Earthquakes

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Creating Earthquake Heat Maps: Temperature Spikes Leave Clues in the Rock

When a fault slips, the temperature can spike by hundreds of degrees, high enough to alter organic compounds in the rocks and leave a signature. Lamont scientists have developed methods to use those organic signatures to reconstruct past earthquakes and better understand what controls them.

by |December 16, 2016
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Learning from Slow-Slip Earthquakes

Off the coast of New Zealand, there is an area where earthquakes can happen in slow-motion as two tectonic plates grind past one another. These slow-slip events create an ideal lab for studying fault behavior along the shallow portion of subduction zones.

by |December 15, 2016
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The Coming Great Quakes in India and Bangladesh?

A new film takes viewers from the eastern highlands of India to the booming lowland metropolis of Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh–and explores an ever-more detailed picture of catastrophic earthquake threat that scientists are discovering under the region.

by |October 18, 2016
Ben Holtzman and the Seismic Sound Lab take viewers on an entirely new sensory experience to see, hear and feel earthquakes from a vantage point inside the planet. Their SeismoDome show returns to Hayden Planetarium on Nov. 19, 2016, with a preview at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory Open House on Oct. 8.

Listening to Earthquakes – from Inside the Earth

Lamont scientist Ben Holtzman and the Seismic Sound Lab take viewers on an entirely new sensory experience to see, hear and feel earthquakes from inside the planet.

by |September 23, 2016
Earthquake-resistant homes made of soil-filled bags are going up in Nepal. (Courtesy Garden Collage)

Harnessing Soil to Rebuild Rural Nepal

Within weeks of a devastating earthquake in Nepal, governments and private groups pledged $4 billion in aid. And something else emerged from the rubble: a grassroots movement to rebuild rural Nepal safely and sustainably.

by |September 21, 2016
On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, two jets streaked through the clear blue sky over lower Manhattan into the towers of the World Trade Center. This photo was taken near the site on the morning of Aug. 11, 2016. At right, the new Freedom Tower. (Kevin Krajick)

A Morning That Shook the World: The Seismology of 9/11

Seismologist Won-Young Kim heard the first reports of the World Trade Center attacks in his car as he drove to Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, on the west bank of the Hudson River 21 miles north of the attacks. Soon, he was inundated by calls from government officials and reporters. In the initial chaos, it was unclear exactly what had hit, and when; had the seismographs picked up anything?

by |September 6, 2016
Christopher Scholz

Top Seismology Award Goes to Pioneer in Rock Mechanics: Christopher Scholz

For his pioneering work in rock mechanics and his skill at communicating earthquake science, Scholz is being honored on April 20 by the Seismological Society of America with its top award, the Harry Fielding Reid Medal.

by |April 20, 2016
A F-35C stealth fighter, similar to one linked to sonic booms off New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Its top speed is said to be 1,200 miles per hour. (Lockheed Martin)

The Earth Shook, but It Wasn’t an Earthquake

Last Thursday, thousands of people on the Eastern Seaboard felt the earth tremble. Seismologists at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory quickly concluded it was not an earthquake, but a military exercise.

by |February 4, 2016
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Upcoming Scientific Fieldwork, 2016 and Beyond

  On every continent and ocean, Earth Institute field researchers are studying the dynamics of climate, geology, natural hazards and ecology, and their practical applications to modern problems. Below, a list of expeditions in rough chronological order. Work in and around New York City and the U.S. Northeast is listed separately toward bottom. Unless otherwise stated, projects originate with… read more

by |February 2, 2016
Subduction zone mechanics

Ancient Faults & Water Are Sparking Earthquakes Off Alaska

Ancient faults that formed in the ocean floor millions of years ago are feeding earthquakes today along stretches of the Alaska Peninsula, and likely elsewhere, a new study suggests.

by |November 16, 2015