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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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ScienceShot: April's Sumatra Quake Was a Record-Setter
19 July 2012 2:00 pm
Even though a magnitude-8.6 undersea earthquake that occurred far west of Sumatra on 11 April caused no damage and triggered no tsunami, it was a record-setter nonetheless. For one thing, it was the largest temblor ever measured far from the boundary of a tectonic plate, researchers report online today in Science . Also, the so-called intraplate quake is the largest ever measured for a fault zone for which the two sides of the fault slide horizontally past each other, a la the San Andreas fault, rather than having one side of the fault shoved beneath its neighbor. The epicenter of the quake (denoted with a star, above) was located about 400 kilometers southwest of the magnitude-9.1, tsunami-spawning temblor that occurred off the northwestern coast of Sumatra on 26 December 2004 (areas affected by largest slippage of that quake are depicted in red, orange, and yellow at upper right; northwestern tip of Sumatra depicted in gray silhouette). Over the course of about a minute and a half, this spring's temblor ruptured 500 kilometers of three separate but related faults, all of which were highly stressed. A lot of that stress was shifted to the area by the December 2004 quake, the researchers suggest. The faults unzipped at a relatively slow but steady 2.5 kilometers per second, the researchers say, with much of the slippage along the faults taking place more than 25 kilometers below the seafloor—a depth that helped contribute to the quake's great magnitude.
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