earthquake Archives - State of the Planet

franz josef glacier

Glacier Town at Risk in Next Great New Zealand Earthquake

The tourist town of Franz Josef, at the base of a large glacier of the same name, could be at the epicenter of the next magnitude 8 rupture along the Alpine Fault line.

by |August 21, 2020

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
A 200 million ton landslide on Oct. 17 local time in Icy Bay, Alaska, landed on the toe of Tyndall Glacier and in the water of Taan Fiord. It was detected by seismologists on the other side of the country. NASA Image

Detecting Landslides from a Few Seismic Wiggles

Over the last six years, seismologists Göran Ekström and Colin Stark have been perfecting a technique for picking out the seismic signature of large landslides. They just discovered North America’s largest known landslide in many years – 200 million tons of sliding rock in Alaska.

by |December 18, 2015

Seismic Stomp

Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory graduate student Natalie Accardo recently returned from Tanzania and Malawi, where she installed seismic instruments in both countries alongside Lamont seismologists Donna Shillington and Jim Gaherty. Natalie produced this video, which shows the scientists and their Tanzanian colleagues conducting a “stomp test” at one of their sites in the Tanzanian village of Manda.

by |August 12, 2014

Crisis in Japan: Earth Institute Reactions

The largest ever recorded earthquake in Japan’s history has triggered a sequence of events that have killed thousands, crushed and submerged cities and towns and left a financial toll that will take years for an already struggling economy to recover. Videos and stories slowly began to emerge as the sun rose in Japan the day… read more

by |March 14, 2011

Learning From Japan’s Catastrophe

The images and stories of the devastation caused by Japan’s massive earthquake is heart wrenching. We see countless examples of extraordinary acts of human courage and generosity as the local, national and world communities struggle to respond to this catastrophe. Japan, a nation that has long ensured that its buildings were built to withstand earthquakes… read more

by |March 14, 2011

New York Earthquake Barely Causes a Stir

Though the earthquake that no one really noticed yesterday was the largest to hit the New York area in 18 years, it’s important to note that it wasn’t an unusual event. One person in a WNYC story was quoted as saying that he had fun. Researchers at the Earth Institute have kept close tabs on… read more

by |December 1, 2010

Dr. Betsee Parker Donates to the Haiti Program

A $125,000 gift from longtime donor and Benefactor Dr. Betsee Parker will benefit the crucial work of the Earth Institute’s Haiti Program. Tatiana Wah, a professor at the New School in New York (on leave), where she is a renowned scholar and practitioner of Haitian economic and social development, leads the Haiti program with Earth Institute Director Jeff Sachs. Tatiana and Jeff advise the Government of Haiti on a range of strategic issues and have prepared several key documents for the government during the past year, both before and after the earthquake. Professor Sachs is also advising the United Nations Secretary-General and United Nations agencies on Haiti-related issues, including in the post-earthquake crisis.

by |April 7, 2010

A Sustainable Future for Haiti

The 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck southern Haiti on January 12 caused massive destruction to human life and infrastructure—as many as 3 million people have been affected. The Earth Institute’s Haiti Policy Advisor, Tatiana Wah, who was in the country at the time of the earthquake, works with the Haitian government to develop, analyze, implement… read more

by |February 4, 2010

The Haiti Earthquake

The quake in Haiti came suddenly—but the results were predictable. At the moment it struck, scientists from the Earth Institute and other parts of Columbia University were in Port-au-Prince with a UN-sponsored project assessing how to reduce the nation’s obvious vulnerability to natural disasters. It is clear that the extreme toll came as much from poverty… read more

by |January 15, 2010