Thursday, April 4, 2013

Module #11

1. Report on one major earthquake (and tsunami?) that has occurred in the last 100 years. Describe the type of plate boundary, type of fault, rating on the Richter scale and number of deaths. Explain whether you think this region was prepared or not prepared for an earthquake of this magnitude. 

2. Include a link to one interesting and relevant video that students can watch to learn more about this major earthquake.

3. Watch two of the videos posted by  your classmates and provide useful comments on each.


  1. http://m.youtube.com/results?q=1906%20san%20francisco%20earthquake%20documentary#/watch?v=6TaxcXfSwdE
    The major earthquake I chose was he 1906 San Francisco earthquake. The type of plate boundary was a transform boundary. It was on the San Andreas fault. It got a 7.9 on the Richter scale. Thee were about 3000 deaths. I think this region as not prepared for this earthquake because of the amount of damage San Francisco had. This city at the time had over 400million dollars in damage with equals out to over 8.2billion dollars in a more recent time. This earthquake left about 20% of San Francisco standing.

    1. cool video, that was a devastating earthquake, good job on your report

  2. The major earthquake which I decided to write about is the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. This 7.0 in magnitude earthquake affected around 3 million people, and resulted in an estimated 217,000 to 230,000 deaths. Haiti is located in the north region of the Caribbean plate and is also on a transform boundary with the North American plate. Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the world, and was incredibly susceptible to an earthquake. The depth and location (the capital Port-Au-Prince) all culminated alongside poor roads, ports, runways, building conditions and a lack of medical staff. The earthquake remains one of the deadliest in modern history.

  3. The major earthquake I chose was the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami on the East coast of Japan. The Earthquake had a magnitude of 9.03, making it the most powerful known earthquake to ever hit Japan, and the fifth most powerful earthquake in the world. The death tole was about 15,882, with 6,142 injured. To this day there's still 2,668 people missing. It occurred at a convergent boundary at which the Pacific plate subducted under the plate that lies beneath Honshu, Japan (it's under debate by Scientists exactly which plate it is.)

    A video showing the resulting tsunami: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IcGqNM5t28s

  4. The major earthquake I chose was the 1960 Valdivia earthquake in Chile. With a magnitude of 9.5, it is the most powerful earthquake ever recorded. The epicentre was located off the coast Lumaco, and the depth was 33km. As it was under water, it caused massive tsunamis with waves of up to 25m in height. It was so large and so destructive that Chile, Argentina, United States, Japan, and the Philippines were all affected. The death toll is estimated anywhere from 2000 to 6000, and the damage caused is thought to be valued at hundreds of millions of US dollars. This megathrust earthquake was caused by the sudden release and subduction of the Nazca Plate under the South American plate. Because of the extreme magnitude of this earthquake, as well as the destructive power of the resulting tsunamis, floods, landslides, and volcanic eruptions, the people of Chile could not possibly be prepared for a natural disaster of this scale. There was very little warning, and people could not evacuate as the area affected was so large. Although ceremonies were cancelled so that emergency aid could be given, there was very little that could be done to limit the force of nature. Other countries stepped in to provide aid and relief. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxXf-dYtG7Q

  5. In 1964 Alaska was hit by a 9.2 magnitude earthquake. This was the second most powerful earthquake ever recorded after an earthquake that occurred in Chile in 1960. The earthquake occurred on a convergent plate boundary. This caused some areas to have the ground lifted about 4-9 meters and in other areas the ground fell about 3 meters. The earthquake was followed by aftershocks and a tsunami. The tsunami that followed was also the second largest ever recorded. The effects of this earthquakes were experienced in places as far away as California.

    Alaska has a very low population density and this meant very few people died. The death count was only 143. Also this occurred on Good Friday at around 5 pm, this meant most people were in there homes and these for the most part were quite earthquake resistant. This earthquake caused about 300-400 million dollars in damage, this being in 1964 money.

    I don't think that the area was well prepared for an earthquake of this magnitude. It is very unlikely that an earthquake of magnitude would occur so I doubt they thought they needed to plan for it. Also this area is very underpopulated so it was likely never a propriety.


