Free Essay

Earth Story Earthquake

In: Social Issues

Submitted By lorsler
Words 3375
Pages 14
Early Saturday morning, February 27th, around 3:30 am, a massive earthquake rocked south central Chile. The epicenter was just off the coast of Chile’s second largest city, Concepcion. I was in Santiago at the time, approximately 300 miles north of Concepcion, with plans to fly to Concepcion on Sunday to teach a class at the University there. I had just arrived in Santiago Friday morning, February 26th, and spent the day site-seeing and getting used to my “meager” accommodations. Actually, the room is quite nice, for the price and it has a kitchenette. However, the wireless internet was not working in my room. Friday night, I had a great time at dinner with old friends of mine, who are residents of Santiago, Patricio and Macarena Banados. Dinner traditionally happens very late in Chile, and I returned to my hotel around 12:30 am. I was very tired from the overnight flight and the time difference, so I fell asleep very quickly while watching BBC (the only English language channel on the TV).
At about 3:30 am, local Chilean time, I woke up to a rumble. I was lying in bed and it began to shake a little. Living on the west coast, I’ve felt a few earthquakes in the past. There was one in Portland, while I was on spring break from college in 1993. Like the Chilean one, it too abruptly woke me up. However, the Portland earthquake was more of a novelty. I believe it was about a 5.6 on the Richter scale. I woke up, wobbled over to my window and stood there watching for anything to happen while my parent’s house shook a little. It lasted about 30 seconds, if I recall. The Chilean earthquake was a lot different.
Though it woke me up with a little mild shaking, this earthquake quickly began to grow in intensity. Within (probably) about 10 seconds, my entire room was violently shaking. Outside my window, which I had left open before going to bed, I could hear loud cracking and popping sounds over the background rumbling and of car and building alarms that began to sound. It was so violent, that I quickly decided that this was not another “Portland” earthquake. My first thoughts were that I was on the 14th floor of an apartment building, and I’m in Chile-both of which scared me to death. At that point all I could think about was to get as far away from the edge of the building as I could. While I could see the dark outline of the hanging lamp in the kitchenette swinging back and forth, and I could hear stuff toppling over in my room, I made my way to the door. I have to admit that at this time I briefly paused and considered getting dressed first (I was only in my boxer shorts), but I don’t think I could have even put clothes on with the shaking that was happening. Furthermore, it was very dark in my room, since the power was already off. So I decided to put aside my modesty and get out.
Quickly panic set in as I realized that my door was locked. And this was not a matter of twisting the latch, like a typical American hotel room door. This door is the kind that is locked with a key from the inside. To make it worse, there were two locks (of course I had set both of them before going to bed), two different keys, it was dark, and one of the locks had to be “giggled just right” to unlatch. The exercise of finding the keys, and fumbling around with the locks (it’s hard to put a key into a lock, when the lock doesn’t stay in the same place!), felt like it took forever, all while I’m expecting the building I’m in to collapse around me. FINALLY, I got the door opened, briefly thought about locking it behind me (but didn’t) and stumbled through the hallway. I knew from structural engineering class in college that a central “core” elevator shaft is frequently the strongest part of the building. Not sure if that applies in Chile, but that’s where I headed. I made it to the elevator, put my hands on either side of the elevator doorway, took a wide stance, and braced myself. I figured I would never make it down 14 flights of stairs with the kind of shaking I was feeling, so I decided to wait it out on my floor at the elevator. This is when I put my head down and started praying. “Please, God…make this stop.” Over and over. It felt like another 30 to 40 seconds that I was at the elevator bracing myself, before the earthquake finally subsided. All told, the earthquake lasted anywhere from 90 seconds to 2 minutes (I’ve heard both reported).
Even though the earth stopped shaking, my body was trembling uncontrollably. My legs felt like noodles, my hands were shaking, and my heart was beating out of my chest. That was when I realized I had to get out of this building. I didn’t know if there had been serious structural damage, or broken gas lines. Either way, I wanted to get out. So I ran back to my room, happy that no one on my floor had come out to see the half-naked gringo running around, opened the door and frantically looked for clothes to throw on. With my shorts and shirt on, I grabbed my shoes, jacket, phones, and computer bag and left.
