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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Shake, Rattle, & Roll

USGS Map of Tuesday's Virginia Earthquake

We had an earthquake Tuesday, and I missed it, because I was driving on the interstate. The rumbling sensation of a large truck passing by isn't as remarkable when you're on bridges with large trucks passing by...

Turns out earthquakes on the east coast of the US can be "worse" than a same-magnitude quake on the west coast.

Though the west coast of the United States experiences significantly higher seismic activity, the crust in the eastern United States is more efficient at propagating seismic waves because it's older and colder. For example, a magnitude 5 in San Jose, CA would be moderately felt 45 miles away in San Francisco. In contrast, an east coast magnitude 5 (or 5.9 in our case today) could be felt for several hundred miles. The earth's crust in the east coast propagates much more energy at high frequencies than crust in the west coast, so small structures like homes experience about a factor of 5 more shaking. [Derived from a post by kmayeda at]

Luckily, my old-construction masonry home isn't showing any cracks. Phew!

I did take the chance to snap a few pics of my (overgrown and un-tended) garden. Enjoy!

Goldfish in my Sump

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