  6. Massive earthquake off the west coast of Indonesia sent fears across the country, prompting residents in coastal cities to rush to higher ground. A tsunami that followed a similar quake in 2004 killed nearly 230,000 people. The aceh region, which lost over 170,000 people in the 2004 disaster measured 8.6 magnitude. In December 2004, a giant 9.1 earthquake triggered a tsunami in the Indian Ocean that killed 230,000 people, nearly three quarters of them in Aceh, Indonesia.


  7. I have chosen the Himalayas, the lighter crust of the Indian plate being scrapped off the base of the plate and being pushed into the crust of the Asian plate. As the lighter crustal area is pushed into the crust of the Asian plate the mountain are being pushed up. The mountains, including Everest, are still rising. The base rocks of the Indian plate are being pushed under the Asian plate causing a large are of the Asian plate to elevate also resulting.

    References: http://whatonearth.olehnielsen.dk/plates/indian.asp

  8. The earthquake that I chose was in Haiti on January 12th, 2010. Haiti is located on the north region of the Caribbean Plate. Because of this placement, Haiti is very prone to earthquakes. This 7.0 earthquake killed an estimated 220,000 people and affected millions. Also, the earthquake destroyed nearly 30,000 buildings. This third world country could not have been very well prepared for this earthquake. Resulting in one of the poorest countries in the world, Haiti can not afford to build earthquake-resistant buildings like North America can. Because of this, Haiti would suffer greatly.

    References: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_Haiti_earthquake

  9. The Indian Ocean earthquake occurred on December 26, 2004. This undersea earthquake resulted in a tsunami, which struck India, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Indonesia and the East Coast of Africa. The Earthquake measured a 9.3 on the Richter scale, the third largest earthquake ever recorded on seismograph. The earthquake, caused by subduction to the west of Indonesia, caused 230,000 to 280,000 deaths and waves that were as tall as 30 metres. Many countries hit were poorer countries and unprepared for the destruction.

    Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCWfRs1frYE

    1. wow, i have never heard of a 9.3 richter hit before, that produced a very destructive tsnuami, good report mike!

  10. A magnitude 5.6 earthquake occurred on the 28th of December 1989, in Newcastle, New South Whales in Australia. Sources have called this earthquake "One of Australia's worst natural disasters", resulting in 13 deaths and 160 injured. There is a lot of controversy as to how this earthquake occurred. This is because Newcastle is not located on a major plate boundary and is in fact situated in the middle of the Australian plate. Some scientists have produced a theory that extensive coal mining and the out-take of water in the area caused a fault line to open up again. However many scientist say that many earthquakes occur in the area on a regular basis, just not to the size of the one of 1989 that spanned up to 800km. I believe that this region was not prepared for this earthquake to occur because they are not situated on a plate boundary and are only used to small quakes caused from the coal mining. The damage caused by this earthquake was much more extensive than others that regularly strike the region, and would have been hard to prepare for.

    Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aS5OSnPdMmw


  11. The major earthquake/tsunami which I decided to report on was the 8.8 magnitude earthquake of February 27, 2010. Dubbed the “Offshore Maule Earthquake”, it occurred right off the shore of coastal Chile, an area which has a large history of similar tectonic events. The earthquake itself was along a convergent boundary, with the Nazca plate subducting underneath the South American plate (two plates which move towards each other at a rate of 80 mm annually). Due to the fact that it occurred offshore, it then triggered a large and powerful tsunami - the nearby area was between 8 and 9 on the Mercalli scale, approximately 700 were later reported to be dead.

    In many ways, the Chilean citizens were well prepared for this event (due to much experience with previous earthquakes): their structures were well engineered in order to withstand shaking, anti-disaster drills were well rehearsed, and the government had certain policies in order to ( to an extent) efficiently deal with earthquakes.

    The problem with the country’s preparation lay in the fact that they were ill-prepared for the potential for tsunami - various government officials informed coastal cities that there was little to no threat of a tsunami occurring. Because of this, the citizens were poorly prepared in the face of the tsunami in their architecture, behaviours, and etc.


  12. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjXwxpa7bgU

    The earthquake I chose took place in Emilia-Romagna Italy. This earthquake occurred in May 2012. This Northern Italy earthquake inflicted approximately $13.2 billion of property damages. The initial earthquake came in at a 6.0 on the Richter scale, this quake administered plenty of property damage but the death toll only came to 7 lives. Nine days later though another earthquake took place at a magnitude of 5.8. With the area already in great despair from the series of quakes nine days before, 20 more lives were mourned for.
    In the case of this earthquake in Northern Italy,a thrust fault transpired. This sort of fault is categorized by when rocks of lower stratigraphic position are pushed up and over higher strata.This colossal event appeared amongst the Eurasian plate.
    This earthquake was most definitely not the most forceful of quakes. While this earthquake's focus was only 10km deep providing a much more devastating effect. I am still of the belief that this region of Italy was in no shape to endure an earthquake. The damage is quite horrendous for a 6.0 magnitude quake.

