The Quake Below

By: Alana Adams
By: Alana Adams

They came out here to check the balance of specifically documented rocks that could be affected by an earthquake.
The data is not only a document to this quake, but to others that could potentially occur.
Driving west on I-80, Professor James Brune, a seismologist with URN, says they look up along the rocky canyon walls to see if they can eye any rock just slightly out of place.
"We go out to check them to be sure that the little earthquake didn't knock them over because that would be information anyway. But, also because if it was a foreshock, and the rocks end up getting knocked over by the main shock, we want to know for sure they weren't knocked over by the foreshock."
He knows most of the rocks because of checking them so often during the years.
Professor Brune has documented a couple hundred rocks in California and Nevada and teaches others what to look for before and after a quake.
"From the shape of the rock and everything we can computer model it and tell how much ground acceleration occurred to knock it over."
Since the rocks did stay in place, they agree this earthquake was not anything to be worried about, but still significant.
He says the quake most likely caused little or no structural damage to buildings or even constructions zones like the spaghetti bowl.
It's just on the borderline of being able to knock a few things off a shelf, it knocked pictures in my house. It's on the threshold of being able to cause damage.... moderate size earthquake, well not even moderate... small to moderate earthquake."
Professor Brune says this quake is in a seismologically active area, but does not lie on a fault line... probably preventing it from being a much larger quake.


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