Special Topic: Earthquakes

Published May 2010

A member of the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) 
        from South Florida continues to search for survivors at what used to be a
        local supermarket called Carib Market, four days after the earthquake 
        in Port-au-Prince January 16, 2010. U.S. and Turkish urban rescue teams 
        in Haiti battled on Saturday to reach survivors from Tuesday's 
        earthquake trapped but still alive inside the collapsed 5-storey 
        supermarket in Port-au-Prince. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz


The baseline time span for this database is (publication years) 2000-February 28, 2010 from the first bimonthly update of 2010 (a 10-year + 2-month period). The resulting database contained 21,812 (10 years) and 4,968 (2 years) papers; 30,670 authors; 149 nations; 1,619 journals; and 7,675 institutions. See additional information below in the overview & methodology sections.


 
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Interviews

Interviews with people in a wide variety of fields which pertain to this special topic of Earthquakes.

Akira Hasegawa

"Since Japan is located in subduction zones, we have repeatedly suffered from large earthquakes for many years. Born and raised in Japan, I wished to reduce the earthquake damages. For this, I have aimed to understand the mechanism of earthquakes and to apply that knowledge toward earthquakes prediction. Even in the few years before my entrance to the graduate school, there had been several large earthquakes, such as the 1964 M6.9 Oga peninsula earthquake and the 1964 M7.5 Niigata earthquake..."

 
John Rundle

"I was doing classical geophysics until the mid-1980s when I became aware of this area called complexity and chaos theory, which sounded like statistical physics, a subject I had always enjoyed. In 1989, I met Bill Kline, who was at Boston University, and we had the idea that earthquakes were an example of a phase transition. Once you think of them like that, you can describe them with a field theory, which is pretty much the same way they describe phase transitions in high energy physics..."

 
James Jackson

"The intellectual puzzle concerns the continents: Why are they so different from the oceans? Why doesn’t plate tectonics work for continents, and how do we use fieldwork and earthquakes to discover what’s going on now? In common with other disciplines, the big changes in research in the earth sciences are often linked to technological advances. We achieved a step change in what we could achieve with seismograms. Since then we’ve added GPS, allowing us to measure routinely velocities of 1 mm per year..."

 
Roland Burgmann

"This paper and a number of subsequent ones arose from a well timed sabbatical visit at MIT just when the Izmit earthquake and subsequent Düzce event occurred. Rob Reilinger, Semih Ergintav and colleagues had carried out GPS studies in the region for many years, providing well established pre-earthquake deformation rates and allowing for the collection of an amazing geodetic data set soon after the earthquake. My experience with modeling..."

 

"Seismic tomography is a new and powerful technique to determine the 3-D structure of the Earth’s interior, and it is just like a lamp to enlighten a dark room. In the last 10-15 years I and my coworkers have been using my seismic tomography methods to study detailed 3-D Earth structures in various scales, from seismogenic fault zones, large earthquake source areas, active volcanoes, to the Asian continent, and even the whole Earth’s..."

 
AUGUST 2010

Luciano Telesca on Investigating Earthquake Dynamics

Luciano Telesca

"L’Aquila earthquake (local magnitude 5.8) was a strong event occurred in central Italy on April 6, 2009. The analysis of the seismicity of the area struck by this event was analysed by means of the Tsallis nonextensive statistics, which leads to a relationship between a threshold magnitude and the cumulative number of earthquakes with magnitude larger than that threshold, different from the well-know Gutenberg-Richter law..."

 

JULY 2010

Jean-Philippe Avouac on the Creative Power of Earthquakes

Jean-Philippe Avouac

From the interview: I graduated from the Ecole Polytechnique (France) in 1987, where I received a general education in science with a strong emphasis on mathematics, physics, mechanics, and chemistry. For my Ph.D. I chose to move to earth sciences, attracted by the possibility of combining outdoor activities and grounding my quite theoretical background to real earth problems. My Ph.D. project at the..."

 

JUNE 2010

Giuliano Panza on Earthquake Prediction and Risk

Giuliano F. Panza

From the interview: "I received my Laurea in physics at the age of 22 from Bologna University. My early research experience culminated in the formulation of a gross model of the density distribution within the Moon using data on perturbations of the orbits of the Moon artificial satellites Luna 10 and Lunar Orbiter I, III, IV. The impact they have on mankind and the possibility they offer to study the interior of our planet..."

Topic Overview

While the recent earthquakes in Haiti, Chile, and China have garnered attention from the popular press worldwide, scientists, of course, have been making serious study of earthquakes for well over a century, and Special Topics has scrutinized recent highlights in this endeavor. In September of 2003, we looked at earthquake research from the 1993-2003 decade; this month, Special Topics examines the literature over the past decade and over the past two years.

Fault types

Three different types of faults.

