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News 2005 PDF Print E-mail

Fall 2005

Archive


EES Christmas Party 2005

December 11, 2005 -- EES members reveled at Pat Mills' house. 


Hydrology Research Featured

November 26, 2005 -- Hydrology graduate student Craig Altare and hydrology professor Rob Bowman are researching ways to clean up water used in the petroleum extraction process. NMT articleEl Defensor Chieftain article.


MESA Students Visit NMT and Learn about Hydrology

November 22, 2005 -- A group of juniors and seniors from Cobre High School in Bayard, NM, visited New Mexico Tech today as part of the MESA (Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement) program to learn more about hydrology and nanotechnology.

Rob Bowman hosted the hydrology portion of the program and discussed groundwater pollution and the means to detect and prevent it. Jan Hendrickx and Enrique Vivoni talked about evaporation, water and energy balances, and remote-sensing algorithms used to estimate actual evapotranspiration rates over the state of New Mexico.

EPSCoR provided funding for the visit as part of its outreach program for K-12 students. -- S.D.


Small Earthquake Felt in Socorro

October 29, 2005 -- A few minutes before 9 on Saturday night, a small (magnitude 2.4) earthquake was felt by numerous Socorroans. The quake's epicenter was about 3.4 miles west of the city, and the depth was a little under 5 miles. Details.

I was in my house watching a movie when I thought I heard someone bound across my roof in 2 or 3 heavy strides. After running outside to check my roof and finding no one, I called my neighbor, Noel Barstow, who happens to be a seismologist at IRIS PASSCAL. We hooked up to the Internet, looked at the near-real-time seismicity plots from the NMT Geophysics Program, and determined that it was a fairly close earthquake--not a burglar! -- S.D. (NMT article)


GSA 2005

October 26, 2005 -- Fourteen EES faculty and students gave presentations at the annual Geological Society of America meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah, on October 16-19, 2005. (NMT article)


Also at the GSA meeting, Professor of Hydrology Fred Phillips received the Kirk Bryan Award for Excellence for 2005, and alumna Michelle Walvoord (MS Hydrology '99, PhD Hydrology '02), pictured at left, received the GSA-Subaru Outstanding Woman in Science Award for 2005. 
--R.R., S.D.


M-Mountain Run 2005

October 23, 2006 -- Roger Renteria documented the M-Mountain Run this year. EES members again had a strong showing. 


Field Study in Antarctica

 

October 18, 2005 -- Geophysics undergraduate Kyle Jones will be heading to Antarctica in late November to assist in an NSF-sponsored geologic field study. He will be joining geochemistry professors Philip Kyle and Bill McIntosh to study Mount Erebus in Antarctica. Jones was featured in a recent NMT article about his trip to Antarctica. 
--R.R., S.D.


Tobin in Ocean Drilling Documentary

 

September 30, 2005 -- Associate Professor of Geophysics Harold Tobin spent the day being filmed by the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) for an upcoming documentary about the NanTroSEIZE Expedition. The filming took place at the trench on the Socorro Canyon Fault, just off US 60 west of Socorro (pictured above), as well as on the NMT campus.

The picture above was taken while Tobin (middle) was expounding on plans to drill into an underwater earthquake fault. On the left is Nancy Light, Director of Communications at IODP, and Film Director Rich Field of Richfield Productions is on the right.

Tobin is the co-Chief Project Scientist of the NanTroSEIZE Expedition which will be conducted by IODP. The expedition will drill in waters off Japan to learn more about how earthquakes and tsunamis occur. Drilling will begin in the summer of 2007 and will continue for several years.Photo by Clay Wright, Desert Gem Productions. -- S.D.


Best Poster Award


September 28, 2005 --
Congratulations to Marty Frisbee, PhD student in hydrology. He won the best poster award among the PhD/Postdoc hillslope students at the 1st SLICE (SLope InterComparison Experiment) Workshop held at the HJ Andrews Experimental Forest in Blue River, Oregon, from September 26-28, 2005. The poster was titled "Hillslope Hydrology and Wetland Response of a Small Zero-order Boreal Catchment on the Precambrian Shield," by M.D. Frisbee, C.J. Allan, M.J. Thomasson, and R. Mackereth. (NMT article)


Chevron-Texaco Scholarship Awards

September 19, 2005 -- The E&ES awards committee has selected six students for a scholarship award from Chevron-Texaco. Shannon Archer, Shari Houston, and Ariel Dickens, each have been awarded a $1,000 scholarship. Jayme MargolinMichael Iacoboni, and Melissa Dimeo, each have been awarded a $500 scholarship. Congratulations!


