Vertical Tsunami Shelters Will Help People Get to Higher Ground, Fast

The threat of a tsunami is a very real thing for much of the Pacific coastline, yet many cities in the U.S. haven't taken specific infrastructural measures to ensure their residents are safe when they happen. A new building in Washington will have the first purpose-built tsunami shelter in the country, offering… » 10/23/14 1:46pm Yesterday 1:46pm

Scientists Will Drill Directly Into a Fault Overdue For an Earthquake

The Alpine fault is the most dangerous fault in New Zealand—and one of the most dangerous in the world. It ruptures with an 8.0-magnitude earthquake roughly once every 300 years, and with the last one in 1717, it's ripe for another. So what are we going to do about it? Why, drill a hole nearly a mile deep into it. » 10/07/14 10:53am 10/07/14 10:53am

Be Prepared for the Next Big One With This DIY Earthquake Detector

A large-scale early warning system for California earthquakes should be rolling out soon—at least, as soon as the government funding kicks in. Until then, one of the scientists working on the prototype decided to turn his seismic knowledge into an at-home science project, designing this DIY earthquake alarm for about… » 9/10/14 4:30pm 9/10/14 4:30pm

Why Scientists Dig Trenches To Find Hidden Fault Lines in Cities

Thanks to our asphalt-giddy behavior, we've all but paved over the fault lines that zigzag through some of our riskiest seismic zones. A new video shows how a team of geologists and engineers in LA have been digging a hole to find the exact location of a fault which could prove to be especially destructive. » 9/08/14 8:30pm 9/08/14 8:30pm

California's Drought Is So Bad, Its Mountains Rose Half an Inch

Water is heavy—ask anyone who screwed up the Ice Bucket Challenge. And California and the rest of the West Coast have precious little of it. The water is so depleted, it's not weighing down the earth's surface—and geologists have measured a rise of up to 15 millimeters at GPS stations across the West. » 8/23/14 5:57pm 8/23/14 5:57pm

Putting 900 Pounds of Explosives Below an Abandoned Suburb For Science

It's not every day that the average person gets to blow something up at their job. Even rarer: Getting to blow up the neighborhood where you used to live. But as Next City reports today, that's exactly what happened to the last remaining resident of an abandoned suburb that served as the testing ground for an… » 8/08/14 2:32pm 8/08/14 2:32pm

Earthquake Early Warning Systems Save Lives. So Why Don't We Have One?

Here's something you might not know about the 6.4 earthquake epicentered near the Pacific Coast of Mexico on May 8: By the time it hit Mexico City, 170 miles away, people there already knew it was coming. Even before the shaking started, they had time to move to safety. They were ready—thanks to their advanced warning… » 6/19/14 3:00pm 6/19/14 3:00pm

Take a Drone-Guided Tour of the Abandoned Fukushima Exclusion Zone

Over three years after the catastrophic earthquake in Japan, the town of Tokioma near the Fukushima nuclear power plant remains abandoned. Or, more specifically, the radioactive soil beneath Tokioma remains too dangerous for humans to return home. Drones, on the other hand, have an easier time getting around. » 5/02/14 2:20pm 5/02/14 2:20pm

A Timelapse of All the Earthquakes From This Record-Breaking April

Didn't it seem to you that the ground was exceptionally shaky last month? That there were reports on big earthquakes happening somewhere pretty much every week? It wasn't just your imagination: April produced a higher-than-normal number of moderate-to-large earthquakes, and you can see it for yourself. » 5/01/14 2:00pm 5/01/14 2:00pm

How Huge Subterranean Grids Could Protect Cities From Earthquakes

French engineers have been experimenting with a technique that could redirect seismic energy away from structures such as cities, dams, and nuclear power plants, sparing them from damage. It involves digging large, cylindrical boreholes into the ground, forming a defensive geometry of lace-like arrays that,… » 4/08/14 6:00pm 4/08/14 6:00pm

Bracing for the Next Big Quake With L.A.'s New City Seismologist

The 4.4 jolt that shook Angelenos awake this morning was the latest reminder of our complicated relationship with the ground below us. But I had a different perspective of what was happening under my feet this time: Just before this latest earthquake, I took a walk along Hollywood's fault lines with Dr. Lucy Jones,… » 3/17/14 7:10pm 3/17/14 7:10pm