This time, when I left the room, people started to emerge from their rooms. I ran down the hall towards the stairwell. As I passed the elevator, it opened up and a Chilean man came out. I was thinking “what the &#$*% are you doing in the elevator?” If I knew how to say that in Spanish, I probably would have. But instead I ran by. The elevator must have been running on backup power. He said something to me in Spanish as I ran by that I think was “Where are you going?” I yelled back, “A bajo!” Apparently, even with my short response, he could tell from my accent that I was a foreigner, so he ran after me telling me in English to stop and come back. So I stopped. The guy seemed like he knew what to do. He asked me “are you scared?” “YES, I’m scared. I’m getting out of here.” Then he told me I should come with him. To my astonishment, he said it was better to take the elevator down. I said “Really?!?!” My mixed tone of sarcasm and confusion didn’t faze him and He said “Yes yes yes. Come on.” So I did. Thinking about that now, what an idiotic thing to do! Fortunately we made it to the bottom floor without incident. On the way down, the Chilean man could tell I was very scared and was nice enough to reassure me that everything was okay. He kept saying over and over, “This is not Haiti. This is not Haiti.” You see, the small, impoverished country of Haiti had just experienced a devastating earthquake a few weeks before, where their cities and towns were left in ruin. “We have earthquakes here a lot. Our buildings are strong.” It was reassuring.
Nevertheless, my immediate goal was to get outside and as far away from the building as possible. I was taken aback that just about everyone was standing in the lobby or just outside the lobby door on the sidewalk. I got to the sidewalk outside the lobby and put on my socks, shoes, and jacket, then crossed the busy 4 lane street to the other side. There were only 3 other people (out of hundreds) who decided to cross the street-all were Asian. I found it very odd that all of the locals had no problem standing at the base of this 21-story high rise.
At this point I tried to make some phone calls. Not surprisingly, the phones system was completely jammed and I couldn’t get a call out to my family. After redialing what must have been 100 times, I finally got my wife, Wendy’s cell phone, but it went to voice mail. By now, it was almost 4:00 a.m. in Chile, and 11:00 p.m. in Portland. I figured everyone had gone to sleep already, knowing nothing of what was going on in Chile. So I left a brief message, saying there was an earthquake, and I was okay. I found this out later, but Wendy did get the message that night and stayed up all night watching the news and trying to call me back. I spent the next hour or so trying to make phone calls to no avail. My cell phone battery was getting very low, so without power to recharge it, I decided to wait until the next day to try calling again, so that I could preserve whatever battery power I had left.
In total, I probably spent a couple of hours outside-standing, sitting, pacing, and praying. Occasionally I would check back in the lobby to see if I could find anything out, but could find no one who spoke English. The lobby was packed with people, some of whom were already making beds for themselves on the floor. At about 6:00, I went back in the lobby again, and noticed that some people were heading back up the stairs. So, I weighed my options. I could remain outside, tired, uncomfortable, and helpless, or go back to my room and try to sleep. The building looked okay from the outside. No cracks or visible damage anywhere. My sleepiness took control and I walked the 14 flights of stairs back to my room. With my iPhone’s Flashlight app (that was a lifesaver!), I managed to get my room prepped for a quick escape in case of any large aftershocks, and fell asleep on my bed, with all my clothes on. I must have lain there for a half-hour or so, still completely wired from the adrenalin, but then fell asleep. Speaking of iphones, I’m still angry at myself for not having my iPhone at the ready, for video recording impending after-shocks.
Sure enough, I was woken at 7:30 am to a big aftershock and a chorus of car alarms. Nothing like the original earthquake, but still much bigger than the Portland earthquake and enough for me to jump out of my bed and run to the door. As I made my way to the door, I noticed the hanging lamp in the kitchen swinging back and forth again. By the time I got the door opened, the aftershock had ended. I took a quick peek outside (by now it was light outside), and seeing no damage, decided to stay in my room. While I was looking outside, I saw some kids playing in a room in the other wing of the building. They seemed to be enjoying the excitement. That somehow, made me feel better. By now, despite the lack of sleep and jetlag, I was fully awake. Now that there was daylight outside, I could see the effects the earthquake had on my room. To my astonishment, it was in very good shape. No visible cracks anywhere. My toiletry items had all fallen off the sink, and some kitchen items had fallen onto the floor, but the room was just fine. (Note, as I’m typing, at 1:40 pm on February 28th, another small aftershock occurs. That makes 7 aftershocks now that I’ve felt so far. I’m sure many more that I didn’t feel. There is a tennis club across the street from my hotel that has an alarm that goes off with the larger aftershocks. It has reliably been going off just before I feel the shaking. It’s nice to have warning.). At this time, the engineer in me took over, and I decided to have a walk around the hotel, to survey the damage. I started on my floor, and worked my way upstairs to the roof, where there is a patio and two pools. On my floor there was not too much damage. Some drywall had crumbled and fallen to the floor around the doors, and some tiles had popped off, but otherwise, nothing much. On the roof, there was much more damage, but still surprisingly little, given the violence of the initial earthquake. No one else was up there. (note, another small aftershock as I type and accompanying tennis club alarm. I can also hear some chimes jingling around-1:45 pm, February 28th). There is a water heater room on the roof and the door was open. Inside the water heater room, entire sections of sheetrock from the roof had come down. Also, ashtray cans on the patio were toppled, and tiles had popped off walls. Next to the pools, there was a lot of standing water in low areas on the patio, where apparently water had sloshed out of the pool the night before. All of the filter caps, that are common around the perimeter of pools, had popped off during the quake, and some had slid (or floated) across the patio as much as 10 feet. I’m assuming the wave action in the pool pushed the filter caps out from the inside. As I was surveying the pool and patio, the second aftershock happened. This one was imperceptible to me, but I knew it was happening because out of nowhere, the pool started making waves, and the air was completely still. The water in the pool was previously glassy smooth, and then there were some small waves. I took video of this with my iPhone. As I glanced around the skyline of Santiago (360 degree view from the roof), I was surprised to see that from my vantage point, there was no damage I could see. All of the buildings that were there the previous day, were still there. Even the older ones.