Large Earthquakes and Tsunamis


September 12, 2005 --
Sue Bilek was invited to give a talk at the American Museum of Natural History on October 6, 2005. The talk, titled "Large Earthquakes and Tsunamis," focused on the December 2004 Sumatra earthquake and tsunami.

 

 

 

 

Spring 2005

Archive

 


Commencement 2005

May 14, 2005 -- Congratulations to the 26 EES students who received degrees at Commencement 2005Hydrology pic. Congratulations to Bill McIntosh for receiving the Distinguished Research Award at this year's commencement.


NMT President's Outstanding Faculty Award


May 13, 2005 --
Geophysics professor Rick Aster received the NMT President's Faculty Award for 2005 in recognition and appreciation for his contri-butions and outstanding leadership role in bringing national academic distinction and recognition to New Mexico Tech. He received the award from President Lopez and the NMT Board of Regents on May 7th during a President's Club dinner. During the presentation, President Lopez described Rick's achievements as follows:

As a distinguished New Mexico Tech professor of geophysics, Dr. Aster has developed and pursued fundamental research and teaching interests in deep Earth imaging, earthquake and volcano seismology, mathematical geophysics, and seismological instrumentation. Since arriving at New Mexico Tech in 1991, he has parlayed these interests into internationally recognized and respected programs.

Along with fellow Tech professor Brian Borchers, Dr. Aster is the co-author of a recently published graduate-level textbook on "Geophysical Inverse Theory and its Applications," which resulted from a class that he and Dr. Borchers have co-taught for years. Some of his current research projects include:

  • Imaging the Earth's crust and mantle beneath the western United States to better understand the origins of earthquakes, volcanoes, and tectonic
    processes; and
  • Studying the volcanology of Antarctica's Mount Erebus volcano.

We have been fortunate to have Dr. Aster with us here at New Mexico Tech since 1991. Since 1998, Rick has been the principal investigator of the 102-member Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology PASSCAL Instrument Center, a National Science Foundation-funded facility located here on campus.

More recently, Dr. Aster also assumed the duties of principal investigator of the EarthScope USArray Operations Center. USArray is a key component of the ten-year, $200 million EarthScope project that will image the geophysical structure and processes of North America. He has likened this project to a Very Large Array that points inward instead of outward.

I'm proud to note that an 11,000-square-foot annex recently was completed, adjoining the IRIS PASSCAL building, and will now house the offices and labs of the 15 or more professional staff members that will join New Mexico Tech's ranks as part of the USArray project.

Congratulations, Rick! -- S.D.


NMT and Italian Universities Collaborate

May 13, 2005 -- New Mexico Tech and the Honors Center of Italian Universities recently signed an agreement to collaborate on research and education in hydrological sciences, including student exchanges between the institutions. Hydrology assistant professor Enrique Vivoni facilitated the collaboration. New Mexico Business Weekly article-- S.D.


Student Appreciation Award


May 5 , 2005 --
Congratulations to geology MS candidate Lisa Majkowksi-Taylor for winning an NMT Student Appreciation Award for 2005. Debbie Wallace, who nominated Lisa, says "In addition to all the hard work she has put into her academics, Lisa works in the Graduate Office as program coordinator for the NM Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professorate (NM AGEP). She is devoted to this program and spends many long hours above and beyond what is required of her. Lisa always has time to help students, staff, or anyone who needs her help at any time. She will drop whatever she is doing to help a student get through a difficult time. Even though she does not have any spare time, she is always willing to tutor students to make sure they succeed. She is never negative, always positive, and this attitude shows through in everything she tries to accomplish."

The Student Appreciation Awards were created in 1999 by a group of staff and faculty who wished to provide an additional process for honoring some of the extraordinary, non-academic contributions that our students make. Nominations are solicited from the faculty and staff of NMT. The criteria for nomination include: the student must be in good academic standing, have benefited other students or the community, and most importantly, demonstrates the generosity of spirit and performance above and beyond the call of duty. NMT article-- submitted by Elaine DeBrine-Howell


2005 WRRI Student Awards



April 28, 2005 --Congratulations to hydrology MS student Alex Rinehart and hydrology PhD candidate Bayani Cardenas for being selected winners of 2005 Water Resources Research Institute (WRRI) student awards.

