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Old 03-02-2010, 02:33 PM   #61
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Here's another seismologist jumping into the discussion:
Why Chile fared better than Haiti: Scientific American
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Old 03-02-2010, 03:39 PM   #62
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Yeoooweee, Roger has joined the enemy. That is Roger Bilham in the article.
He was doing strain gauge and tide gauge experiments in the Aleutians one of the years when I was working up there with seismologists. In those days Roger was less than impressed with seismologists.

Recall one early morning Roger coming into a school classroom where we made home for summer, at oh dark thirty hours with his indomitable British cheerfulness trying to get the rest of us awake and functioning.

A barrage of boots and other handy items persuaded him to wait a bit,, after giving him a long list of four letter words to contemplate, and directions as to where to go and what to do, we added: and go and do make some coffee. Make sure it has teeth.

By the way, Roger is one of the very few scientists I actually hold in very high regard. Besides he could play the accordion quiet well. But I digress.

So anyway, regarding the earthquake intensity away from the epicenter. As was elaborated earlier by others, the material composition locally and along the propagation path has a huge effect.

Now if all things are equal (never the case) it is the classic inverse square law that would be applicable. (see Wikipedia). At very long distances even though it may have been a long rupture at the subduction zone, it could look like a point source. The man made structures along the way are hit by pressure then shear waves. Very ungood.

Usually some time, usually weeks, after the event they do a lot of massaging of the raw data, and do come up with answers to Q like that of T Al.

As for nuclear waste, or other solid waste the place to put it is at a high speed subduction zone, (that causes the uplift and the volcanoes) where the Pacific plate is diving under some other, Like the Aleutians or Chile, though 80 mm/year in our lifetime does not seem all that fast. OTOH the environmentalist would surely burst some blood vessels in their brains.
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Old 03-02-2010, 04:16 PM   #63
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As for nuclear waste, or other solid waste the place to put it is at a high speed subduction zone, (that causes the uplift and the volcanoes) where the Pacific plate is diving under some other, Like the Aleutians or Chile, though 80 mm/year in our lifetime does not seem all that fast. OTOH the environmentalist would surely burst some blood vessels in their brains.
Oh indeed they did!!

Dad threw that out at a meeting in Portland probably 30 years ago when folks were just beginning to realize that there was no executable plan in place to deal with nuclear waste.

Were he still alive he would be 100. He was a cork shoe kind of guy who took great pleasure at watching the COE Engineers try to out-think a fish.

[having fun with smiles today]
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Old 03-02-2010, 05:13 PM   #64
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But if you reaaaally want know how these things work, Jon Stewart analyzes CNN's Rick Sanches' presentation: Video: The Uninformant | The Daily Show | Comedy Central
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Old 03-02-2010, 05:56 PM   #65
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I have been confused by the news reports saying that the Chile earthquake was 500 times as powerful as the Haiti earthquake, given that Chile was 8.8 magnitude and Haiti was 7.0. On a logarithmic scale, that would give 10^8.8/10^7.0 = 10^(8.8-7) = 10^1.8 = 63. Hmmm.

So I did a little more research and learned that the magnitude number just measures the comparative amplitude of the ground movement as measured by the seismograph. The comparative energy released is actually 10^(1.5)(m1-m2). In this case 10^(1.5)(1.8)= 10^2.7 = 501.

Mystery solved, but not quite. Now I wonder why the 1.5 factor for energy versus amplitude? My investigation continues.
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Old 03-02-2010, 06:36 PM   #66
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Note the word Empirical.

