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Earthquake Liquefaction

The March earthquake that took place in Japan seems to have done more damage then scientists realized. Recently soil samples were taken and a surprising level of Liquefaction is being reported.
Liquefaction is caused by an earthquake that lasts a long time such as the one that took place recently in Japan. What is Liquefaction? When a severe earthquake occurs the sandy soil turns into liquid.
The heavier sand and rocks sinks and the water and lighter sand will bubble to the surface. This  spreads, and the surface shifts. This makes many structures unstable such as bridges and buildings alike.

The liquefaction in Japan spreads over hundreds of miles and has many worried about the consequences from this effect and what it may do over time. Scientist have seen this happen before but not to the severity that is seems to have in Japan. They stated, with such a long-lasting earthquake, Japans lasting five minutes, experts saw how structures that might have been okay after a quake that only lasted 30 seconds, but with the longevity of this one, just continued to sink and tilt as the shaking continued. It was also clear that younger sediments, and especially areas built on recently filled ground, are much more vulnerable.

Being called Young sediments, according to geologists, are those deposited within the past 10,000 years. In the Unites States Portland Oregon is a place that if an extreme earthquake occurred would be damaged from liquefaction. Most of the down town area and the airport are in danger, and over 1100 bridges are in great danger if a quake ever occurs.

Every day something new surfaces from the results of the Japan earthquake but with this terrible tragedy science and the world are learning more and more by studying what that Country has gone through. The odds are good that this will happen again some place else in the world and with the information taken there maybe things can be changed for the better some place else.


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