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EARTH: Superquakes, supercycles, and global earthquake clustering

January 08, 2013

Alexandria, VA - The size and type of earthquakes a given fault system may produce remain poorly understood for most major fault systems. Recent superquakes, such as the March 2011 magnitude-9 off Japan and the December 2004 magnitude-9-plus off Sumatra, have been far larger than what most scientists expected those faults to produce. The problem is that current models rely on short historical records, and even shorter instrumental records. Today, scientists are working to rewrite these models based on new paleoseismic and paleotsunami data to create a more comprehensive picture of earthquake activity through time. What they're finding might alarm you.

With short records almost every significant earthquake is "new" to geologists. However, as more data are accumulated, we are beginning to see a more complex record of global strain cycles that may help to predict earthquake behavior in the future. In the January issue of EARTH Magazine, scientists looked at long-term cycling in the northeast Japan Trench and the paleoseismic record in the Cascadia Subduction Zone to try and piece together a clearer picture of earthquake activity in those regions. What will these new data tell us about future earthquakes? Read the story online and find out at http://bit.ly/UyycOp.

Make sure to check out this story and more in the January issue of EARTH Magazine available online now. Learn how long-lost letters shed new light on 19th century Bone Wars; discover how volcanic bubbles build to a burp or a boom; and see how a new map shows Australia's true mineral potential all in this month's issue of EARTH.
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Keep up to date with the latest happenings in Earth, energy and environment news with EARTH magazine online at http://www.earthmagazine.org/. Published by the American Geosciences Institute, EARTH is your source for the science behind the headlines.The American Geosciences Institute is a nonprofit federation of geoscientific and professional associations that represents more than 250,000 geologists, geophysicists and other earth scientists. Founded in 1948, AGI provides information services to geoscientists, serves as a voice of shared interests in the profession, plays a major role in strengthening geoscience education, and strives to increase public awareness of the vital role the geosciences play in society's use of resources, resiliency to natural hazards, and interaction with the environment.

American Geosciences Institute

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Distant earthquakes can cause underwater landslides
New research finds large earthquakes can trigger underwater landslides thousands of miles away, weeks or months after the quake occurs.
New model could help predict major earthquakes
Nagoya University-led researchers characterized several earthquakes that struck South America's west coast over the last 100 years by using seismographic data, tsunami recordings, and models of the rapid plate movements associated with these natural disasters.
Forecasting large earthquakes along the Wasatch Front, Utah
There is a 43 percent probability that the Wasatch Front region in Utah will experience at least one magnitude 6.75 or greater earthquake, and a 57 percent probability of at least one magnitude 6.0 earthquake, in the next 50 years, say researchers speaking at the 2017 Seismological Society of America's (SSA) Annual Meeting.
Anticipating hazards from fracking-induced earthquakes in Canada and US
As hydraulic fracturing operations expand in Canada and in some parts of the United States, researchers at the 2017 Seismological Society of America's (SSA) Annual Meeting are taking a closer look at ways to minimize hazards from the earthquakes triggered by those operations.
Oklahoma is laboratory for research on human-induced earthquakes
Earthquakes such as the February 2016 magnitude 5.1 Fairview quake, November 2016's 5.0 Cushing quake, and the September 2016 5.8 Pawnee quake -- the state's largest in historic times -- have made Oklahoma a laboratory for studying human-induced seismicity, according to researchers gathering at the 2017 Seismological Society of America's (SSA) Annual meeting.
Prediction of large earthquakes probability improved
As part of the 'Research in Collaborative Mathematics' project run by the Obra Social 'la Caixa', researchers of the Mathematics Research Centre (CRM) and the UAB have developed a mathematical law to explain the size distribution of earthquakes, even in the cases of large-scale earthquakes such as those which occurred in Sumatra (2004) and in Japan (2011).
Manmade earthquakes in Oklahoma on the decline
Stanford scientists predict that over the next few years, the rate of induced earthquake in Oklahoma will decrease significantly, but the possibility for damaging earthquakes to occur will remain high.
Crowdsourced data can help researchers study earthquakes
A new study on how people feel the effects of earthquakes illustrates the value that members of the public can add to the scientific research process.
Humans have been causing earthquakes in Texas since the 1920s
Earthquakes triggered by human activity have been happening in Texas since at least 1925, and they have been widespread throughout the state ever since, according to a new historical review of the evidence published online May 18 in Seismological Research Letters.
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A new study on the connection between earthquakes and volcanoes took its inspiration from old engineering basics.

