‘Caldas tear’ resolves puzzling seismic activity beneath Colombia

Colombia sits atop a complex geological area where three tectonic plates are interacting, producing seismicity patterns that have puzzled seismologists for years. Now seismologists have identified the “Caldas tear,” which is a break in a slab that separates two subducting plates and accounts for curious features, including a “nest” of seismic activity beneath east-central Colombia and high grade mineral deposits on the surface.
Source: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130606101728.htm

New explanation for slow earthquakes on San Andreas

New Zealand’s geologic hazards agency reported this week an ongoing, “silent” earthquake that began in January is still going strong. Though it is releasing the energy equivalent of a 7.0 earthquake, New Zealanders can’t feel it because its energy is being released over a long period of time, therefore slow, rather than a few short seconds.
Source: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130603142313.htm

Slow earthquakes: It’s all in the rock mechanics

Earthquakes that last minutes rather than seconds are a relatively recent discovery, according to an international team of seismologists. Researchers have been aware of these slow earthquakes, only for the past five to 10 years because of new tools and new observations, but these tools may explain the triggering of some normal earthquakes and could help in earthquake prediction.
Source: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130520114021.htm

GPS solution provides three-minute tsunami alerts

Researchers have shown that, by using global positioning systems (GPS) to measure ground deformation caused by a large underwater earthquake, they can provide accurate warning of the resulting tsunami in just a few minutes after the earthquake onset. For the devastating Japan 2011 event the analysis of the GPS data and issue of a detailed tsunami alert would have taken no more than three minutes.
Source: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130517085819.htm

How should geophysics contribute to disaster planning?

Earthquakes, tsunamis, and other natural disasters often showcase the worst in human suffering – especially when those disasters strike populations who live in rapidly growing communities in the developing world with poorly enforced or non-existent building codes. Scientists now illustrate how nearly identical natural disasters can play out very differently depending on where they strike.
Source: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130516182002.htm

Research helps paint finer picture of massive 1700 earthquake

In 1700, a massive earthquake struck the west coast of North America, but a lack of local documentation has made studying this historic event challenging. Now, researchers have helped unlock this geological mystery using a fossil-based technique. Their work provides a finer-grained portrait of this earthquake and the changes in coastal land level it produced, enabling modelers to better prepare for future events.
Source: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130514190635.htm

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