Energy, E
The amount of energy radiated by an earthquake is a measure of the potential for damage to man-made structures. Theoretically, its computation requires summing the energy flux over a broad suite of frequencies generated by an earthquake as it ruptures a fault. Because of instrumental limitations, most estimates of energy have historically relied on the empirical relationship developed by Beno Gutenberg and Charles Richter:
log10E = 11.8 + 1.5MS
where energy, E, is expressed in ergs. The drawback of this method is that MS is computed from an bandwidth between approximately 18 to 22 s. It is now known that the energy radiated by an earthquake is concentrated over a different bandwidth and at higher frequencies. With the worldwide deployment of modern digitally recording seismograph with broad bandwidth response, computerized methods are now able to make accurate and explicit estimates of energy on a routine basis for all major earthquakes. A magnitude based on energy radiated by an earthquake, Me, can now be defined,
Me = 2/3 log10E - 2.9.
For every increase in magnitude by 1 unit, the associated seismic energy increases by about 32 times.
Although Mw and Me are both magnitudes, they describe different physical properites of the earthquake. Mw, computed from low-frequency seismic data, is a measure of the area ruptured by an earthquake. Me, computed from high frequency seismic data, is a measure of seismic potential for damage. Consequently, Mw and Me often do not have the same numerical value.

For the rest of the story:http://web.ics.purdue.edu/~braile/edumod/eqhazard/eqhazard1.htm

For another set of gory details:Richter Magnitude
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Old 03-02-2010, 06:39 PM   #67
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Thanks. I ran into that equation earlier and deduced that the relationship was based on empirical observation rather than calculation, but W2R's post got me thinking that I must have forgotten something obvious about elementary physics.
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Old 03-02-2010, 06:44 PM   #68
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Thanks. I ran into that equation earlier and deduced that the relationship was based on empirical observation rather than calculation, but W2R's post got me thinking that I must have forgotten something obvious about elementary physics.
Nah, I realized that my post was incorrect right after posting, which is why I deleted it in just microseconds. Sorry if it confused the issue.
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Old 03-02-2010, 11:18 PM   #69
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But if you reaaaally want know how these things work, Jon Stewart analyzes CNN's Rick Sanches' presentation: Video: The Uninformant | The Daily Show | Comedy Central
I don't watch a lot of TV and hardly any news. When I saw Sanchez on CNN I thought it was a skit or a spoof, and I kept looking for the SNL cast commercial. He made Jerry Springer look like Walter Cronkite.

I think one of the directors got some pretty direct feedback after a few minutes and gave him the hook. Or maybe they just wanted to know if he'd share whatever he was using.

It's good that he eventually was assisted in learning the correct location of the Hawaii islands, no matter how many English meters that may be. But if he was trying to raise his profile with his intensity or his "shock jock" tactics, I think it backfired. It's one thing to be controversial, but quite a different career effect to be a laughingstock...
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Old 03-07-2010, 10:26 PM   #70
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Relative newbie here, and I always learn something from perusing these forums, but I'm gonna try to hijack this thread back to the OP's question, but wanted to comment that the next video with Neil drGrasse Tyson had me thinking I need to be able to relocate to the Moon or Pluto. Video: Neil deGrasse Tyson | The Daily Show | Comedy Central He's always so cool when I see/hear him speak.

I've spent many years in many different locations due to the military. Always paid attention to the local hazards and have a morbid joke that wherever I had just been stationed was in for it - due to random occurrences after I left. Los Angeles - Riots, Philippines - Mt Pinatubo, Virginia - Hurricane Ivan/floods. North East - Nor'Easter/snow storms. Since I currently live in the midwest, the New Madrid Fault is not looking so good. Had a 5.2 in 2008 that woke me up and the flooding has been at record levels the past few years, and I plan on moving this summer. Just be glad it's not to Yellowstone. That would be a disaster!

Now the reality is you should always have a bug-out bag/container. Something you can grab in a heartbeat and go if required to, additionally store some water and packaged/canned food in your abode that doesn't require heat and follow the advice on the 72 hour shelter in place if that is needed. But if your talking the true Armageddon scenario, there really isn't much you realistically can plan for due to the various possibilities (unless your a hardcore survivalist) you just have to be flexible according to the situation. Every location has its known hazards, just know what they are and plan accordingly, since most of the people on this forum have planned/are planning much better than most of the sheeple I know, I have high hopes for most of us.
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