Earthquakes 101


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  • Eastern Nebraska 
1877 11 15 17:45 UTC 
Magnitude 5.1 
Intensity VII Largest Earthquake in Nebraska This is the largest earthquake known to have originated in Nebraska. Its proposed epicenter lies on the western flank of the Keweenawan mafic belt. Damage was most severe at Columbus, in Platte County, northwest of the epicenter, where the 30-second shock split the courthouse walls in nine places and damaged the schoolhouse walls. Two severe shocks about 350 kilometers west of Lincoln, at North Platte, cracked walls and overturned printing cases. About 200 kilometers north of Lincoln, at Sioux City, Iowa, a high school sustained cracks in a wall. Felt over all or parts of Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. Socorro area, New Mexico 
1906 11 15 12:15 UTC 
Intensity VII Largest Earthquake in New Mexico This earthquake, which increased the property damage already sustained at Socorro, was described as the most severe shock of the year. Four rebuilt chimneys were shaken off the Socorro County Courthouse, and two others were cracked severely. Plaster fell at the courthouse, and a cornice on the northwest corner of the two-story adobe Masonic Temple was thrown onto its first floor. Several bricks fell from the front gable on one house. Plaster was shaken from walls in Santa Fe, about 200 kilometers from the epicenter. Felt over most of New Mexico and in parts of Arizona and Texas. Kuril One person injured at Waikiki by a tsunami with a recorded wave height of 34 cm at Honolulu, Hawaii. One parking lot was flooded at Nawiliwili, Hawaii by a tsunami with a recorded wave height of 88 cm. Two docks destroyed and at least one damaged at Crescent City, California by a tsunami with a recorded wave height of 176 cm. Felt at Misawa and Yokosuka, Japan and at Petropavlovsk- Kamchatskiy, Russia. Recorded (2 JMA) in eastern and south- central Hokkaido. Recorded (1 JMA) in western Hokkaido and in Aomori, Iwate and Miyagi Prefectures, Honshu. From Significant Earthquakes of the World 2006 .
  • Fault Area Approximately: 1200km by 100 km (800 miles by 60 miles)
  • Good Friday
  • Picture shows 3 types of plate boundary. Divergent, e.g. mid-ocean ridge. Magma rises from asthenospheric mantle, melts to form new crust e.g. at continental crust -> rifting (many normal faults) Convergent, e.g. oceanic crust subducts (more dense). Subducted crust melts ->magma rises to create volcanoes If continent converging on continent, two buckle into mountain range (too buoyant to be subducted) transform. Two plates slide without creation or destruction of crust - e.g. san andreas transform fault.
  • Seafloor spreading New crust forms at axis just a few km wide. Slow spreading ridges are narrow and have a deep trough (e.g. mid atlantic) Fast spreading ridges (e.g. east pacific rise) there is no trough and the ridge is wide
  • Photo from:
  • For example india crashing into asia. Oceanic crust is consumed. Once the continental crust collides with another continental crust, both are buoyant and neither are subducted. 50 million years this has been happening
  • And then the continental crust collides. Again, continental crust is too buoyant to be subducted.
  • Not all transform faults are at sea, the most famous one is san andreas. Crust is neither being created nor destroyed. Also acts as connector in ocean with seafloor ridges
  • 4 cm/yr In 20 million years, LA will be side by side with San Francisco
  • fl-fg/05-01.htm
  • Put in did you feel it, with website screen shots
  • Earthquakes less than M=2: are generally not felt Magnitude scales are logarithmic: An increase of 1 unit = 10 times greater amplitude of ground motion up to about a M=7 An increase of 1 unit = 30 times more energy Largest quake ever recorded had a moment magnitude of 9.5 (Chile, 1960)
  • Richter magnitude scale: A logarithmic scale based on the maximum amplitude of ground motion recorded on a standard seismograph at a distance of 100 km from the earthquake. No upper or lower limit. Saturates above M6 using body waves, and M8 using surface waves. Moment magnitude scale: A logarithmic scale based on the amount of energy released by the earthquake. The magnitude is related to the total fault rupture area times the amount of slip. It can be determined from the distribution of seismic wave frequencies recorded on a seismogram. Energy is a better estimate of earthquake size than the amplitude of seismic waves recorded on a seismograph.
  • M=6.9
  • Earthquakes 101

    1. 1. Earthquake Education Workshop 2007 EARTHQUAKES 101 Dr. Bridget Konter Scripps Institution of Oceanography
    2. 2. Today in Earthquake History 1877: E. Nebraska M5.1 (largest historical quake) November 15th Website: 1906: Socorro, NM M5 (largest historical quake) 2006: Kuril Islands M8.3
    3. 3. Largest Recent Earthquake Sumatra December 26, 2004 Thailand Magnitude ~9.0 Fault: 800x60 miles Sri Lanka Before After
    4. 4. Largest Recorded Earthquake Chile, May 22, 1960 Magnitude 9.5
    5. 5. Largest Recorded U.S. Earthquake Magnitude 9.2 Prince William Sound, Alaska March 28th, 1964
    6. 6. Magnitude 9.2 Prince William Sound, Alaska
    7. 7. Which state has had the most large earthquakes in the last 30 years? ?