According to Alex's advisor, Enrique Vivoni, the funding from Alex's winning proposal will help with the costs of the summer field campaign in the Valles Caldera. -- S.D.


The Rob Bowman Show


April 20, 2005 --
Hydrology professor Rob Bowman was a featured speaker in Joe Day's documentary "High And Dry: Drought in New Mexico," broadcast on KNME-TV (PBS) on April 20-24. From KNME's programming notes: "Ali MacGraw narrates the program that looks at water issues in New Mexico. Despite a wet spring, the state's long-term drought is not over. The program looks at whether New Mexico can sustain its rapid population growth and development and looks at wise water use and conservation methods."

Rob was one of the show's scientific experts among a bevy of speakers that included former U.S. Secretary of Interior Stewart Udall of Santa Fe. The decision to always picture Rob speaking against a backdrop of a muddy and swollen Rio Grande was an interesting contrast with the show's drought theme. Rob's quantification of New Mexico's drought situation was lively, including clever remarks such as how aquifers in the state that took hundreds of thousands of years to form aren't going to be recharged by turning off your tap for a year. -- S.D.


EES at NMGS Meeting

April 15, 2005 -- Many EES faculty and students presented talks and posters at the NM Geological Society's Annual Spring Meeting held April 15th on the NMT campus. -- S.D.


High-Tech New Mexico

April 3, 2005 -- Harold Tobin was recently on talk radio KKOB-AM on the morning show called "High-Tech New Mexico" along with Randy Normann, a geothermal researcher from Sandia National Laboratories. Their talk was about the placement of geothermal sensing equipment in very deep and harsh conditions to collect seismic data before and after large earthquakes occur.


One such location to place geothermal sensing equipment to measure the temperature and water pressure of the rocks is off the coast of southwest Japan in the Nankai Trough Seismogenic Zone. The Nankai Trough Seismogenic Zone Experiment (NanTroSEIZE) project is a multi-disciplinary, integrated study of the SW Japan subduction interface, with proposed drilling of the fault system. NanTroSEIZE is led by Tobin.

Tobin says that they "need instruments that can withstand 150 to 180 C, which are are well up the range normal electronics don't work." Sandia National Labs has developed instruments that can withstand high temperature and harsh conditions and are using the same technology and applying it to seismic equipment.

Currently they are looking to place these instruments in the fault zone in SW Japan to monitor the seismic activity and learn the physics of the subduction zone and better understand the precursors of earthquakes. Harold Tobin and Randy Normann's talk was based on this Sandia National Labs news article-- R.R.


Young Investigator Program

March 22, 2005 -- Assistant Professor Enrique Vivoni is the recipient for the Department of the Army's Young Investigator Program (YIP) award from the Environmental Sciences Division. His three-year award is from 2005 to 2008 and will fund one graduate student in the EES Department. -- R.R.


Outstanding Student Paper Award


March 1, 2005 --
Congratulations to hydrology PhD candidate Bayani Cardenas who received an Outstanding Student Paper Award for his presentation at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) meeting for 2004. The paper was titled "Hydrodynamic interactions of free-flowing fluids and pore-fluids in bedforms."-- S.D.


The Lone Paleoclimatologist

February 26, 2005 -- Professor Fred Phillips was quoted in an Albuquerque Tribune article about the record setting rains in New Mexico that have occurred in the beginning of the year. Phillips said that it is anybody's guess 
whether the wet weather will continue. He mentioned that between "30,000 to 15,000 years ago -- New Mexico was in an ice age and was certainly wetter." Fred added that El Ninos tend to last between one and three years, and that in the future New Mexico will probably not get any wetter.

The Albuquerque Tribunemistakenly referred to Fred Phillips as an overnight paleoclimatologist, but in reality he is a hydrology professor and the director of the Hydrology Program at New Mexico Tech. -- R.R.


Rio Grande Rift stretches like taffy

February 24, 2005 -- Alumnus Dave Wilson and Rick Aster et al. were recently published in Nature for their work on the Rio Grande Rift system. In the Albuquerque Journal article, Aster describes the rift formed by being gently stretched like taffy. The rift has been stretching for over 30 million years, and this is why the Sandia and Manzano Mountains are to the east and volcanoes to the west of the Rio Grande Valley.


