Caltech Researchers Release First Large Observational Study of 9.0 Tohoku-Oki Earthquake

When the magnitude 9.0 Tohoku-Oki earthquake and resulting tsunami struck off the northeast coast of Japan on March 11, they caused widespread destruction and death. Using observations from a dense regional geodetic network (allowing measurements of earth movement to be gathered from GPS satellite data), globally distributed broadband seismographic networks, and open-ocean tsunami data, researchers have begun to construct numerous models that describe how the earth moved that day.

Science in Progress: The Curious Case of the Shuram Excursion

Caltech geologists John Grotzinger and Woody Fischer have been puzzling over a surprising and controversial discovery made in the early 1990s—a discovery that provided some clues as to what might have caused a sudden burst of biodiversity 540 million years ago.

Caltech Researchers Use GPS Data to Model Effects of Tidal Loads on Earth's Surface

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. 

 

New Caltech Research Suggests Strong Indian Crust Thrust Beneath the Tibetan Plateau

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.

 

Quake Expert Profiled in Los Angeles Magazine

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.

Seismologist reflects on his firsthand experience of the Japanese earthquake

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.

Warm Water Causes Extra-cold Winters in Northeastern North America and Northeastern Asia

Average winter temperatures in northern Europe are at least 10 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than similar latitudes on the northeastern coast of the United States and the eastern coast of Canada. The same phenomenon happens over the Pacific, where winters on the northeastern coast of Asia are colder than in the Pacific Northwest. Researchers at Caltech have now found a mechanism that helps explain these chillier winters—and the culprit is warm water off the eastern coasts of these continents.

Simons Argues Against Hazard Prevention Cuts

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.

Seismic Imaging Provides Bigger Picture for Earthquake Researchers

Caltech scientists and students are among a group of government and university researchers collecting seismic images of the Imperial and Coachella Valleys this week.

"Like It or Not, We Are Living on This Planet"

The number of large destructive earthquakes in 2010, plus a flurry of medium magnitude quakes in California, led many people to ask, Are we in a period of heightened temblor activity, and is it likely to continue? E&S sat down with Hiroo Kanamori, the Smits Professor of Geophysics, Emeritus, and Joe Kirschvink, the Van Wingen Professor of Geobiology, to hear their thoughts.

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