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Showing posts from November, 2015

A Tale of Two Tremors: The Nepal Quake and the San Ramon Swarm

by Zack Griggy, San Marin HS

            The earthquake is an awe-inspiring disaster that can occur anywhere at anytime where two tectonic plates contact. Tectonic plates make up most of the Earth's crust and move freely, so they can rub up against, move away from, or compress against other tectonic plates, which results in huge amounts of energy. The place where said actions occur are called faults. Earthquakes are the result of rocks along the fault breaking as the faults move. This releases all the pent-up energy from the tectonic plate movement, and results in a tremor. There have been countless earthquakes recorded, but recently, there have been many events in particular that have attracted a large amount of attention in the seismological community, among which include the San Ramon Swarm and last April's Nepal Quake.
             Since October 15, the town of San Ramon in Contra Costa County, California has been rattled by more than 200 small earthquakes. Thirty of which…

Modeling Tsunamis and Monitoring Earthquakes: an Interview with Geophysicist and MSS Speaker Diego Melgar

--> By Talya Klinger, MSS Intern

How can we meet the computational challenge of modeling and monitoring earthquakes in real time, and how can we anticipate and prepare for natural disasters? Diego Melgar, Ph.D. of the UC Berkeley Seismological Laboratory, is investigating these questions and more. As an assistant researcher, he develops earthquake models and tsunami warning systems using high-rate GPS data, paving the way for better earthquake preparation.
1. How did you first get interested in seismology?
I grew up in Mexico City, where earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes and other natural hazards are a fact of life. I've also always liked math and physics, and so, when it was time to go to college and select a program, I looked around and I found a geophysics degree at the National University that studied the Earth and its physics with lots of math. It seemed like a great idea to me!
2. What are some of the most challenging aspects of modeling natural disasters in real-time…