Earthquake liquefaction causes ground to open and close

The 2011 magnitude 9 earthquake in Japan was one of the largest earthquakes ever measured. Strong shaking and the consequent tsunami caused the death of nearly 18,000 people.

Strong vibrations in earthquakes can cause soil particles in the ground to jiggle about and lose contact with each other. If there is a lot of water within the ground the shaking causes soil to behave more like a liquid than a solid. This process is called liquefaction.

Footage taken by an American tourist shows dynamic movements of the ground during the Japan earthquake. The changing pressures caused by the soil movement can force water out of the ground and form moving cracks on the surface.

Note that this is not ground movements caused by the actual shaking in the earthquake, but by secondary soil movements.

Advertisements

One thought on “Earthquake liquefaction causes ground to open and close”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s