It Only Takes 70,000 Dancers at Burning Man to Make an Earthquake

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… »9/04/15 2:43am9/04/15 2:43am

There's A Way to Make Big Earthquakes Safer. The US Won't Pay For It.

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… »7/13/15 6:10pm7/13/15 6:10pm

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 1:15pm5/04/15 1:15pm

Scientists Are Dropping Explosives All Over Mount St. Helens On Purpose

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… »7/08/14 5:40pm7/08/14 5:40pm

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 6:00pm4/08/14 6:00pm

Another Reason For California To Be Scared Shitless: Earthquake Storms

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." »2/18/14 6:00pm2/18/14 6:00pm

Scientists Unearth The Truth Behind Ultra-Creepy Earthquake Lights

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… »1/02/14 5:34pm1/02/14 5:34pm

Giant Shake Table Helps Design Quake-Proof California Homes

When the Loma Prieta earthquake struck San Francisco in 1989, it gutted the Marina neighborhood. While part of that was due to liquefaction effects caused by the area's underlying landfill construction, the problem was exasperated by the area's multiunit homes, which typically either had parking or shops built into… »8/19/13 2:00pm8/19/13 2:00pm