Dr. Densmore, Director of Hazards Research at the Institute of Hazard and Risk Research at Durham University, is the first UK scientist to visit the region to research the faults and the effects and causes of the Sichuan earthquake since the disaster.
Dr. Densmore said: “We’ll be looking at the effects of the earthquake on the ground and for evidence of what actually happened during the earthquake. We’ll be looking very closely at how the tectonic blocks actually moved in relation to each other.
“Much of what actually happens during earthquakes is difficult to view because it occurs deep below the surface. By looking at the way in which roads, pipelines, rivers and other man-made markers are affected, we can map out how the earth moved, what faults were responsible, and what kind of activity we might expect in future events.”
Dr. Densmore leaves for China on Wednesday 13th August and will be working alongside colleagues from Shell UK Ltd, the Chengdu University of Technology, and the Seismological Bureau of Sichuan Province. The research team will study:1/ which faults were active during the earthquake and what actually happened;
3/ what is expected to happen in the future the next time an earthquake happens
It is thought that two main faults were involved in the May 12 earthquake, out of four or five active faults in that part of China. At least 22,000 aftershocks, measuring up to 6.9 in magnitude, have been monitored in the quake zone, according to the China Earthquake Administration.
Dr. Densmore said: “Aftershocks are expected after every large earthquake and this has been no exception. Earthquakes release stress where they occur, but they also cause increased stress in the surrounding rock, and this additional pressure has to be released. Peak aftershock activity is generally in the first few days after the main quake, and the number and size of aftershocks decreases rapidly after that.”
18,000 people are still officially missing and a further 374,000 people have been classified as injured following the Sichuan disaster. Beichuan town has been completely evacuated following the earthquake. The Chinese authorities are looking at building a whole new town for the former residents.
Dr. Densmore said: “We are conscious of being as sensitive as possible while working in this area. There is still a lot of recovery work going on and there are obvious long-term infrastructural problems. We hope to be able to visit the town of Beichuan which was decimated by the earthquake, but this will depend very much on the local authorities. We’re very thankful to the Sichuan provincial government for granting us access to the earthquake zone at such a critical time.
The location of the active faults is crucial. We want to see if the faults that we’ve previously mapped were activated during the earthquake, or if the quake occurred along a new set of faults. Knowing where the active faults lie, and how much they are likely to move in future events, can help the Chinese authorities in planning new buildings and towns to reduce the likelihood of future casualties.“
Dr. Alex Densmore’s research in China is funded by The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).
Alex Thomas | alfa
NASA finds newly formed tropical storm lan over open waters
17.10.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
The melting ice makes the sea around Greenland less saline
16.10.2017 | Aarhus University
University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.
It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
17.10.2017 | Life Sciences
17.10.2017 | Life Sciences
17.10.2017 | Earth Sciences