Posted by: drgeophysics | March 5, 2010

Chilean Earthquake

Seismic shaking intensity map.

The Chilean earthquake occurred over a large fault surface and released the approximately 15.8 gigatons (approximate TNT for seismic energy yield).  Check this link for a description of the magnitude scale for earthquakes.
The NOAA Tsunami warning center quickly acted to release warnings.  Unfortunately rapid tsunami movement towards the coast of Chile and some regions where communication was not possible, resulted in fatalities from tsunami waves.
I watched the real-time DART array and was very worried seeing 20 cm waves in water depths of 4.3 km in the southwest Pacific.   The DART array web site is located here.
Some links related to the Chilean earthquake, include a rupture propagation map:

Seismic rupture propagation map:

Harvard University applied a back projection to estimate fault rupture, see their animated GIF sequence here:

Analysis of change of earth length of day / spin axis location: No measurable anomaly:

Description of world’s largest instrument recorded earthquake:

The combination of the natural earth system and population produce geohazards.  The mitigation of such dangerous situations should be a key governmental activity.   Clearly building codes in Chile saved thousands of lives.

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