On April 18th, 1906, one of the worst natural disasters happened in the US history. This first major disaster which is recorded in human history with photography, has a 7.8 magnitude(USGS,2013).A subduction of the Pacific plates pulled into the San Andreas plates with the north-west direction, causing a 400 km(ECSC) rupture line. Huge energy is radiated out of the epicenter which was just 2 miles of west San Francisco, the intensity of the shaking nearly wiped out most of the buildings and structures with a duration of 110s(ECSC), affected around 370,000 square meters(NZH,1906). Afterwards, scientist Henry Fielding Reid(1906) suggested that“Elastic Rebound Theory” by observing the surface of the San Andreas fault. The sedimentary rock on the plate change in shape by the massive pressure by the movement of the plates and store elastic energy. Once the elastic point of the sediment rock is reached, the elastic stress is released rapidly. The plate will be separate apart in distance along the fault.
(Reference from USGS, the picture shows that the fence is teared apart to its original place, the tectonic plate moved significant in the earthquake in 1906 San Francisco earthquake.)
Elastic Rebound Theory
Reid suggested his first scientific theory about how forces accumulate along faults only to be released on earthquake, which is the foundation of we observing earthquakes. Usually because the plates have friction, the stresses build up on the surface. The process is relatively slow with a rate of 1 inch per year, until one of the surface slips due to high pressure. The slippage speed up to 5000 miles an hour, the pressure tears down the fault to a stuck patch which slows down the speed of the moving plates. The plates m...
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...rthquake-proof building experience in an actual realistic shaking region.
In the foundation of some earthquake-proof building, there are isolated bearing which the base of the structure keeps a distance with the ground. It helps to reduce the friction between the surface of the ground and the base of the structure.
Reference from Web-Japan, http://web-japan.org/trends/11_sci-tech/sci110728.html
(The figure shows that when a plate is shaking, the supporting will be bent but not broken. Since the seismic isolator absorbs most of the friction from the ground, the building will have less magnitude to overturn.)
The San Francisco earthquake in 1906 is an important event that it alerts us earthquakes can be happening in a major city. For now, we can only prepare ourselves by doing protections until the day we can actually measure the earthquake precisely.
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