In the letter toNature, the scientists who collaborated on the project were able to get a detailed picture of the crust and upper mantle of the Rio Grande Rift by placing seismic instruments across the surface of the rift. The image from the data collected from these seismic instruments shows how the Earth's crust has stretched, creating the rift valley system. NSF Article. NMSU Press Release. NMT Article-- R.R.


Mt. Taylor Quadrathlon


February 23, 2005 --
"The New Mexico Tech Viejos" --pictured left to right: Bill Rison, Ron Thomas, Paul Krehbiel, Tim Hankins, and Rob Bowman -- all participated in the quadrathlon. Rob Bowman, hydrology professor, also ran for the team quadrathlon. The team placed first in their age group. NMT Article. Detailed results and more at the Mt. Taylor Winter Quadrathlon site. -- R.R.


Newly Published Books

February 14, 2005 --
Kent Condie recently published Earth as an Evolving Planetary System, and Rick Aster co-authored Parameter Estimation and Inverse Problems.

Kent Condie's Earth and an Evolving Planetary System presents an overview of key topics and questions about the evolution of the Earth's crust and mantle over the past four billion years. He explains the various components of Earth and these interactions that have affected the history of the biosphere, oceans, and atmosphere.

Parameter Estimation and Inverse Problems was co-written
by Rick Aster, Brian Borchers, a professor of mathematics at New Mexico Tech, and Clifford Thurber, a geophysics professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The book features an understanding of fundamental and practical issues associated with parameter fitting and inverse problems, as well as a basic theory of inverse problems. Story-- R.R.


The Planet Within

February 8, 2005 -- Penny Boston presented "The Planet Within; Caves from New Mexico to Mars" at the LodeStar Astronomy Center Planetarium in Albuquerque, NM, on February 8, 2005.


Showcase of Promising Scientists


February 3, 2005 --
Enrique Vivoni was selected to speak at the seminar series "A Showcase of Promising Scientists in Natural Resources," (pdf) sponsored by the School of Natural Resources at University of Arizona. He talked about "Incorporating the spatial variability in climate, hydrologic and ecosystem processes into watershed simulations." -- R.R.


Distinguished JOI/USSSP Lecturer

February 3, 2005 --  Harold Tobin has been selected as a distinguished Joint Oceanographic Institutions/U.S. Science Support Program (JOI/USSSP) lecturer for the 2005-2006 academic year. He has been a shipboard scientist on five ODP expeditions to the Cascadia, Barbados, Costa Rica, and SW Japan. His latest study is NanTroSEIZE, which stands for Nankai Trough Seismogenic Zone Experiment. NMT Article-- R.R.


Chapman Conference

January 24, 2005 -- Brian McPherson co-convened the Chapman Conference on the Science and Technology of Carbon Sequestration on January 16-20 in San Diego. The goal of the conference was to bring together scientists, engineers, and others who study long-term natural and deliberate sequestration of carbon. A particular focus was on methods and prospects for verification and assessment of sinks for anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2). Brian and hydrology grad student Jason Heath gave presentations at the conference. -- S.D.


4.5 Million-Year-Old Fossils


January 20, 2005 -- NatureMagazine published an article that reports on new early Pliocene hominid discoveries in Gona, Ethiopia. The fossils that were recently discovered were accurately dated at the New Mexico Geochronology Research Lab (NMGRL).

William McIntosh was cited as one of the co-authors of the research paper to Nature titled, "Early Pliocene hominids
from Gona, Ethiopia." The paper was written by an international team of scientists, including one from Spain.

McIntosh, Associate Professor of Geochemistry in the NMT's Department of Earth & Environmental Science, is a volcanologist and geochronologist at the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources. He also is the co-director of the NMGRL. The NMGRL dated the fossil samples to be about 4.5 million years old. NMT Article. Nature Magazine Paper (PDF 427 KB). -- R.R.

 

 

 

 

 

Summer 2005

Archive


Global Mantle Plume Presentation


August 12, 2005 --
Geochemistry Professor Kent Condie recently gave a presentation on a global mantle plume event at an international convention in Calgary, Canada. Dr. Condie was mentioned in an NMT news article.


Magnitude 4.9 Earthquake

August 10, 2005 -- A magnitude 4.9 earthquake near Raton, NM (New Mexico-Colorado border), occurred on August 10, 2005. It was the largest earthquake in New Mexico in 13 years. More.