After the rooftop survey, I decided to take a walk around the Bellavista neighborhood near my hotel. During this walk, I was able to see a lot of damage. Most of the damage was on building facades, or roof tiles sliding off. The first significant damage I saw was a Subway sandwich shop, where the top 10 feet of the facade had crumbled to the sidewalk below. There was a massive pile of bricks and stucco. I couldn’t help but wonder if someone had been below during the quake. They would not have survived. As I continued to walk, many buildings had roof and facade damage, and many windows had popped out and shattered on the ground below. But surprisingly, all of the buildings in this very old neighborhood were still standing, many with no perceptible damage to the exterior at all.
Shortly after I got back to my hotel, around 12:00 noon, the power came back on. So I charged my phone while watching the BBC to see what was going on. This was when I learned that the epicenter was just off the coast of Concepcion and there was significant damage there. Many buildings had collapsed, some were still on fire, a bridge had fallen into the Rio Bio Bio, and reportedly, up to 70 people had died. As I type, the updated death toll is over 700 and I’m very concerned for my friends and their family who live in Concepcion. I still cannot get a phone call through to them. All of Concepcion is cut off. I also learned that the airports in Santiago and Concepcion were both closed indefinitely, and the road to Concepcion was shut down due to collapsed bridges. It looks like I won’t be making it to class. It was also fascinating to see on the news how the entire Pacific ring was bracing for tsunamis. Concepcion itself, being on the sea, was rocked by a big tsunami, shortly after the quake. There was a lot of concern that Hawaii was going to get hit with a large tsunami, but by the time it eventually got to Hawaii, it was rather uneventful. Currently, as I watch the news, seismologists say the earthquake was an 8.8 on the Richter scale at its epicenter near Concepcion, and an 8.0 in Santiago. I am stunned to hear this. An 8.0 is about 400 times stronger than the 5.6 I felt in Portland years ago. It’s amazing that more damage did not happen in Santiago. Hats off to Chilean structural engineers! There were a few more aftershocks while back in my room. The smaller ones are hard to tell if it’s really an aftershock, or just my own perception. So with the swimming pool as my inspiration, I set up a make-shift “earthquake-ometer”: a glass of water. Filled to the top so that any spilled water would tell me if there had been any aftershocks while outside.
With phone charged, I later I walked to La Providencia neighborhood, where there was much more damage. Given that, it’s interesting that La Providencia is a newer neighborhood than Bellavista. A church dome was completely destroyed, a modern office building had a deck that had partially collapsed around its 30th floor, and panes of glass had popped out of buildings all over the place. On my way to La Providencia neighborhood, I walked through the parks that line the Rio Mapocho. All thoughout the parks are 10-ft high lamps capped with three lights each-there must be thousands of them. The lights have (had) glass domes on them. Almost every single lamp I walked by had 1 to 3 of the domes shattered on the ground below. While eating lunch in La Providencia (at one of only a few restaurants that was open), I felt the third aftershock. The waiters appeared to be having a good time watching “the concerned gringo”.
On my way back to my hotel, while still in La Providencia, I was finally able to get through to my wife on my rented mobile phone. What a relief that was, especially when I found out that she had indeed received my message the night before telling her I was okay. She gave me some details about what she was hearing on the news at home.
After spending some more time in my hotel room, and no internet to use, I decided to head out to the Plaza de Armas for a wireless hotspot walkaround with my iPhone. While walking through the Ahumada pedestrian mall, I found an unrestricted wireless connection and was finally able to get on the internet. People must have thought me a gringo loco, since I was pacing around, back and forth, trying to maximize the wireless signal strength. I took care of some email, tried to Skype with my wife (to no avail), and spent some time on Facebook. Though Wendy had let everyone know I was okay, it was good to be connected again to the world, so I could check in.
Well, with the Santiago airport closed indefinitely, and the class almost surely cancelled, my plan is to wait around Santiago until I can get a flight out. My friends Patricio and Macarena have no power or water at their home, so I’m going to stay at the hotel here and make the best of it. Fortunately, I was able to extend my stay without any problem. Now, if they could only get around to fixing the wireless internet connection.

