkest place on Earth may be deep within a cave, but the quietest place on Earth is deep within the Antarctic ice. If you want to listen to the softest whispers of the Earth, South Pole, Antarctica is where you want to be. Seismic station, QSPA (Quiet South Pole, Antarctica) has been allowing us to eavesdrop on the Earth for over six decades, and it may soon gain the equivalent of hearing aid...
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    • Improving Earthquake Monitoring with Deep Learning

      Release Date: MARCH 12, 2021On January 20, 2021 at 8:32am light shaking interrupted breakfast customers at a local coffee shop south of downtown Los Angeles, California. Everyone paused briefly while they waited to see if it was going to stop… or start shaking harder.
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      Improving Earthquake Monitoring with Deep Learning

      Release Date: MARCH 12, 2021On January 20, 2021 at 8:32am light shaking interrupted breakfast customers at a local coffee shop south of downtown Los Angeles, California. Everyone paused briefly while they waited to see if it was going to stop… or start shaking harder.
      Learn More
    • Auroras and Earthquakes: Strange Companions

      Release Date: JULY 6, 2020In 1722 and 1723 a London clockmaker, George Graham, observed daily and consistent variations on one of his instruments, a “Needle upon the Pin” (a compass), for which he had no explanation. Swedish scientists obtained some of Graham’s instruments to record what is now known to be the variations in Earth’s magnetic field. In 1741, they noticed a significant deflection of...
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      Auroras and Earthquakes: Strange Companions

      Release Date: JULY 6, 2020In 1722 and 1723 a London clockmaker, George Graham, observed daily and consistent variations on one of his instruments, a “Needle upon the Pin” (a compass), for which he had no explanation. Swedish scientists obtained some of Graham’s instruments to record what is now known to be the variations in Earth’s magnetic field. In 1741, they noticed a significant deflection of...
      Learn More
    • The Blind Zone of Earthquake Early Warning

      Release Date: MAY 29, 2020Residents in California, Oregon, and Washington have been told that earthquake early warning (EEW) is at their doorstep and will alert them to the shaking from an earthquake before it arrives. Some media reports have said there will be “up to a minute of warning”. The problem is, for onshore earthquakes these claims are exaggerated, and under some conditions a warning is...
      link

      The Blind Zone of Earthquake Early Warning

      Release Date: MAY 29, 2020Residents in California, Oregon, and Washington have been told that earthquake early warning (EEW) is at their doorstep and will alert them to the shaking from an earthquake before it arrives. Some media reports have said there will be “up to a minute of warning”. The problem is, for onshore earthquakes these claims are exaggerated, and under some conditions a warning is...
      Learn More
    • Earthquake Early Warning – Fine-Tuning for Best Alerts

      Release Date: OCTOBER 8, 2019The goal of an earthquake early warning (EEW) system is to provide an alert to people and automatic systems after an earthquake begins but before the shaking reaches their location. As the USGS and its partners are developing an EEW system, called ShakeAlert®, for the West Coast, the benefits, costs, capabilities, and limitations are being investigated. Two recent...
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      Earthquake Early Warning – Fine-Tuning for Best Alerts

      Release Date: OCTOBER 8, 2019The goal of an earthquake early warning (EEW) system is to provide an alert to people and automatic systems after an earthquake begins but before the shaking reaches their location. As the USGS and its partners are developing an EEW system, called ShakeAlert®, for the West Coast, the benefits, costs, capabilities, and limitations are being investigated. Two recent...
      Learn More
    • Preserving Historic Earthquake Records and Photos of the Instruments that Recorded Them

      Release Date: FEBRUARY 4, 2019A project to scan a small selection of the film chips of historical earthquake recordings to digital files was started in 1996. In addition to archiving historic data from the early years, the USGS has also worked to archive photos and descriptions of early seismometers.
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      Preserving Historic Earthquake Records and Photos of the Instruments that Recorded Them

      Release Date: FEBRUARY 4, 2019A project to scan a small selection of the film chips of historical earthquake recordings to digital files was started in 1996. In addition to archiving historic data from the early years, the USGS has also worked to archive photos and descriptions of early seismometers.
      Learn More
    • New Methods for Dating and Sequencing Ancient Earthquakes Along the Wasatch Fault Zone

      Release Date: OCTOBER 12, 2018Complex geologic sites, like those between the fault segments along the Wasatch fault zone in Utah, make the dating and ordering past earthquakes a difficult task. Two new methods were used to make this task easier and to get better results.
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      New Methods for Dating and Sequencing Ancient Earthquakes Along the Wasatch Fault Zone

      Release Date: OCTOBER 12, 2018Complex geologic sites, like those between the fault segments along the Wasatch fault zone in Utah, make the dating and ordering past earthquakes a difficult task. Two new methods were used to make this task easier and to get better results.
      Learn More
    • A New Map of Rodgers Creek Fault in Sonoma County, California

      Release Date: JULY 16, 2018A new more detailed and higher resolution map of the Rodgers Creek Fault in Sonoma County, California, has been produced using aerial photography and hillshade imagery derived from LiDAR data.
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      A New Map of Rodgers Creek Fault in Sonoma County, California

      Release Date: JULY 16, 2018A new more detailed and higher resolution map of the Rodgers Creek Fault in Sonoma County, California, has been produced using aerial photography and hillshade imagery derived from LiDAR data.
      Learn More
    • A Possible Cause of Earthquakes in the Continental Interior

      Release Date: JUNE 18, 2018A new map of crustal stress across the U.S. shows that the plate interior stress is variable, with contributions from plate boundary stress, crustal collapse due to gravity, and more local and subtle changes to style, orientation, and earthquake rate.
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      A Possible Cause of Earthquakes in the Continental Interior

      Release Date: JUNE 18, 2018A new map of crustal stress across the U.S. shows that the plate interior stress is variable, with contributions from plate boundary stress, crustal collapse due to gravity, and more local and subtle changes to style, orientation, and earthquake rate.
      Learn More
    • Untangling Faults at Depth – What Lies Beneath Panamint Valley, California?

      Release Date: APRIL 30, 2018The eastern edge of Panamint Valley,CA has two types of faults that can be seen in the near-surface geology. 150 geophones and a seismic source will help reveal the subsurface picture.
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      Untangling Faults at Depth – What Lies Beneath Panamint Valley, California?

      Release Date: APRIL 30, 2018The eastern edge of Panamint Valley,CA has two types of faults that can be seen in the near-surface geology. 150 geophones and a seismic source will help reveal the subsurface picture.
      Learn More
    • Back to the Future on the San Andreas Fault

      Release Date: JUNE 1, 2017Investigating Past Earthquakes to Inform the FutureWhat does the science say? Where does the information come from? And what does it mean? Investigating past earthquakes to inform the future. Maybe you’ve heard that the “Big One is overdue” on the San Andreas Fault. No one can predict earthquakes, so what does the science really say? Where does the information come from...
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      Back to the Future on the San Andreas Fault

      Release Date: JUNE 1, 2017Investigating Past Earthquakes to Inform the FutureWhat does the science say? Where does the information come from? And what does it mean? Investigating past earthquakes to inform the future. Maybe you’ve heard that the “Big One is overdue” on the San Andreas Fault. No one can predict earthquakes, so what does the science really say? Where does the information come from...
      Learn More