I wasn’t going to do a 1 year what did we learn post for the Japan Quake, mostly because I did a what did we learn for this quake already. Seismology is like any other science a never ending learning experience with progress in fits and starts so one year anniversaries are somewhat pointless.
But we have learned a lot from this quake and many others over the last year. Some of those things are:
- we don’t know nearly as much as we once thought we did. We have been thinking for years we knew how this fault, and others would react. Obviously we were wrong.
- this type of fault can make quakes hundreds of times more powerful than we thought, all of our planning and building codes are out of date because these large events can happen a lot more often than we thought. These faults are all over.
- even discounting aftershocks there are earthquake storms and they are common.
- if you feel a quake and are near the sea forget everything else and everyone else and run for high ground, or be one of the thousands who will die. Give everyone else a warning, grab your kids if you can and run. (If you can, leave where you were in a safe state, but 5 minutes of making stuff safe and you are dead.)
- between tsunamis and rising sea levels building in the area within 20 meters of sea level should be banned.
- the fault moved a lot further faster than was thought possible and the deformation of the plate is more than we thought transferring more stress to other parts of the fault then we thought they could take.
We are learning more all the time. With newer and more instrumentation, expeditions like the ship Japan is sending to drill into the fault and better and more GPS stations showing deformation of the plates. So we will continue to learn and continue to watch as these quakes happen and let you know what is happening and why.
Today’s big news for me was the Santorini volcano is getting ready to erupt again, not Atlantis burying scale but still a big eruption and probably you don’t want to be on a cruise ship watching it. The ground deformation is the biggest that the people watching have seen. Should be fun to watch.
- Japan Marks Quake and Tsunami Anniversary (the2012scenario.com)
- The Internet Remembers the Japan Quake, Tsunami Anniversary (mashable.com)