  13. Reykjavik, Iceland on may 29th 2008 was hit with one of the biggest earthquakes they have ever experienced measuring a 6.3 on the Richter scale. This earthquake was very unexpected as they have only had a handful of earthquakes as they are on a divergent plate boundary so the crust isn't rubbing together or coming in contact with itself, therefore there should only be minor earthquakes due to volcanic eruptions or little plate movements. The country suffered many tremors before hand and then a lot of after shock as you can see in this video: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=RxAFBsTde9w . This video is demonstrating the use of a seismograph to track the earth movements and intensity at which it is striking. The country only witnessed structural damage and the loss of a few hundred sheep due to landslides created by the earthquake. Some people were prepared for the earthquake with carts on wheels to absorb the shock instead of having it bolted to the floor and having everything falling off of the shelves as some people had. Here is a link containing some damages caught on security cameras. http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Wc_g6XiGwTM In conclusion, the people of Reykjavik are lucky to have been some what prepared so that no humans were injured.

  14. The Earthquake I chose occurred in New Zealand, and is known as the 'Hawkes Bay Earthquake', it happened on February 3, 1931, its epicentre was about 15km North of Napier, and it spanned about 2 and half minutes. This earthquake came in at a 7.8 on the Richter scale, and killed at least 256 people. There were 525 aftershocks recorded within the next two weeks, 10 days after the initial quake they experienced the strongest aftershock coming it at a 7.3 on the Richter scale, it caused even more damage and destruction to the surrounding area. The earthquake caused a lot of destruction to the buildings in the area, as very few were built well, and New Zealand didn't have strict building standards until after this disaster.
    References: http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/historic-earthquakes/page-6

  15. I decided to look at the Tohoku earthquake in Japan in 2011. It scored about a 9 on the Richter scale. The death toll was roughly around 16,000 and 6,000 injured. It was the most powerful earthquake in Japan and one if the most powerful in the world. It occurred at the boundary of the pacific plate that submerged under Honshu Japan. It was- and still is under debate with scientists over which plate it is.


  16. I chose to report on the Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989 also known as the World series earthquake. This Earthquake occurred along the San Andres fault and was created from a slip in the plate boundaries. This earthquake lasted around 15 seconds and measured an bolstering 6.9 magnitude on the richter scale. The earthquake had a destructive effect to the San Francisco area, killing 63 people and injuring over ,500. The earthquake is very well known for its interruption of the 1989 World series baseball series between the San Francisco Giants and the Oakland Athletics. The region was well prepared for any earthquake because they had a much more devastating quake in 1906 which killed many thousands and destroyed most of the town. In conclusion this was a terrible event that killed many in the California state and proved the San Andres fault to be a very dangerous enemy of the area.


  17. I chose to do the 1922 Vallenar earthquake at the boarder of Chile and Argentina. It was a convergent boundary/fault on the Nazca and the South American plates, it scored an 8.5 on the Richter scale.
    It trigged a destructive tsunami that caused a lot damage to the coast of Chile and could be observed as far away as Australia.
    The damage was around $5-25 million and several hundred people were killed.
    Since this happened in 1922 I don't think the region was prepared since the world did not have much knowledge on tectonic plates and the consequences of their movement.
    I couldnt find any videos for this earthquake but here are a few links to photos:




  18. I chose to do the 2011 Tohoku earthquake in Japan. This earthquake occurred where the Pacific plate is subducting under the plate beneath northern Honshu, creating large amounts of energy. (The exact plate is still debated by scientists.) This motion pulls the upper plate down until the stress builds up enough to cause a seismic event. The break caused the sea floor to rise by several metres. Around this region, an earthquake should never exceed 8.5 magnitude. However , this earthquake reached 9.0 and caused about 16,000 deaths. I do not think this region was prepared for an earthquake this size, but I hope they have done their best to prepare for a possible future earthquake.

    This video shows the destruction the earthquake caused: