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The Ultimate Stress Reliever

Reporting in the journal Science, researchers say they’ve discovered a surprising wrinkle in the geologic story behind one of the most devastating earthquakes in recent memory: the March 2011 Tohoku earthquake that spawned 130-foot tsunami waves, killed 15,800 people and led to a crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The researchers determined that current shear stress on the fault that generated the earthquake is nearly zero. In other words, the violent spasm that released the earthquake also shook out all the pent up stress on the fault. Alan McStravick, writing in a recent article for the website Red Orbit, explained why this was such a shocker: “The paper’s presentation of this fact flies in the face of the prevailing wisdom that earthquakes will typically only release a portion of … Read entire article »

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