Earthquakes Are A Powerful Event That Have Fascinated Scientists And Geologist For Years

Earthquakes Are A Powerful Event That Have Fascinated Scientists And Geologist For Years

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Earthquakes are a powerful event that have fascinated scientists and geologist for years. Scientists can learn much from these events. Earthquakes have helped shape our planet to what it is today. Scientists can use them to study the Earth’s internal system. Earthquakes are not something to be taken lightly. They can cause massive devastation and loss of life and property wherever they occur and even the most prepared countries can be overwhelmed by this force of nature.
The magnitude of the earthquake that hit the east coast of Tohoku, Japan on March 3, 2011 was a magnitude of 9.0. As measured on the Richter Scale it ranks in the top 5 ever recorded. The largest recorded earthquake to date was a 9.5 that hit Chile in 1960 (USGS ,2012). These two earthquakes appear similar in magnitude with a difference of .5, but that difference in amplification is significant. Each point on the Richter scale has a shaking amplitude delta that is 10 times stronger than the last point. How much damage an earthquake inflicts depends on the size and type of fault, the location and depth of the epicenter, and the strength and duration of the event.
Earthquakes occur in the Earth’s crust, which is the uppermost layer of the planet and can reach depths up to 18 miles. The crust is brittle and the strongest earthquakes happen here. The United States Geological Survey assessed the Tohoku earthquake depth to be 18.6 mi (USGS, 2011). The Tohoku earthquake’s hypocenter, had a massive buildup of energy and when the crust could not hold anymore, it ruptured, releasing the energy. This caused a chain reaction of quakes that assaulted Japan and created the devastating tsunami.
The motion that was associated with the Tohoku event was an upward thrust. T...


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...ense Japan has against tsunamis. Japan has built a coastal seawall to combat the tsunami threat. This concrete and steel wall will run 250 miles along the Japanese coast. Built to height of 41 feet, it is expected to protect coastal cities and towns from the water surge (Gough, 2015).
Despite all these defenses the tsunami stilled massive amounts of damage. The reason for this is the wave broke the seawall. The wave was higher than originally predicted. The other reason the tsunami wave caused so much damage was the people were too complacent when it came to the danger of a tsunami. The last major tsunami to hit Japan was in 1993. There has been a considerable amount of time to between the two events. The warnings that were issued went unheeded by the people. After the seawall collapsed the surge of water swept away many of the coastal towns (Hoffingtonpost, 2011).

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