Vivoni a New Dad


August 3, 2005
-- Congratulations to new parents Enrique and Amapola Vivoni on the birth of their baby daughter Maria Camila Vivoni Félix. She was born at 5:57 am on August 3, 2005, and weighed 4 lbs 13 oz. Enrique reports that although she arrived a bit early, "She is doing very well as are her mother and father." The proud Dad furnished this photo of Maria at 3 days old. -- S.D.


CRONUS-Earth Project


July 14, 2005 --
Fred Phillips, Professor of Hydrology, is the principal investigator of the recently started CRONUS-Earth Project. The acronym, CRONUS, stands for Cosmic-Ray Produced Nuclide Systematics. Dr. Phillips will coordinate the U.S. arm of the multi-national project that includes research institutions in the European Union.

Powerful cosmic-ray particles are the focus of this project because they only penentrate a few feet below the Earth's surface, so deeper rocks are shielded from cosmic rays. The number of new atoms produced by cosmic rays can reveal the amount of time that has passed since geological events occurred. This can shed light on past climate cycles to reconstruct and analyze environmental changes of the Earth.

The project is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) for five years, and the goal is to improve the accuracy and reliability of geochronology methods. The research project is intended to establish a benchmark of parameters and models to provide geochonologists with precise estimations of dating on geologic timescales.

Dr. Phillips says that the CRONUS-Earth Project will be managed using a layered, coordinated consortium approach. The U.S. arm of the project spans 12 other research institutions, including the University of Arizona, University of Washington, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and the PRIME Lab at Purdue University. -- R.R.
NMT ArticleNSF Article

CRONUS-US site: http://www.physics.purdue.edu/cronus/
CRONUS-EU site: http://www.cronus-eu.net/


The Rio Chagres, Panama


July 13, 2005 --
The newly published book, The Rio Chagres, Panama — A Multidisciplinary Profile of a Tropical Watershed, by Springer, Inc., includes four chapters co-written by
Jan Hendrickx, Professor of Hydrology, and Bruce Harrison, Associate Professor of Geology.


The two EES professors contributed to the book along with several international scientists to explain the physical and geological components of the Rio Chagres. The river is the main supply of water that keeps the Panama Canal running. Dr. Hendrickx and Dr. Harrison have been studying the hydrologic properties of the dense tropical forest soils of the Panama Canal for about five years. -- R.R.
NMT Article


SWRP Awarded $17.8M

June 14, 2005 -- The Southwest Regional Partnership
(SWRP), a consortium of over twenty partners in nine states, was recently awarded $17.8 million by the U.S. Department of Energy for the second phase of its carbon sequestration project. Brian McPherson, Associate Professor of Hydrology, is leading the consortium by overseeing the project for carbon sequestration, a component of the DOE National Energy Technology Laboratory (DOE-NETL) Strategic Center for Coal. Carbon sequestration is the process of capturing, separating, storing, or reusing carbon dioxide to prevent emissions from entering the atmosphere.



PhD students Weon Shik Han and Jason Heath are working with Dr. McPherson by doing their dissertation research on the project. Project members at New Mexico Tech include Associate Professor Junhang Dong of Chemical Engineering and Assistant Professor Hai Xiao of Electrical Engineering, who are working on well bore sensors for the project.

The goal is to carry out a technology validation program tailored for the southwestern U.S. by doing geologic pilot tests in Utah, New Mexico, and Texas for carbon sequestration. Each sequestration test will include an injection of a minimum of 75,000 tons per year of carbon dioxide to test reservoirs that may host larger carbon sequestration operations in the future. These tests also will demonstrate a broad variety of carbon sink targets and multiple benefits such as testing of deep saline sequestration, enhanced oil recovery, and enhanced coal bed methane production.

The research is part of the President’s Global Climate Change Initiative (GCCI), which has the goal of reducing the amount of greenhouse gas intensity by 18% over the next ten years, while sustaining economic growth with new and clean energy technologies. Partners in the SWRP for carbon sequestration consist of state and federal government agencies, universities, industries, and groups including the Western Governors Association.

For more information about the SWRP and carbon sequestration, visit http://www.southwestcarbonpartnership.org
-- R.R., S.D.


