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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Quake Picture

The picture above is a compilation of two satellite images taken weeks apart of the Iquila Italian earthquake by a European Space Agency spacecraft with sub millimeter resolution (LINK). The displacement of the countryside was in excess of 250 mm so the fingerprint of the quake is very visible and shows the localized nature of quake damage. In the few quakes I've experienced I didn't understand how I could be close to the epicenter and feel very little, but spots miles away would suffer major damages. Obviously this picture shows a "ripples on a pond" complete with a second, less well defined, daughter pattern. I will speculate this secondary ripple is the result of the shock wave bouncing off a deep fault or denser strata. We truly live in an age of wonder when tools designed for one highly technical use can be re-tasked to a previously unimagined application. Man, are we smart apes or what?

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