Ruptured Earth -- in the aftermath of the Chilean earthquake

On 27 February 2010, a gargantuan 8.8 earthquake struck south-central Chile, the fifth largest event ever recorded by modern seismology.

Now, a new study provides first-hand confirmation that the February earthquake ruptured a very long fault along the coast of Chile, but that its effects on coastal land varied; with a rise of land to a higher elevation in the South and an opposite sinking down of the Earth’s surface in the North.

The findings will help and seismologists gain a deeper understanding of what triggers large earthquakes.

In a Brevium, Marcelo Farías and researchers from Chile, France, and Germany report measurements from 33 sites related to the , all made within in a month of the rupture.

The measurements reveal that uplift or and of land occurred closer to the coast, while sinking occurred farther inward, toward land.

This pattern is broadly similar to measurements made following many other great earthquakes, and is consistent with a fault slip that lies along a 500 km section of the Chilean coast that coincides with previous earthquakes in 1835 and 1928.


Explore further

Biggest recorded earthquake was brewing for four centuries

More information: "Land-Level Changes Produced by the Mw 8.8 2010 Chilean Earthquake," by M. Farías et al. Science, July 30, 2010.
Provided by AAAS
Citation: Ruptured Earth -- in the aftermath of the Chilean earthquake (2010, July 30) retrieved 22 May 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-07-ruptured-earth-aftermath-chilean.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
0 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Aug 02, 2010
A little data would make this article a lot more interesting. Distances from the coast, for instance would give us a more clear view of the what actually happened.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more