Kirk Bryan Award for Excellence

June 8 , 2005 -- Fred Phillips has been
selected as one of two 2005 recipients of the Kirk Bryan Award for Excellence by the Geological Society of America. The award is given annually in recognition of outstanding contributions to the interdisciplinary field of Quaternary geology and geomorphology. He will receive the award during a ceremony at the GSA Annual Meeting this October in Salt Lake City. Congratulations to Fred for this outstanding honor!


Protecting the Snowy River Cave

June 1, 2005 -- Penny Boston was featured in theAlbuquerque Journal article on the Snowy River cave in
Southern New Mexico. Dr. Boston has explored the caves and said that the living organisms inside the caves are essentially "rock-eaters" because they have developed the ability to digest minerals in these caves for energy. She also has discovered 16 new bacteria strains that were previously unknown to science.

Federal protection is planned for the cave because of the unique formations that are found inside. The protection effort is being led by Senator Pete Domenici to conserve and preserve the caves. Dr. Boston participated in an early follow-up expedition in the cave formation that is part of the Fort Stanton Cave near Capitan, NM. Boston says that going into one of these caves is "like [taking] a trip to fairyland."

Albuquerque Journal article (Paid subscribers can view the Journal article.) Article also on El Defensor Cheftain.
-- R.R.


The rumbling ground of New Mexico

May 31, 2005 -- Imagine that all of a sudden there is a roaring sound and everything starts shuddering, pattering, and bouncing around due to the shock of tremors. New Mexico is used to feeling light quakes that cause minor damage. Unlike the ones in California, they can happen here too.

Rick Aster and Allan Sanford were featured in the June issue of New Mexico Magazine in the article titled, "Quakes," and they talked about the past earthquakes and what may be projected for earthquakes in New Mexico.

Notable earthquakes in the area have happened in Socorro, but hardly cause a stir. In 1887 an earthquake in Mexico caused rocks to tumble and minor damage throughout New Mexico. The shock even hit the new courthouse in Albuquerque. Light earthquakes soon followed. Socorro is home to several light quakes because the town is positioned above a magma chamber 12 miles below the surface.


In this state, there have been many earthquakes that have caused confusion among other things, damage to structures, but are little risk to people. Dr. Aster says, "We're always trying to make people aware that although the risk is lower here, lower than California, it is not negligible." He also mentioned that there is no possiblity in New Mexico for an earthquake like the devastating one in Sumatra that caused a tsunami in December.


Dr. Sanford points out that as many earthquakes that have happened in New Mexico in the past 130 years happen in California in three years. He also says that humans can create earthquakes, like the one in 1992 in Hobbs, NM, as a result of extracting oil and replacing it with water, which can cause instability. Thousands of years might pass before a large earthquake occurs again in this state. -- R.R.


GSA-Subaru Award

May 23, 2005 -- Congratulations to alumna Michelle Walvoord (MS Hydrology '99, PhD Hydrology '02) on winning the GSA-Subaru Outstanding Woman in Science Award for 2005. The Woman in Science is an award that is awarded to a woman who has greatly impacted the field of geosciences based on their PhD research. The award will be presented at the GSA annual meeting in Salt Lake City and is sponsored by the car manufacturer, Subaru. Michelle is currently a research hydrologist for the USGS in Denver, Colorado.


The Great Sumatra-Andaman Earthquake

May 23, 2005 -- Rick Aster and Sue Bilek were part of a team who contributed to the article in this month's issue ofScience Magazine titled "The Great Sumatra-Andaman Earthquake of 26 December 2004." They talked to theAlbuquerque Journal about their article in Science. In the article, they explain that a plate about the size of California shifted 50 feet underwater. This caused a tsunami that killed nearly 300,000 people who lived near the Indian Ocean.

Dr. Bilek mentioned that there was a difference in earthquake activity before and after the quake. The area where the earthquake occurred is a subduction zone, and the two moving plates "locked" and then released their energy causing a seven-minute burst of movement.


The result was catastrophic and has never been observed with instruments before. Dr. Aster also mentioned that the Sumatra-Andaman Earthquake's power is "the equivalent of 1,400 one-megaton nuclear bombs buried at half-mile intervals along the entire length of the earthquake zone."

Albuquerque Journal article (Paid subscribers can view the Journal article.) Science Magazine article-- R.R.

Created: ( Wednesday, 30 March 2011 10:15 )
Last Updated: ( Thursday, 05 May 2011 11:58 )