Fact-Checking San Andreas With a Seismologist

Disaster-plagued cities. Hellish landscapes. Post-apocalyptic society. It’s just your average day in California. With one special exception: A 9.6 earthquake has rippled up and down the state, unleashing unimaginable devastation. That’s the plot of San Andreasbut could any of this happen in real life? Let’s ask… » 5/29/15 7:55pm Friday 7:55pm

San Andreas Is A Film Where Earthquakes Have A Vendetta Against The Rock

San Andreas is filled with ludicrous, special effects-laden chaos, and it paints its main character’s quest to reunite his family — an all-too-familiar disaster-movie trope — with the broadest possible strokes. But if you can put up with ridiculous science (and cheese), it’s a fun, silly summer movie. » 5/29/15 11:20am Friday 11:20am

Scientists Are Racing Across Nepal to Gather Fleeting Quake Data

It sounds like a plot to a fast-paced popcorn flick, but right now, U.S. scientists are on a mad dash in Nepal, collecting as much quake data as possible from the country’s scattered ground movement sensors, before the info is completely wiped. These numbers could help seismologists predict when the next big one could… » 5/08/15 7:20pm 5/08/15 7:20pm

Machines Sensed the Nepal Earthquake from 8,000 Miles Away

When a massive earthquake struck Nepal on April 25, it created seismic waves that traveled around the world in a matter of minutes, propagating swiftly through Earth’s crust and mantle to rattle seismic stations in the US. The Nepal quake was devastating, but the fact that it was felt 8,000 miles away is actually not… » 5/04/15 1:15pm 5/04/15 1:15pm

Smartphones Could Fill the Gaps In an Earthquake Early Warning Network

An early warning system for earthquakes can’t come soon enough for the US, which is lagging behind other seismically active countries like Mexico and Japan. But for an early warning system to be effective it needs lots of sensors, which can be expensive to install and maintain. A new study says we might not need to… » 4/10/15 8:10pm 4/10/15 8:10pm

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 10/23/14 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… » 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