Leicester geologists measure magnitude of earthquake off Japan coast

Posted by pt91 at Mar 11, 2011 05:10 PM |
It’s followed the similarly devastating earthquake that has hit New Zealand, but reports say the earthquake that caused a massive tsunami to hit the coast of Japan was even bigger.
Leicester geologists measure magnitude of earthquake off Japan coast

Image produced by Dr David Hawthorn, Department of Geology.

Even as far away as the University of Leicester, geologists were recording the impact of a thankfully rare geological disturbance, using a sophisticated SEIS-UK seismometer located in the Department of Geology.

As the Magnitude 8.9 Earthquake East of Honshu struck off the coast of Japan, the seismometer recorded three traces that measure movement of the Earth’s surface in the vertical, north-south and east-west direction. According to Dr Richard England, senior lecturer in Geophysics, only 1 or 2 earthquakes of this magnitude occur each year and when they occur they are not normally as close to the surface.

The immediate danger in Japan will now be from continuing aftershocks, he says. There was a M 7.1 event this morning which would normally be considered a strong earthquake, especially as a similar level earthquake is believed to have been behind the aftershock that wracked Christchurch last month.

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