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 Algorithm provides early warning system for tracking groundwater contamination
14.08.2018 | DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

nachricht Artificial Glaciers in Response to Climate Change?
10.08.2018 | Universität Heidelberg

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

Im Focus: Lining up surprising behaviors of superconductor with one of the world's strongest magnets

Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of a copper-oxide compound depends on the magnetic field in a very unusual way -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperatur

What happens when really powerful magnets--capable of producing magnetic fields nearly two million times stronger than Earth's--are applied to materials that...

Im Focus: World record: Fastest 3-D tomographic images at BESSY II

The quality of materials often depends on the manufacturing process. In casting and welding, for example, the rate at which melts solidify and the resulting microstructure of the alloy is important. With metallic foams as well, it depends on exactly how the foaming process takes place. To understand these processes fully requires fast sensing capability. The fastest 3D tomographic images to date have now been achieved at the BESSY II X-ray source operated by the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin.

Dr. Francisco Garcia-Moreno and his team have designed a turntable that rotates ultra-stably about its axis at a constant rotational speed. This really depends...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

2018 Work Research Conference

25.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

'Building up' stretchable electronics to be as multipurpose as your smartphone

14.08.2018 | Information Technology

During HIV infection, antibody can block B cells from fighting pathogens

14.08.2018 | Life Sciences

First study on physical properties of giant cancer cells may inform new treatments

14.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>