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December 12th, 2011

Animation of energy released during earthquakes since 1960

Published on December 12th, 2011 | By: Eileen De Guire

This two minute animation compares the relative sizes, i.e., energy released, in memorable earthquakes since 1960.

The area of the circles represents the relative energy released, and the potential for a tsunami to occur is indicated by a color code system used by NOAA’s National Weather Service. Because the Richter scale is logarithmic, the animation provides a compelling visual representation of how big an order of magnitude is.

Earlier this year, an article in the Bulletin reported on the rubble disposal problem in the aftermath of the 7.0 earthquake in Haiti in 2010. Incredibly, the Haitian earthquake was small enough that it is barely noticeable by the end of the animation.

Hat tip:  The Scholarly Kitchen‘s Kent Anderson

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