I just saw that Japan, where I spent my early childhood, was just rocked by a huge earthquake. It registered 8.9, which is the largest in Japanese history.
Here’s a vid from an American who teaches in Japan, it’s a personal account basically:
From the Guardian:
The most powerful earthquake recorded in Japanese history. The tremors were the result of a violent uplift of the sea floor 80 miles off the coast of Sendai, where the Pacific tectonic plate slides beneath the plateJapan sits on. Tens of miles of crust ruptured along the trench where the tectonic plates meet. The earthquake occurred at the relatively shallow depth of 15 miles, meaning much of its energy was released at the seafloor.
As sad as it is that upwards of (EDIT) 350 people have died, over 1,000 missing. Hopefully the moving Tsunami that is heading toward other parts of the world won’t cause too much damage. But, we may be in for more.
The tsunami moves across the Pacific at a speed of 500mph, with waves expected to reach the island of Fiji and Cairns in Australia at 3.28pm GMT. From then, waves are due to reach Acapulco in Mexico at 7.59pm, Chile at 10.55pm, Ecuador at 11.31pm, Colombia at 11.47 and Peru at 12.33am.
Read more from the BBC here.
The recent earthquake in Chile was so big, it altered the earths rotation. So if you notice the days getting shorter, blame the quake. According to NASA scientist Richard Gross, the earth has been knocked about 3 inches off of its axis! This resulted in a 1.26 microsecond shortening of the day.
Actually, this isn’t so unusual. Any time a major geological event moves the mass of the earth around a bit, it will alter the way the earth spins. The last time we saw a big jolt was in 2004’s Sumatra quake of 9.1 altered the axis of the planet by 2.76 inches. We lost over 6 microseconds on that one.
When are we going to get a quake that lengthens the day? That’s what I want to know.
Gross said that even though the Chilean earthquake is much smaller than the Sumatran quake, it is predicted to have changed the position of the figure axis by a bit more for two reasons. First, unlike the 2004 Sumatran earthquake, which was located near the equator, the 2010 Chilean earthquake was located in Earth’s mid-latitudes, which makes it more effective in shifting Earth’s figure axis. Second, the fault responsible for the 2010 Chiliean earthquake dips into Earth at a slightly steeper angle than does the fault responsible for the 2004 Sumatran earthquake. This makes the Chile fault more effective in moving Earth’s mass vertically and hence more effective in shifting Earth’s figure axis.
The New York Times has a full lesson planning guide on how one might get students involved in comparing the two recent earthquakes in Chile and Haiti.
Overview | How do the earthquakes in Chile and Haiti compare? In this lesson, students perform a gallery walk to learn more about the earthquakes from a specific standpoint, and then do a specific research and presentation project or response activity. Finally, they seek answers to their lingering unanswered questions.