Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Durham scientist explores Sichuan fault

14.08.2008
Durham University expert, Alex Densmore, is to explore the fault lines that caused the May 12th earthquake in China that killed 69,000 people.

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;
2/ how the tectonic blocks are moving relative to each other in this part of the India-Asia collision; and

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
Further information:
http://www.durham.ac.uk

Further reports about: Earthquake pipelines quake zone tectonic blocks

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Climate Change in West Africa
17.06.2019 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

nachricht Determining the Earth’s gravity field more accurately than ever before
13.06.2019 | Technische Universität Graz

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: The hidden structure of the periodic system

The well-known representation of chemical elements is just one example of how objects can be arranged and classified

The periodic table of elements that most chemistry books depict is only one special case. This tabular overview of the chemical elements, which goes back to...

Im Focus: MPSD team discovers light-induced ferroelectricity in strontium titanate

Light can be used not only to measure materials’ properties, but also to change them. Especially interesting are those cases in which the function of a material can be modified, such as its ability to conduct electricity or to store information in its magnetic state. A team led by Andrea Cavalleri from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg used terahertz frequency light pulses to transform a non-ferroelectric material into a ferroelectric one.

Ferroelectricity is a state in which the constituent lattice “looks” in one specific direction, forming a macroscopic electrical polarisation. The ability to...

Im Focus: Determining the Earth’s gravity field more accurately than ever before

Researchers at TU Graz calculate the most accurate gravity field determination of the Earth using 1.16 billion satellite measurements. This yields valuable knowledge for climate research.

The Earth’s gravity fluctuates from place to place. Geodesists use this phenomenon to observe geodynamic and climatological processes. Using...

Im Focus: Tube anemone has the largest animal mitochondrial genome ever sequenced

Discovery by Brazilian and US researchers could change the classification of two species, which appear more akin to jellyfish than was thought.

The tube anemone Isarachnanthus nocturnus is only 15 cm long but has the largest mitochondrial genome of any animal sequenced to date, with 80,923 base pairs....

Im Focus: Tiny light box opens new doors into the nanoworld

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have discovered a completely new way of capturing, amplifying and linking light to matter at the nanolevel. Using a tiny box, built from stacked atomically thin material, they have succeeded in creating a type of feedback loop in which light and matter become one. The discovery, which was recently published in Nature Nanotechnology, opens up new possibilities in the world of nanophotonics.

Photonics is concerned with various means of using light. Fibre-optic communication is an example of photonics, as is the technology behind photodetectors and...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

SEMANTiCS 2019 brings together industry leaders and data scientists in Karlsruhe

29.04.2019 | Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Novel communications architecture for future ultra-high speed wireless networks

17.06.2019 | Information Technology

Climate Change in West Africa

17.06.2019 | Earth Sciences

Robotic fish to replace animal testing

17.06.2019 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>