Pat Goodell
Sr. Mortgage Consultant
Academy Mortgage
10220 SW Greenburg Rd, Ste. 250
Portland, OR 97223
503-380-0953 (cell)
503-467-5359x204 (direct)
1-866-390-1353 (fax) pat.goodell@academymortgage.com www.academy.cc/patriciagoodell

Click on below link to see how I can be your financial guardian.…...

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Earthquakes

...Earthquakes xxxxx SCI245 September 18, 2011 There are four types of tectonic plate margins, the meeting place of one plate with another. The four plates are destructive, constructive, collision, and conservative. Plates are constantly moving or changing position. The divergent boundaries are where new crust is generated as the plates pull away from each other. The convergent boundaries are where the crust is destroyed as one plate drives under another. The Transform boundaries are where the crust is neither produced nor destroyed as the plates slide horizontally past each other. And the Plate boundary zones are the broad belts in which boundaries are not well defined and the effects of plate interaction are unclear. They move slower than a few centimeters a year, slower than fingernails grow. The plates move in three ways, they move together, converge, they move apart, diverge, or they move past each other. They are said to have three types of edges or boundaries, convergent, divergent, and transform. Convergence is hen the leading edge of a plate meets another, one turns downward. The downward motion is called subduction, subducted plates move down into and through the asthenosphere and gradually disappears. Plates diverge at volcanic zones in ocean basins, the mid-ocean ridges. These are long, huge cracks where lava rises from below and freezes into new lithosphere. The two sides of the crack are continually pulled apart, and the plates gain new......

