Monday, 5 December 2016

Global earthquake animation


Required viewing after NZ’s recent experience:

Check out this new SOS dataset of all the earthquakes from 2001 through 2015 from the US NWS Pacific Tsunami Warning Center! You can read about it here:



One thing that strikes me very clearly: New Zealand is on very shaky ground that it shares with many other places, yet we take so much our architectural inspiration from places with ground that is much more stable.

Something to rethink, perhaps …

[Hat tip Stephen Hicks]

1 comment:

  1. This sort of thing is absolutely fascinating. Two things jump out at me that I'm not sure would jump out at most readers:

    1) None of these points represents a single datum. Earthquake centers and epicenters are calculated based on triangulation, using data collected at an astonishing number of seismomiters. That data needs to be sifted and the noise removed. This is largely automated these days, but you still have to have someone verify that this is really an earthquake and not a truck going by (the school I went to had a seismometer literally bolted to the bedrock and trucks still caused it trouble).

    2) This data does not presuppose tectonic theory. The acceptance of tectonic theory is one of the more dishonorable in geology's history. While the rejection of Wagner's continental drift has an important lesson (a theory without a mechanism isn't scientific), the debate soon degenerated into the type of rhetoric that would embarrass fourth-grade boys. At least one journal completely abandoned any pretense at scientific rigor when it came to publishing papers opposed to tectonic theory. But when you look at this data, it's crystal-clear that SOMETHING is going on. It's a fascinating study of the application of proper epistemological concepts!


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