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The Longest EarthQuake Ever Recorded

Tuesday, September 6th 2011. | Longest

Dramatic new data from the December 26, 2004, Sumatran-Andaman longest earthquake that generated deadly tsunamis show the event created the longest fault rupture and the longest duration of faulting ever observed, according to three reports by an international group of seismologists published Thursday in the journal “Science.”

“Normally, a small earthquake might last less than a second; a moderate sized earthquake might last a few seconds. This earthquake lasted between 500 and 600 seconds,” said Charles Ammon, associate professor of geosciences at Penn State University

sumatera earthquake map The Longest EarthQuake Ever Recorded

sumatera earthquake map

The quake released an amount of energy equal to a 100 gigaton bomb, according to Roger Bilham, professor of geological sciences at the University of Colorado.

And that power lasted longer than any quake ever recorded.

The quake, centered in the Indian Ocean, also created the biggest gash in the Earth’s seabed ever observed, nearly 800 miles. That’s as long as a drive from Los Angeles, California, to Portland, Oregon.

This quake released an amount of energy equal to a 100 gigaton bomb, according to Roger Bilham, professor of geological sciences at the University of Colorado. And that power lasted longer than any quake ever recorded. “No point on Earth remained undisturbed,” said Bilham.

The longest earthquakewas centered in the Indian Ocean, and it created the biggest gash in the Earth’s seabed ever observed. It measured nearly 800 miles, about the distance from northern California to southern Canada. Scientists have upgraded the magnitude of the quake from 9.0 to around 9.1-9.3, which is a dramatically more powerful quake.

sumatera earthquake The Longest EarthQuake Ever Recorded

sumatera earthquake

“Two hours after the earthquake has occurred, the wave is spreading out from the Bay of Bengal,” Thorne Lay, professor of earth sciences and director of the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics at the University of California, Santa Cruz said. “Two satellites went over, with the capability of measuring the elevation of the ocean surface. This longest earthquake was just good luck that the passage of the satellites caught the tsunami in motion. There will be more earthquakes of this type, and with more humans exposed to the hazard there will be more devastating losses of life. What we hope to do is develop technologies that can minimize that loss.”.


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