Words: 713 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Earthquakes

...Earthquakes Michael R. Rice PSHC 210 11/17/12 Unpreventable and potentially devastating, earthquakes offer geologists insight into the Earth's structure. Even though scientists cannot stop an earthquake from happening they are developing a better understanding of how and why earthquakes occur. Studying where, how, and why the earth shakes can give people more knowledge into preparing for and recovering from earthquake disasters. Although scientists cannot predict short-term forecasting with any true accuracy, they can determine which areas are at risk of experiencing a substantial earthquake through long-term forecasting (Murck, Skinner, & Mackenzie, 2008). Earthquakes are a result of two tectonic plates moving past one another. Because the plates do not slide past each other smoothly often the edges of the plates, or plate boundaries, stick together whereas the rest of the block continues to move (Wald, 2009). The plate boundaries are comprised of numerous faults, and it is along the faults where the majority of earthquakes occur (Murck, Skinner, & Mackenzie, 2008). The energy that normally forces the plates to the move past one another begins to store until the power of the parts of the plates still in motion overcome the friction caused by the parts that are stuck and release the plate (Wald, 2009). The result is a release of the stored energy that then radiates as seismic waves in all directions (Murck, Skinner, & Mackenzie, 2008). The amount......

Words: 1028 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Earthquakes

...Earthquakes Christina OBanion Instructor Kryger SCI/245 February 28, 2010 Earthquakes have been happening for a long time, but now we are able to help detect where and possibly when these events might happen. They now seem to be getting stronger than they were in the past and even more frequent. No matter when or where earthquakes happen people always need to be aware that they have the potential to be devastating for those close by, or even those who are on the other side of the world. Earthquakes happen several different ways and I will try to explain this. The Earth has different types of plate margins that can cause earthquakes. The first type of plate margin is called the divergent margin, this is when oceanic or continental lithospheric plates move apart from each other due to mantle convection and new crust is created by magma pushing up from the mantle. The majority of these divergent margins are located in the ocean. One example of this type of margin on land is the Imperial Valley of California/Mexico. Another type of plate margin is the convergent margin and this happens when two plates move together or converge meaning one plate sinks (is subducted) under another. There can be three different types of convergences: oceanic-oceanic, oceanic-continental, continental-continental. One place where oceanic-continental convergence has occurred is off the coast of South America, along the Peru-Chile trench. The Nazca Plate (oceanic) is pushing into and being...

Words: 899 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Earthquakes

...for my short report paper is Earthquakes. I chose earthquakes because I am fascinated by them, and would like to learn as much information as I can about them. I have found out that these are phenomenons of nature and I am going to enlighten you on what the causes are behind them, the tools we use to track them, and some of the worst ones that have ever happened in history. The following paragraphs will be a complete review of all of the information I have found. I hope you enjoy my paper and let’s get started. First off let’s ask ourselves do we really know what an earthquake is? Not many people do but they have heard of them before, and know that they can be catastrophic. “An earthquake is a sudden and violent shaking of the ground caused by pieces of the crust that violently shift.”( ) Now let’s ask ourselves do we know what causes an earthquake? I have found that what causes an earthquake to form is that when the pieces of our earths four major layers move around they bump into each other, and we call these pieces tectonic plates. The edges of these plates which we call boundaries are made up of faults, these faults are most of the earthquakes in the world today occur. Since the edges of the plates are rough they get stuck together while all the other plates are moving. And then finally when the plates have moved to far from these edges that is when an earthquake will occur. () So how does this movement of these plates shack the earth? “While the edges of faults......

Words: 1335 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Earthquake

...Earthquake From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia This article is about the natural seismic phenomenon. For other uses, see Earthquake (disambiguation). [pic] An earthquake (also known as a quake, tremor, temblor or seismic activity) is the result of a sudden release of energy in theEarth's crust that creates seismic waves. Earthquakes are measured with a seismometer; a device which also records is known as aseismograph. The moment magnitude (or the related and mostly obsolete Richter magnitude) of an earthquake is conventionally reported, with magnitude 3 or lower earthquakes being mostly imperceptible and magnitude 7 causing serious damage over large areas. Intensity of shaking is measured on the modified Mercalli scale. At the Earth's surface, earthquakes manifest themselves by shaking and sometimes displacing the ground. When a large earthquakeepicenter is located offshore, the seabed sometimes suffers sufficient displacement to cause a tsunami. The shaking in earthquakes can also trigger landslides and occasionally volcanic activity. In its most generic sense, the word earthquake is used to describe any seismic event — whether a natural phenomenon or an event caused by humans — that generates seismic waves. Earthquakes are caused mostly by rupture of geological faults, but also by volcanic activity, landslides, mine blasts, and nuclear experiments. An earthquake's point of initial rupture is called its focus orhypocenter. The term epicenter refers to the point......

