Join 3,564 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Too many
March 16, 2011 10:32 AM   Subscribe

Five days of earthquakes. An animated display of all earthquakes over M4.5. 1 video sec = 1 hour real time. The big one hits at 1:17. (SLYT).
posted by CheeseDigestsAll (28 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
Whole lotta shakin' goin on.
posted by wabbittwax at 10:40 AM on March 16, 2011


The "quiet before the storm" segment before the big quake is especially eerie.
posted by squalor at 10:44 AM on March 16, 2011


Wow.

I knew there were two plates there, but I didn't know there were three. And Tokyo is basically on top of the triple junction. What a great place for a city.
posted by DU at 10:48 AM on March 16, 2011


It's like watching microwave popcorn pop.
posted by empath at 10:49 AM on March 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Is this what usually happens surrounding large quakes or was the rapid, serial quakes a rare phenomenon? I realize the 8.9 event was the one that did the most damage, but a lot of those other quakes could have added substantially to it.
posted by Mental Wimp at 10:52 AM on March 16, 2011


Yes, this is what usually happens. Don't think of these as discrete events. The plates are constantly moving and producing shocks and vibrations at various sizes. It's us silly humans that call them "quakes" and give them semi-arbitrary ratings.

In other words, for every "5" you see, there are lots and lots and lots of 1s and 2s.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:56 AM on March 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


DU: "Wow. I knew there were two plates there, but I didn't know there were three. And Tokyo is basically on top of the triple junction. What a great place for a city"

Try four. They just didn't label the little chip of North American plate.

Regarding the FPP - as someone for whom a 5.4 almost had me muttering shaking, I would have absolutely lost my shit.
posted by notsnot at 10:58 AM on March 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Japan Quake Map, cross-posted from the existing japan quake thread.
posted by anthill at 10:58 AM on March 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


Of course, the scale is logarithmic, so a 5 is 1/1000 as energetic than an 8 (1/10,000 as 9) and 1000 or 10,000 more energetic than a 2 or 1. Basically, especially in Japan that has quake-proofed so much, you'll never notice a 1 or 2.
posted by DU at 10:59 AM on March 16, 2011


One thing to keep in mind is that although the dots scale with the magnitude of the quake, they don't scale with energy releases. The formula is rougly 10(3/2)(m1-m2). Plugging in 8.9 and 5.0 gives a 700,000 fold increase in energy.
posted by indyz at 11:01 AM on March 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I hate being in Germany sometimes... "This video contains content from UMG" What in the world?
posted by tempythethird at 11:07 AM on March 16, 2011


Here's a couple of maps of the Earth's tectonic plates: one, two. The Pacific Ring of Fire page on Wikipedia is also useful context.
posted by Nelson at 11:09 AM on March 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I hate being in Germany sometimes... "This video contains content from UMG" What in the world?

The video does have a light soundtrack; Ludovico Einaudi is probably signed to Universal.
posted by phaedon at 11:10 AM on March 16, 2011


And now I'm saying "holy crap!" yet again, only this time over dots.
posted by Artw at 11:15 AM on March 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I wish people who made videos considered that some countries have absolutely fascist copyright regimes, and your pleasant soundtrack is going to make the whole thing unavailable to an entire country.
posted by tempythethird at 11:15 AM on March 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


I wish people who made videos considered that some countries have absolutely fascist copyright regimes, and your pleasant soundtrack is going to make the whole thing unavailable to an entire country.

This. Remember, if you're going to make video and use pre-written audio out there, there's a TON of great CC-licensed music out there that you can find from a simple google search.
posted by chimaera at 11:17 AM on March 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


I wish people who made videos considered that some countries have absolutely fascist copyright regimes, and your pleasant soundtrack is going to make the whole thing unavailable to an entire country.

I wish copyright holders recognized that a music bed on a youtube video is actually promoting their contact and may lead to increased sales.
posted by birdherder at 11:23 AM on March 16, 2011 [7 favorites]


A few things I found interesting were the precursors to the 8.9 (and that their epicenters seemed geographically close to that of the main quake) and the shift in activity south after the big one. Does anyone know if that shift indicates that a big one (say 7+) is more likely to hit in the coming days?
posted by MikeKD at 11:34 AM on March 16, 2011


Given its location, how the hell does Japan even exist?
posted by tommasz at 11:47 AM on March 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


> One thing to keep in mind is that although the dots scale with the magnitude of the quake, they don't scale with energy releases. The formula is rougly 10(3/2)(m1-m2). Plugging in 8.9 and 5.0 gives a 700,000 fold increase in energy.

For people who, like me, understand what logarithmic means but have a hard time visualising it, the graphs in this blog post should make it a lot clearer.
posted by Bangaioh at 11:58 AM on March 16, 2011


Given its location, how the hell does Japan even exist?

Japan only exists because of its location, provided you mean all of the tectonic activity. Most all of it's a volcanic island arc or accretionary prism; without the subduction zones there'd be no land there.

Pedantic, I know. Sorry.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 12:32 PM on March 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


One thing to keep in mind is that although the dots scale with the magnitude of the quake, they don't scale with energy releases.

This link helped me comprehend the calculations as well.
posted by inigo2 at 12:39 PM on March 16, 2011


One should also keep in mind that a quake's impact at the surface depends a lot on how deep in the Earth it happens.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:14 PM on March 16, 2011


Nature owns us.
posted by effluvia at 1:33 PM on March 16, 2011


I found that really interesting. thanks for posting.
posted by theora55 at 3:02 PM on March 16, 2011


For another take on the "earthquake cascade" in graph form, you should check out the graph re-blogged on ScienceBlog's Dean's Corner: 2011 Foreshocks, Aftershocks in Japan: Lessons for the Future?

It really emphasizes that calm before the quakestorm.

And according to the article that graph is taken from (Scientific American March 14th), Japan is a meeting point for four separate tectonic plates.
posted by Decimask at 3:07 PM on March 16, 2011


Note that in the graph linked above, the 8.9 is at the very top of the graph, above the Foreshock/Aftershock lines
posted by Decimask at 3:09 PM on March 16, 2011


It's not been made explicit yet, but indyz is quite right and DU is not exactly.
"Of course, the scale is logarithmic, so a 5 is 1/1000 as energetic than an 8"
It's logarithmic, but not to the base-10. A 5 is 1/32,000 as energetic as an 8.
posted by edd at 4:44 PM on March 16, 2011


« Older Swiss search and rescue dogs were having trouble e...  |  The Trouble With Autobiography... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments