Since the magnitude 6.7 Northridge earthquake 20 years ago, researchers at Caltech have learned much more about where earthquakes are likely to happen, and how danger to human life and damage to property might be mitigated when they do occur.
On Thursday, October 20, at 10:20 a.m., Caltech will once again participate in the annual statewide earthquake drill, the Great California ShakeOut. All Caltech students, staff, faculty, and visitors are encouraged to join more than 7.5 millionCalifornians in performing three action steps: drop, cover, and hold on.
Like scars that remain on the skin long after a wound has healed, earthquake fault lines can be traced on Earth's surface long after their initial rupture. Typically, this line of intersection between the area where the fault slips and the ground is more complicated at the surface than at depth. But a new study by Caltech researchers of the April 4, 2010, El Mayor–Cucapah earthquake in Mexico reveals a reversal of this trend.
On Wednesday, May 11, Caltech will be holding a shelter-in-place drill, beginning at approximately 1:10 p.m. The purpose behind the drill is to ready the campus for those types of emergencies in which a shelter-in-place response might be needed: a chemical or biological spill, severe weather, or an armed individual on campus, for instance. In these situations, being or heading outside is likely to be more hazardous than remaining indoors.
For many people, Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite technology is little more than a high-tech version of a traditional paper map. Used in automobile navigation systems and smart phones, GPS helps folks find their way around a new neighborhood or locate a nearby restaurant. But GPS is doing much, much more for researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech): it's helping them find their way to a more complete understanding of Earth's interior structure.
For many years, most scientists studying Tibet have thought that a very hot and very weak lower and middle crust underlies its plateau, flowing like a fluid. Now, a team of researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) is questioning this long-held belief and proposing that an entirely different mechanism is at play.
Lucy Jones, a seismologist at the U.S. Geological Survey and visiting associate in geophysics at Caltech, gets personal in this month's Los Angeles magazine, recalling how she first became interested in earthquakes.
Eminent seismologist Hiroo Kanamori, Caltech's Smits Professor of Geophysics, Emeritus, has been studying the movement of the earth his entire career. On March 11 he was in Tokyo, experiencing firsthand the largest earthquake in the country's recorded history.
Less than two weeks after a 9.0 earthquake and tsunami devastated a large swath of Japan, Caltech geophysicist Mark Simons calls attention to federal budget proposals that would cut funding for prevention technologies.