The powerful magnitude-8.6 earthquake that shook Sumatra on April 11, 2012, was a seismic standout for many reasons, not the least of which is that it was larger than scientists thought an earthquake of its type could ever be. Now, Caltech researchers report on their findings from the first high-resolution observations of the underwater temblor.
Researchers at Caltech have developed the first computer model of an earthquake-producing fault segment that reproduces, in a single physical framework, the available observations of both the fault's seismic (fast) and aseismic (slow) behavior.
Hiroo Kanamori, the John E. and Hazel S. Smits Professor of Geophysics, Emeritus, at Caltech, has been elected one of 21 new foreign associates of the National Academy of Sciences. Eighty-four new members were also announced during the 149th annual meeting of the academy in Washington, D.C.
The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation has awarded $6 million to Caltech, UC Berkeley, and University of Washington, Seattle, to create a prototype earthquake early warning system for the Pacific Coast of the United States.
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.