Words: 11888 - Pages: 48

Premium Essay

Earthquakes

...Earthquakes On October 17, 1989, as my family and I were preparing to watch game 3 of the World Series, a special news break announced that there had been a devastating earthquake that had struck the San Francisco bay area. News cameras quickly began showing the devastation that this magnitude 6.9 earthquake had wrought. Buildings were on the verge of collapse and the two tier bay bridge had partially collapsed trapping hundreds of motorists. 63 people lost their lives due to the earthquake, 3,500 were injured and over 100,000 buildings were damaged (bbc.co.uk, 2005). Earthquakes are notorious throughout history as devastating phenomena, but what causes them? In order to understand what makes the earth tremble so violently, you have to delve deep under the Earth’s surface. At one time, scientists thought that the earth’s crust or Lithosphere was continuous without any breaks or cracks but in the 1960’s, new research showed that the lithosphere was actually a fluid puzzle of irregular segments, or plates. These plates are made up of cool, solid rock that is four to forty miles thick. These enormous blocks of Earth’s crust vary in size and shape and cut through continents and oceans. There are nine major plates. Six of them are named for the continents they are embedded in: the North American, South American, Eurasian, African, Indo-Australian, and the Antarctic. The other three are oceanic plates called the Pacific, Nazca and Cocos plates. These plates are in......

Words: 1365 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Earthquakes

...Earthquakes If one could have stood out in space for a fantastically long time and looked back at the Earth, one would have seen the continents themselves in motion, drifting apart on their crustal plates, held afloat by the fire beneath. That is a poetically turned phrase from Lewis Thomas, which beautifully sums up the mechanics behind plate tectonics, and ultimately behind earthquakes. The following is a brief sketch on earthquakes, their cause and effect, how they are measured, and an area where they frequently occur. Plate Margins There are two different plate margins. These are convergent margins and divergent margins. When two plates move and finally come together it is called convergent margins. Divergent margins are the exact opposite than convergent margins. Instead of moving towards each other the plates move away from each other. Measuring Earthquakes Just by looking at the mass destruction left behind by earthquakes one can see that they vary in size and strength. Earthquakes are measured in size and strength by what is called the Richter scale. The Richter scale was developed by a man names Charles Richter. The majorities of the earthquakes that occur each year are a magnitude of 2.5 or less and go unnoticed by humans. The Richter scale can measure both small and very large earthquakes; this could be ripples in the earth that not one person could feel or it could be earthquakes of mass destruction just like the earthquake of Japan. Also the movement......

Words: 647 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Earthquake

...Eartquake What is an earthquake? An earthquake is what happens when two blocks of the earth suddenly slip past one another. The surface where they slip is called the fault or fault plane. The location below the earth’s surface where the earthquake starts is called the hypocenter, and the location directly above it on the surface of the earth is called the epicenter. Sometimes an earthquake has foreshocks. These are smaller earthquakes that happen in the same place as the larger earthquake that follows. Scientists can’t tell that an earthquake is a foreshock until the larger earthquake happens. The largest, main earthquake is called the mainshock. Mainshocks always have aftershocks that follow. These are smaller earthquakes that occur afterwards in the same place as the mainshock. Depending on the size of the mainshock, aftershocks can continue for weeks, months, and even years after the mainshock! Causes of earthquakes and How earthquakes happen The earth has four major layers: the inner core, outer core, mantle and crust. (figure 2) The crust and the top of the mantle make up a thin skin on the surface of our planet. But this skin is not all in one piece – it is made up of many pieces like a puzzle covering the surface of the earth. Not only that, but these puzzle pieces keep slowly moving around, sliding past one another and bumping into each other. We call these puzzle pieces tectonic plates, and the edges of the plates are called the plate boundaries. The......