    8. 8. U.S. Earthquake Rankings
    9. 9. THE BIG ONES <ul><li>Chile 1960 M9.5 </li></ul><ul><li>Alaska 1964 M9.2 </li></ul><ul><li>3a. Indonesia 2004 M9.0 </li></ul><ul><li>3b. Russian 1952 M9.0 </li></ul><ul><li>4. Ecuador 1906 M8.8 </li></ul>5. Alaska 1957 M8.8 6. Kuril Is. 1958 M8.7 7. Alaska 1965 M8.7 8. India 1950 M8.6 9. Argentina 1922 M8.5 3a
    10. 10. Global Distribution of Earthquakes Define the Plate Tectonic Boundaries
    11. 11. Earth’s Tectonic Plates
    12. 12. Global Distribution of Plate Boundaries Extension Compression Shear Divergent Convergent Transform
    13. 13. Tectonic Plate Boundaries Three types of plate boundaries • Divergent (move apart) <ul><li>Convergent (come together) </li></ul><ul><li>Transform (move side by side) </li></ul>
    14. 14. Extension Divergent (move apart) Divergent Boundaries “ Seafloor Spreading”
    15. 15. Mid Atlantic Ridge Example of Divergent (move apart)
    16. 16. Seafloor Spreading
    17. 17. Compression Convergent Boundary ( typically builds mountains ) Convergent (come together)
    18. 18. Seafloor Subduction
    19. 19. New Zealand Example of Convergent (come together)
    20. 20. Himalayas, India Example of Convergent (come together)
    21. 21. Death of a Convergent Boundary • Old oceanic lithosphere is more dense than continental lithosphere -- so it sinks lithosphere asthenosphere volcano chain trench
    22. 22. Continental Collision Zone collison zone Example: India - Asia collision is forming the Himalayas
    23. 23. Transform (move side by side) Transform Boundary
    24. 24. Example: San Andreas Fault Pacific Plate North American Plate
    25. 25. Transform Faulting
    26. 26. Earthquake Basics
    27. 27. Terminology
    28. 28. Hanging Wall & Foot Wall
    29. 29. Extension Foot wall goes up relative to the hanging wall Normal Faults Foot wall Hanging wall
    30. 30. Hanging Wall Foot Wall Normal Fault Example
    31. 31. Compression Hanging wall goes up relative to the foot wall Reverse Faults Hanging wall Foot wall
    32. 32. Hanging Wall Foot Wall Reverse Fault Example
    33. 33. Strike-slip faults: right lateral & left Lateral Shear
    34. 34. Fault Trace Fault Offset (~2.5m) G.K. Gilbert 1906 San Francisco Earthquake (right lateral)
    35. 35. 1992 Landers Earthquake
    36. 36. Seismic Waves
    37. 37. Seismograph: The instrument (Apparatus to measure and record vibrations) Seismogram: The actual wiggle (Record of an Earth tremor recorded by a seismograph) What’s the difference between a “Seismograph” and a “Seismogram”?
    38. 38. Seismic Waves fault ‘snaps’ energy ripples
    39. 39. Types of Seismic Waves Seismograph
    40. 40. 3 Main Earthquake Waves <ul><li>P waves (compressional) 6-8 km/s. Particle motion is parallel to direction of propagation; also called primary waves. </li></ul><ul><li>S waves (shear) 3-5 km/s. Particle motion is perpendicular to direction of propagation; also called secondary waves. Do not pass through liquids. </li></ul><ul><li>Surface waves (surface) < 3-4 km/s. Waves that travel around the Earth at the surface. </li></ul>Seismograph
    41. 41. P Waves S Waves Surface Waves Ground Motions
    42. 42. Fault Rupture Area Magnitude 8 (300 miles) Magnitude -2 Magnitude 2
    43. 43. Measuring the Size of an Earthquake <ul><li>Intensity (qualitative measure) </li></ul><ul><li>Based on damage and human perception </li></ul><ul><li>Magnitude (quantitative measure) </li></ul><ul><li>Based on either the amplitude of ground motion or the amount of energy released </li></ul>
    44. 44. Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale I Not felt II Felt only by persons at rest III–IV Felt by persons indoors only V–VI Felt by all; some damage to plaster, chimneys VII People run outdoors, damage to poorly built structures VIII Well-built structures slightly damaged; poorly built structures suffer major damage IX Buildings shifted off foundations X Some well-built structures destroyed XI Few masonry structures remain standing; bridges destroyed XII Damage total; waves seen on ground; objects thrown into air
    45. 45. Earthquake Intensity (depends on “people” input) Loma Prieta, 1989 (M6.9) Crescent City, 2005 (M7)
    46. 46. Maximum Amplitude of Ground Shaking Determines Richter Magnitude
    47. 47. Richter Magnitude vs. Energy
    48. 48. So when’s the BIG ONE coming?
    49. 49. Chance of an Earthquake Today: 100%
    50. 50. Earthquake Magnitude <ul><li>Richter magnitude scale: A logarithmic scale based on the maximum amplitude of ground motion recorded on a standard seismograph at a distance of 100 km from the earthquake. </li></ul><ul><li>Moment magnitude scale: A logarithmic scale based on the amount of energy released by the earthquake. The magnitude is related to the total fault rupture area times the amount of slip. </li></ul><ul><li>Energy is a better estimate of earthquake size than the amplitude of seismic waves recorded on a seismograph. </li></ul>
    51. 51. What’s Happening in Our Own Backyard? … .the hazards of earthquake country
    52. 53. Faults of Southern California
    53. 54. Northridge, CA 1994
    54. 55. Northridge, CA 1994
    55. 56. Northridge, CA 1994
    56. 57. Northridge, CA 1994
    57. 59. ~75% of the Earth is covered by water
    58. 60. Tsunami (can travel up to ~700 km/hr or ~430 MPH)
    59. 61. Generation of a Tsunami
    60. 62. Each ring represents one hour of tsunami propagation.
    61. 63. Kobe, Japan 1995
    62. 64. Kobe, Japan 1995 Kobe, Japan 1995
    63. 65. Kobe, Japan 1995 Kobe, Japan 1995
    64. 66. Reuters/Corbis-Bettmann Kobe, Japan 1995