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Read and find out about one of nature’s most mysterious forces—the earthquake. Some earthquakes are so small that you don’t even feel them, while others can make even big buildings shake! Learn why earthquakes happen, where they are most likely to occur, and what to do if one happens near you.

Now rebranded with a new cover look and with updated text and art, this classic picture book describes the causes and effects of earthquakes (including a tsunami). This book features rich vocabulary and fascinating cross-sections of mountains, volcanoes, and faults in the earth’s moving... View Details


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A study of earthquakes and the science behind them. View Details


Earthquakes
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Seymour Simon knows how to explain science to kids and make it fun. He was a teacher for over twenty years, has written more than 250 books, and has won multiple awards. In Earthquakes, Simon introduces elementary-school readers to earthquakes through engaging descriptions and stunning full-color photographs. He teaches readers why and how earthquakes happen and the damage they can cause through pictures, diagrams, and maps. He also gives real life examples of earthquakes that have occurred all over the world. This book includes a glossary and index.

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Quakeland: On the Road to America's Next Devastating Earthquake
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A journey around the United States in search of the truth about the threat of earthquakes leads to spine-tingling discoveries, unnerving experts, and ultimately the kind of preparations that will actually help guide us through disasters. It’s a road trip full of surprises.
 
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Most of the Earth's changes happen over millions of years, but earthquakes can force significant changes to the land in just a few moments. Readers will learn the science of plate tectonics and its role in the development of earthquakes around the globe. They will also learn that not all rocks are created equal. In fact, rocks are all different ages! This book concludes with images of the damage and destruction that earthquakes can cause.

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National Geographic Kids Everything Volcanoes and Earthquakes explodes with incredible photos and amazing facts about the awesome powers of nature. You'll find out that three-quarters of Earth's volcanoes are underwater, that an earthquake in Chile shortened the day by 1.26 milliseconds, and much more. Bursting with fascinating information about the biggest volcanic eruptions and earth-shattering earthquakes, this book takes a fun approach to science, introducing kids to plate tectonics and the tumultuous forces brewing beneath the Earth's surface. Filled with fabulous photos and... View Details


Earthquakes: 2006 Centennial Update
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The ultimate introduction to seismology, written by distinguished scholar and Professor Bruce Bolt, of the University of California, Berkeley, this newly updated edition will provide the best foundation in the field for your introductory students. View Details


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This reader-friendly, carefully illustrated text introduces the scientific, historical, and personal safety aspects of earthquakes. It is significantly broader in perspective than other texts on the subject, providing the basic scientific facts about earthquakes, explaining how the study of earthquakes has progressed through time, offering details on the development of earthquake instruments, and covering immediately practical aspects such as personal safety, building and living in areas prone to earthquakes, and earthquake geography. No prior courses are assumed.

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The Great Quake: How the Biggest Earthquake in North America Changed Our Understanding of the Planet
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New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice

In the bestselling tradition of Erik Larson’s Isaac’s Storm, The Great Quake is a riveting narrative about the biggest earthquake in North American recorded history -- the 1964 Alaska earthquake that demolished the city of Valdez and swept away the island village of Chenega -- and the geologist who hunted for clues to explain how and why it took place.

At 5:36 p.m. on March 27, 1964, a magnitude 9.2. earthquake – the second most powerful in world history – struck the young state of Alaska. The... View Details


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Early elementary readers find out what causes earthquakes and what to do to stay safe if one occurs in this helpful nonfiction reader. Featuring informational text, colorful maps, diagrams, and vibrant photos, this book keeps children engaged and fascinated at the same time!

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