Words: 1040 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Earthquakes

...Assignment: Earthquakes Sci/245 Assignment: Earthquakes Plate margins are involved in the Earth as a major provider to many of Earth’s geological formations. These plates are approximately 100 kilometers thick, which is very thin compared to the largeness of a 6000-kilometer radius of the Earth. Most major plates include both continental crust and oceanic crust. An earthquake is the shaking of the Earth’s crust due to a sudden release of energy. They are caused by stress that builds up between two lithospheric plates. When two plates slide next to each other, friction usually prevents the plates from moving. Instead of moving, the stresses on the plates cause the plates to change shape. Eventually, the stresses on the plates come great enough to overcome friction, and the plates suddenly move, causing an earthquake. The earthquake releases the stress, and builds up more again over time. Earthquakes generally occur along faults. A fault is a break or crack in Earth’s crust along which movement has occurred. An earthquake produces waves called seismic waves, which transmit energy. Seismic waves are detected and recorded by a device called a seismograph. A seismograph detects ground movements—either horizontal or vertical motions. The set of jagged lines recorded on paper is called a seismogram. There are different types of seismographs, depending on the types of earthquakes intended to record. Most modern seismographs are electronic devices rather than......

Words: 812 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Earthquakes

...Salgado Earthquakes Science SC300 Unit 4 May 12, 2011 Professor Jayne Yenko Earthquakes There are not many things in life that petrify me but earthquakes are pretty high on the list. Just the uncertainty of not knowing if this could be the next big one. Realistically speaking, where can you go to be safe from an earthquake? Luckily for me, there seems to be no great danger of earthquakes in the southeast region of the US. I live in Atlanta, Ga. and according to the map fig.17-22** in our text it seems that we are in a blue low risk area, where individual measurements of seismic wave velocities reveal cooler rocks under the southeastern US. However, just a little further northwest of Georgia according to the seismic map in the USGC website* there seems to be a small area of higher earthquake activity between Missouri, and Tennessee. The Midwest seems to be free of earthquakes while the west coast has an abundance of earthquake activity. California has the 2nd highest amount of earthquake activity in the US, after Alaska that produces more than half the earthquakes in the country. The earth has three major subduction zones. The first is a large area called the pacific ring of fire, this includes North and South America the east coast of Asia, and the western pacific islands of the Philippines, Indonesia, New Guinea, and New Zealand. Most of the plates are being subducted, while some plates scrape past each other. The second major divergent or earthquake......

Words: 1247 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Earthquakes

...Assignment: Earthquakes Axia Colleges of the University of Phoenix By To understand why the Earth moves the way that it does along and through its diverse layers, we must have a better understanding of the physical science surrounding both plate tectonics, and earthquakes. This is a summation on earthquakes; what causes earthquake to occur, the effects of earthquakes on surroundings, how the strength of earthquakes are measured, and the regions in which earthquakes are most likely to take place. There are two types of plate margins exist; divergent margins and convergent margins. Convergent margins are the boundaries which are on two plates that proceed into one another and return (Murck, Skinner, & Mackenzie, 2008). As a result, this leads to the two distinctive forms of plate margins; it is dependent upon if the boundary is in between two continental plates, in between two pelagic plates, or in between both. However, divergent margins are by far different from convergent margins in that these margins are boundaries along two plates traveling apart from one another; taking place within the pelagic or continental crusts (Murck, Skinner, & Mackenzie, 2008). Earthquakes have a tendency to be most frequent along these boundaries being the most unmistakable expression of......

Words: 889 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Earthquakes

...The Earth: It’s Shifting Plates & the Consequences The Earth is a combination of sand, rocks, molten lava; this definition would force one to conclude that our world is a contradiction in terms. This is not the case, we dwell on solid rock that is the surface of the Earth; the overwhelming facets of the Earth exist below the surface. It is here that we will find the tectonic plates of the Earth and cause for Earthquakes. An earthquake occurs as the two blocks of the earth suddenly slip past one another (usgs.gov). Generally a quake will occur without warning, although many times there may be a foreshock (smaller earthquake near epicenter, similar to an aftershock), which is usually mistaken for the Earthquake until the actual higher magnitude quake occurs. These shifts seem to happen without warning, however, upon observation and tracking of geological survey, structures, and pattern, it is possible to decipher the probable location of an earthquake. The United States Geological Survey map is a valuable tool when attempting to decipher whether a particular state is an Earthquake hotspot. Upon review of the Geological survey, one will notice that Pacific coast and the islands in the Pacific Ocean are furthermost susceptible to the quakes. Hazard levels range the low teens to over fifty percent. Kentucky, Tennessee and Missouri rest on the New Madrid Fault line; subsequently these are states that share the red zone symbolizing the greatest risk for activity. We......

