Agriculture
Getting the dirt on carbon
Hungry bug seeks hot meal
Watering the Air
Amphibians
Poison Dart Frogs
Frogs and Toads
Newts
Animals
Poor Devils
Who's Knocking?
Sea Lilies on the Run
Behavior
Island of Hope
Listening to Birdsong
Babies Prove Sound Learners
Birds
Dodos
Cassowaries
Ospreys
Chemistry and Materials
Undercover Detectives
Salt secrets
Hair Detectives
Computers
A Classroom of the Mind
The science of disappearing
A Light Delay
Dinosaurs and Fossils
A Big, Weird Dino
Did Dinosaurs Do Handstands?
Battling Mastodons
E Learning Jamaica
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Earth
Hot Summers, Wild Fires
Rocking the House
Watering the Air
Environment
Groundwater and the Water Cycle
A Change in Climate
Missing Tigers in India
Finding the Past
A Volcano's Deadly Ash
Untangling Human Origins
Big Woman of the Distant Past
Fish
Sting Ray
Piranha
Lampreys
Food and Nutrition
Moving Good Fats from Fish to Mice
Sponges' secret weapon
Packing Fat
GSAT English Rules
Finding Subjects and Verbs
Who vs. That vs. Which
Problems with Prepositions
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
Mastering The GSAT Exam
GSAT Exam Preparation
Scotiabank Jamaica Foundation Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) Scholarships
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
Access denied - Disabled boy aces GSAT
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
42,000 students will sit for the GSAT Exam in two weeks
GSAT Mathematics
10 Common Mistakes When Preparing for the GSAT Math Test
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Losing with Heads or Tails
Human Body
Sleeping Soundly for a Longer Life
Kids now getting 'adult' disease
Sea Kids See Clearly Underwater
Invertebrates
Nautiluses
Crustaceans
Millipedes
Mammals
Guinea Pigs
Orangutans
Deers
Parents
What Not to Say to Emerging Readers
Choosing a Preschool: What to Consider
Expert report highlights the importance to parents of reading to children!
Physics
The Pressure of Scuba Diving
IceCube Science
The Particle Zoo
Plants
Assembling the Tree of Life
Flower family knows its roots
Stalking Plants by Scent
Reptiles
Asp
Turtles
Garter Snakes
Space and Astronomy
The two faces of Mars
Cousin Earth
Saturn's New Moons
Technology and Engineering
Supersuits for Superheroes
Young Scientists Take Flight
Morphing a Wing to Save Fuel
The Parts of Speech
What is a Verb?
Adjectives and Adverbs
Countable and Uncountable Nouns
Transportation
Robots on the Road, Again
Robots on a Rocky Road
Are Propellers Fin-ished?
Weather
A Dire Shortage of Water
Earth's Poles in Peril
A Change in Climate
Add your Article

A Great Quake Coming?

Everyone who lives in San Francisco knows that earthquakes are common in the Bay Area—and they can be devastating. One hundred years ago this month, for example, a major quake destroyed about 28,000 buildings and killed hundreds, perhaps thousands of people. The ground shook for nearly a minute, and buildings burst into flame. The fires burned for days.

Residents now wonder when the next “Big One” will strike. It’s bound to happen someday. At least seven active fault lines run through the San Francisco area. Faults are places where pieces of Earth’s crust slide past each other. When these pieces slip, the ground shakes.

To prepare for that day, scientists are using new techniques to reanalyze the 1906 earthquake and predict how bad the damage might be when the next one happens.

One new finding about the 1906 quake is that the San Andreas fault split apart, or ruptured, faster than scientists had assumed at the time. During small earthquakes, faults rupture at about 2.7 kilometers per second. During bigger quakes, however, recent observations show that ruptures can happen at rates faster than 3.5 kilometers per second.

At such high speeds, massive amounts of pressure build up, generating underground (seismic) waves that can cause more damage than the quake itself. Lucky for San Francisco, these pressure pulses traveled away from the city during the 1906 event. As bad as the damage was, it could have been far worse.

Looking ahead, scientists are trying to predict when the next major quake will occur. Records show that earthquakes were common before 1906. Since then, there has been something of a lull. Patterns in the data, however, suggest that the probability of a major earthquake striking the Bay Area before 2032 is at least 62 percent.

This diagram shows when earthquakes occurred in the Bay Area and how large they were. The large bar at the left of the diagram represents the 1906 quake (magnitude 7.8). The frequency of Bay Area earthquakes larger than magnitude 5.5 dropped after the 190

This diagram shows when earthquakes occurred in the Bay Area and how large they were. The large bar at the left of the diagram represents the 1906 quake (magnitude 7.8). The frequency of Bay Area earthquakes larger than magnitude 5.5 dropped after the 190

U.S. Geological Survey

New buildings in San Francisco have to follow strict codes that stabilize them against future quakes. Still, more than 84 percent of the city’s buildings are old, weak, and vulnerable. Analyses suggest that another massive earthquake would cause extensive damage.

People who live there today tend to feel safe because San Francisco has remained pretty quiet for a while. According to the new research, however, it’s not a matter of “if” the Big One will hit. It’s just a matter of when.—E. Sohn

A Great Quake Coming?
A Great Quake Coming?








Designed and Powered by HBJamaica.com™