Saturday, February 27, 2010

Chile Earthquake Fun Facts

This is really the most straightforward of all earthquakes. The Nazca Plate clips along at a really good rate, relative to Chile. The 'seismic gap' that ruptured with this earthquake was said to be about 10 m in arrears. That means the plates were moving along, but this area was stuck.

Just a quick reminder about all the plates that are lying about.

The details of such a quake are fascinating, but I never really went into it too much. Specifically, the rock mechanics. Is the oceanic plate still hot and buoyant at that point, with the continent zooming over it like a bulldozer? Or is it old and tired, and sinks under its own weight? Does the subducted plate plunge, or does it plaster up underneath the continent. What are the forces that drive these things?

ps. I am assuming that Chile shrugged off this common earthquake for them, and that it is not a monstrous disaster.

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