Words: 1437 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Earthquakes

...Earthquakes Tresha Yarberry University of Phoenix Earthquakes Everyone wonders how earthquakes happen. Although, scientists have no way of predicting earthquakes, there are ways to find out how and what causes them. People can be prepared if an earthquakes happens. There are three different types of plate margins. The first one is divergent margin, also called rifting or spreading centers. This occurs where two plates are moving apart. They can occur either in continental or oceanic crust. When a plate is being stretched or torn apart, this creates a rift valley. A new ocean may form in the widening rift. A good example of this is when the Red Sea formed. Where oceanic crust is splitting apart, the result is a midocean ridge. (Physical Geology, 2005). The earthquakes that happen at midocean ridges are shallow and indicate that plates are moving apart. The plates move apart at a divergent margin, the high pressure is released, allowing the mantle rock to melt. The lava flows up into the slowly widening crack. Some of the lava flows out onto the sea floor to cool, and the rest is added to the plate edge to slowly cool. The second type of plate margin is convergent margins. This occurs when two plates move toward each other. This leads to different types of margins, depending on whether the boundary is between two oceanic plates, two continental plates, or one of each. When one continent meets another continent along a......

Words: 943 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Earthquakes

...Earthquakes are one of Mother Nature’s most powerful forces and have plagued our lives for as long as people have inhabited the earth. These dangerous acts of the earth have been the cause of many deaths in the past century. So what can be done about these violent eruptions that take place nearly without warning? Predicting an earthquake, until now, has almost been technologically impossible. However, with recent improvements in technology and science, many lives have been saved and many more will be. What is an earthquake and how do they occur? Did you know that most of the famous mountains are a result of an earthquake? (Cosmeo, 2008) That tidbit of information was just a little side note; now back to the paper. Earth is a planet that is made up of multiple layers. These layers include an inner layer and an outer layer and layer in between. The inner layer of the earth is a ball of molten rock that rotates within the earth. The other layers that are on top of the inner layer are floating about as a pliable ball of molten rock. The outer layer is what we refer to as the crust. The crust is very thin when compared to the other layers of the Earth. For example, think of the outer layer of an orange as it relates to the interior of the orange. This example relates closely to what the Earth looks like when we examine the crust. The crust and other layers floats upon the mantle core. The crust of the earth is made up of multiple pieces. Each of these giant pieces is called a......

Words: 1110 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

Earthquakes

...“Earthquakes have affected the Earth since the solid lithosphere first formed” (Marshak, 201). Mankind learned to adapt through numerous earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanoes since the beginning of time and this survival involved taking substantial risks. According to Marshak, “Earthquakes are a fact of life on planet Earth: almost 1 million detectable earthquakes happen every year…most cause no damage or casualties, because they are too small or they occur in unpopulated areas” (201). There are very few areas one can live on Earth that is free from some form of hazard. Jobs, economic interest, and necessity are but a few reasons people choose to live in unsafe environments. It is okay to live in earthquake prone areas, you just need to educate yourself and prepare. Make sure you have the proper necessities and learn about emergency preparedness for your immediate area. Earthquakes of an enormous magnitude can cause considerable damage and alter lives in unprecedented ways. The bigger they are the more the environment is affected. One such event is “The 2004 Indian Ocean event…etched in people’s minds because of the immense death toll” caused by a tsunami that “was triggered by an earthquake off Sumatra” causing 15m high waves that pounded the coast (Marshak, 224-225). The aftermath (whether an earthquake, tsunami, volcano, or landslide), is displaced persons, causalities and injuries, disease, transportation, emergency and temporary shelters, and supply chain. Marshak,......

Words: 251 - Pages: 2