Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

2008 Wenchuan earthquake: a landmark in China's history

08.11.2010
Focus of special issue by world's premier seismology journal

The devastating 2008 Wenchuan earthquake marks a defining moment for China's earthquake science program.

The focus of a special November issue of the prestigious Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America (BSSA), the M 7.9 earthquake has garnered intense interest among seismologists, allowing the Chinese science community to demonstrate its capability to a global audience.

The earthquake produced an enormous disaster, killing more than 80,000 people and leaving more than four million people homeless. Destruction was widespread, though recent new building codes in Wenchuan mitigated the damage.

The May 12, 2008 Wenchuan earthquake ruptured the Longmenshan margin of the eastern Tibetan Plateau, producing a 240-km-long surface rupture along the pre-existing Beichuan-Yingxiu fault and an additional 72-km-long surface rupture along the Guanxian-Jiangyou fault. The size and extent of the earthquake surprised many since the region was not considered a location with a high seismic hazard risk. Published in this special issue, research by Liu, et al., constrains the most recent comparable major earthquake at 1000 to 2000 years ago.

The special issue features 34 papers that primarily focus on strong-motion studies and surface-rupture studies. Other papers focus on aspects that relate to the earthquake, from structural geology to engineering aspects, including:

Research by Deng, et al., suggests that the filling of the nearby Zipingpu reservoir did not trigger the Wenchuan earthquake, whose hypcenter depth was between 14 km and 19 km (8.5 to 11.5 miles). The authors determined that filling the reservoir could only result in an increase in the rate of shallow earthquakes with a hypocenter depth less than 5 km (3 miles) in the nearby region.

Zhou, et al., document a setback, or no-build zone, for the post-Wenchuan quake reconstruction. In large earthquakes, severe damage to man-made structures constructed directly on surface rupture zones cannot be avoided even with the utilization of modern technology and engineering measures. The no-build zone delineates an area around an active fault to allow an appropriate level of safety.

Earthquake prediction in China is a government-sanctioned and law-regulated activity, deeply rooted in the country's history. Authors Chen and Wang describe earthquake prediction in China in three stages: an enthusiastic explosion of earthquake prediction study during the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976), diminishing confidence since the Tangshan earthquake in 1976 and a definitive move toward policies to mitigate damage in the post-Wenchuan earthquake era. The most important lesson from this earthquake, write the authors, is growing acceptance among China's policymakers that it is presently impractical to rely on prediction to prevent earthquake disasters.

The Seismological Society of America (SSA) is an international scientific society devoted to the advancement of seismology and its applications in understanding and mitigating earthquake hazards and in imaging the structure of the Earth. Its journal, BSSA, is the premier journal of advanced research in earthquake seismology and related disciplines.

Nan Broadbent | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.seismosoc.org

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Water - as the underlying driver of the Earth’s carbon cycle
17.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biogeochemie

nachricht Modeling magma to find copper
13.01.2017 | Université de Genève

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

Im Focus: Bacterial Pac Man molecule snaps at sugar

Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.

The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...

Im Focus: Newly proposed reference datasets improve weather satellite data quality

UMD, NOAA collaboration demonstrates suitability of in-orbit datasets for weather satellite calibration

"Traffic and weather, together on the hour!" blasts your local radio station, while your smartphone knows the weather halfway across the world. A network of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Water - as the underlying driver of the Earth’s carbon cycle

17.01.2017 | Earth Sciences

Satellite-based Laser Measurement Technology against Climate Change

17.01.2017 | Machine Engineering

Studying fundamental particles in materials

17.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>