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Seismic

You may have been taught in school that the Earth is composed of layers, broadly separated into a rocky crust and mantle, outside of a liquid outer core and a small, solid iron inner core. It turns out, according to new research, that the inner core may itself have a distinct internal structure – an inner-inner core about half the diameter of the whole inner core. And this could reveal insights about our planet and its history. Read More
The European Space Agency’s Gravity Field and Steady-State Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE) satellite was launched on March 17, 2009, as the first of a series of Earth Explorer satellites. Its mission is to capture high-resolution gravity measurements and produce an accurate gravity map – or geoid – of Earth. To increase the resolution of its measurements, GOCE was put into an unusually low orbit, which has also helped it to become the first satellite to sense sound waves from an earthquake from space. Read More
When you live in a country as seismically active as Japan, thinking about earthquakes (and tsunamis) probably occupies a good deal of your time. Inventor Shoichi Sakamoto took it a step further. He decided to do something about it and invented a technology, remarkably simple in concept, to protect homes from the devastating shaking - an airlift system capable of automatically raising and isolating the whole house until the temblor stops. Read More
Almost incomprehensible as the devastation from last Friday’s earthquake and tsunami in Japan has been, scientists warn that more aftershocks are on their way. In order to get all the information on current seismic activity in one place, researchers at Texas Tech University’s Center for Geospatial Technologies have developed an online, publicly-accessible world map that displays data on disturbances worldwide, almost as soon as they have occurred. Read More
Researchers at the University of Bristol have developed a seismological "speed gun" which takes multiple seismic readings of single events to determine how quickly the Earth's mantle is moving. While the instruments used to measure this movement aren't hand-held or new to the field, the way that the data is interpreted is ground breaking. Read More
This technology might not be fully appreciated by readers located in earthquake-free locales, but if you've ever felt the ground move beneath your feet you'll be pleased with this technology. At Tokyo Big Sight last week Japanese company THK was demonstrating how their linear motion systems could dampen the shock of an earthquake. One of their systems, when placed underneath an object that you'd like to protect, will absorb most of the shock of an earthquake. Read More
With the devastation in Haiti still fresh in our everyone’s minds a team at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) is working on a system to better protect buildings, infrastructure and sensitive equipment from seismic activity. The roll-n-cage (RNC) is an anti-vibration device that is positioned between the building and the ground so that when the ground moves, the supported building doesn’t. Read More
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, there are 500,000 detectable earthquakes every year, of which 100,000 will be felt and about 100 will cause damage. Engineers now use seismic vibration control technology - and base isolation in particular – to make buildings more earthquake-proof. But what about existing structures? Researchers from the University of Liverpool have now developed a means of effectively making buildings “invisible” to the destructive path of a quake. Read More
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