To construct the initial data pool, the keyword "earthquake*" was used was employed to search titles, abstracts, and keywords of original articles, reviews, and proceedings papers published in the Essential Science IndicatorsSM database from Thomson Reuters between January 1, 2000 and February 28, 2010. To make the paper lists more on-point, we restricted this keyword to title use only.

In 2003, the 1992 Landers, California, earthquake was the most studied in the analysis. In the current analysis, the 2004 Sumatran-Andaman earthquake in Indonesia is the most studied on the 10-year paper list, and the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake in China is the most studied on the two-year list.

Other earthquakes studied on the 10-year list of papers include aforementioned Landers quake, the 1999 Chi-Chi earthquake sequence in Taiwan, the 1999 Hector mine quake in California, the 1999 Izmit quake in Turkey, the 2000 Izu islands earthquake swarm, and the 2002 Denali fault earthquake in Alaska.

Tools and methods for the study and prediction of earthquakes are also examined on the 10-year list of papers and include earthquake location algorithms, interaction-based probability calculations, earthquake catalogues, and a unified scaling law. Other physical aspects earthquakes, such as fault slippage, rupture processes, and temporal occurrence factors, are also addressed. Finally, one paper looks at posttraumatic stress, anxiety, and depressive reactions after earthquake trauma or severe violence.

Specific earthquakes studied on the two-year list of papers include the 2004 Parkfield, California, quake, the 2006-2007 Kuril islands quakes in the western Pacific Ocean, and the 2007 Niigata-ken Chuetsi-oki quake in Japan.

Aspects of seismology studied in the past two years include lithospheric structure and deep earthquakes below India, the Himalaya, and Tibet, development of an earthquake early warning system, earthquake nucleation, aftershock imaging, tsunami activity, damage rheology models, and focal zone activity.

The publication of the third Database of Individual Seismogenic Sources (DISS), which details Italy's earthquake geology research over a 20-year period, is discussed. Two studies also discuss modeling aspects of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.

SPECIAL TOPIC KEYWORDS: EARTHQUAKE, FAULT, RUPTURE PROCESS, SCALING LAW, LOCATION ALGORITHM, PROBABILITY CALCULATION, FOCAL DEPTHS, ELASTIC THICKNESS, CONTINENTAL LITHOSPHERE, SLIP PARTITION, SEISMICITY, DEFORMATION, DISPLACEMENT, MANTLE FLOW, GPS MEASUREMENTS, HI-NET ARRAY, POSTTRAUMATIC STRESS, DEPRESSION, SLIP RATES, RECURRENCE INTERVALS, DISS, STRESS CHANGES, DYNAMIC RESPONSES, SEISMIC STRESS TRANSFER CYCLE, NGA EMPIRICAL MODEL, HORIZONAL SPECTRAL VALUES, EARLY WARNING SYSTEM, GROUND-MOTION ESTIMATES, AFTERSHOCK DISTRIBUTION, DAMAGE RHEOLOGY MODEL, TSUNAMI, ISOCHRONE THEORY, HAYWARD FAULT, SUMATRA-ANDAMAN, CHI-CHI, DENALI FAULT, IZU ISLANDS EARTHQUAKE SWARM, IZMIT, HECTOR MINE, LANDERS, WENCHUAN, 1906 SAN FRANCISCO, NIIGATAKEN CHUETSU-OKI, PARKFIELD CALIFORNIA, GREAT KURIL.

Methodology

The baseline time span for this database is (publication years) 2000-February 28, 2010 from the first bimonthly update of 2010 (a 10-year + 2-month period). The resulting database contained 21,812 (10 years) and 4,968 (2 years) papers; 30,670 authors; 149 nations; 1,619 journals; and 7,675 institutions.

Rankings

Once the database was in place, it was used to generate list of authors, journals, institutions, and nations. Rankings for author, journal, institution, and country are listed in three ways: according to total cites, total papers, and total cites/paper*. The paper thresholds and corresponding percentages used to determine scientist, institution, country, and journal rankings according to total cites/paper, and total papers respectively are as follows:

Entity Authors Institutions Journals Nations
Thresholds 18 105 12 >= 5*
Percentage: 1% 1% 50% 50%
*Unless otherwise specified, all rankings have a >= 5 paper threshold for all measures.

Please note: Due to an error in the source data, the records for Yehuda Ben-Zion, the University of Southern California, and the United States were changed. This adjustment resulted in a change in ranking for Yehuda Ben-Zion, as well as the inclusion of a paper (#5) on the two-year listing. Added May 12, 2020.

 

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Featured Image

A member of the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) from South Florida continues to search for survivors at what used to be a local supermarket called Carib Market, four days after the earthquake in Port-au-Prince January 16, 2010. U.S. and Turkish urban rescue teams in Haiti battled to reach survivors from the earthquake trapped but still alive inside the collapsed 5-storey supermarket in Port-au-Prince. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz.