Since the time of Isaac Newton, scientists have wondered if the gravitational pull of the sun and moon might be strong enough to trigger earthquakes and tremors on Earth. An analysis of 81,000 low-frequency earthquakes along the San Andreas Fault now confirms these suspicions.
Japan and Ecuador were rocked by major earthquakes over the weekend, prompting speculation that the two seismic events were somehow related. Here’s why that’s extremely unlikely.
A geophysicist in California says the San Andreas fault could be triggered into rupturing by the smaller San Jacinto fault nearby, causing a single devastating earthquake. Such a “joint rupture” may have happened before—and it could very well happen again.
At a big seismic summit yesterday at the White House, the federal government reaffirmed its commitment to creating an early warning system for earthquakes. A great new video shows exactly how this might work—and illustrates how it could help save lives.
The sounds bamboo chopsticks emit when they’re snapped in half are remarkably similar to the laws that govern the magnitude and frequency of earthquakes. Such insights could one day help engineers determine more precisely when a bridge or dam, for instance, might be about to fail.
Shortly after Apollo 16 blasted off from Florida in 1972, the Saturn V Booster was used as an experiment in and of itself, to measure seismic activity within the moon. Now, the crash site has been found.
When seismology became a global science, researchers realized that there was something weird about how earthquakes traveled through the ground. At first they thought the weirdness was due to a liquid core. This drawing proved they were half right.
Hordes of party-minded hipsters are heading out to Black Rock City this weekend for the annual Burning Man festival — possibly as many as 70,000, if past growth trends hold. And according to British seismologist Paul Denton, that’s enough frenzied dancing feet to generate a small earthquake measuring about 0.5 on the…
Everyone’s fretting about a terrifying article on the terrifying Cascadia Subduction Zone, which will almost certainly deliver the deadliest earthquake in US history. That earthquake would almost certainly be made less deadly with an early warning system that’s ready to be implemented—if only the US would decide to…
Government researchers in China have asked a select group of farmers to monitor abnormal behavior among their livestock — behaviors that could be indicative of imminent earthquakes.
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…
Can earthquakes ever be predicted? This question is timely after the magnitude 7.8 earthquake that struck Nepal recently. If authorities had more warning that the earthquake was coming, they may have been able to save more lives.
Seismologists have long known that Earth can oscillate like a planet-sized bell after the shock of an earthquake. More mysterious is why our planet is also oscillating all the time—at low frequencies and barely detectable by instruments.
During the morning of August 24, California's Napa Valley was struck by its biggest earthquake in a quarter century. The ESA's brand new Sentinel-1A satellite has now produced an unprecedented visualization of the ensuing rupture.
What could go wrong with setting off explosives all around an active volcano? As scary as it might sound, this is a carefully planned experiment to peer inside Mount St. Helens' mysterious underground magma chamber. No, we aren't blasting the volcano open, but the induced seismicity will let geologists finally map…
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,…
At 5:36 p.m. on March 27, 1964, a 9.2-magnitude earthquake erupted 78 miles east of Anchorage, Alaska. The earthquake remains the most powerful earthquake to strike North America, and the second-largest earthquake ever measured.
Worrying about the Big One is so passé. What you should really be worried about are the Big ONES. Yep: chances are, it won't be a single large earthquake that takes California out, it will be multiple, large earthquakes. Or perhaps you'd prefer to use the official Sharknado-esque term: "earthquake storms."
Seismologists have found that, contrary to popular thought, earthquakes in the central U.S. are not slowly tapering off — instead the threat appears to be building.
Have you ever heard of "earthquake lights"? I've spent a good chunk of my life in shake-happy coastal California and this phenomenon is news to me—but, for centuries, people have reported seeing a wide variety of illuminations just slightly before and during major tremblers. The origin of these glows have consistently…