Earthquake Magnitude Scales

Did you know that scientists no longer use the Richter Scale to measure earthquake magnitude? Now, we tend to use the “Moment magnitude” scale, which was built off of the tenants of the Richter scale. Charles Richter & Beno Gutenberg developed the first magnitude scale in the 1930’s to quantify earthquakes by comparing the sizeContinue reading “Earthquake Magnitude Scales”

What is an aftershock?

There is often confusion surrounding the terminology of earthquakes. The largest earthquake in an earthquake sequence is called a mainshocks. Mainshocks are followed by 100s or even 1000s of smaller earthquakes, called aftershocks. Aftershocks are smaller earthquakes on patches of the rupture zone (areas of the fault that broke during the earthquake) and adjacent faultsContinue reading “What is an aftershock?”

Earthquake Prediction?

Earthquake prediction is, predictably, a topic once again. It doesn’t really matter when you’re reading this because it’s almost always a topic, but it becomes especially problematic after large earthquakes. Why? Because earthquakes are scary and people want the reassurance that someone, somewhere, can tell them what to expect. Earthquake predictors come in lots ofContinue reading “Earthquake Prediction?”

Flying the faults of Southern California

I married in to a family of pilots. One of the perks of this is that once in while they’ll humor me and fly me around so that I can see Southern California from the air; more specifically, I can see the amazing faults and stunning geomorphology of Southern California. Yesterday we flew along theContinue reading “Flying the faults of Southern California”

Valuing science communication

I’d like to briefly draw attention to part of our recently published Science Communication Training paper called “A Need for a Changing Value System”. Science communicators often fall victim to the “Sagan effect“. People assume that if they do good science communication they must do bad research. (Fake News!) The truth is that, like research,Continue reading “Valuing science communication”