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Earthquakes in Chile Permanently Deform Earth

The power of an earthquake on the Richter scale is a fearsome thing to contemplate. Earthquakes can permanently scar and crack the earth. In Chile, where the tectonic plates meet and a fault line runs, the earth has been deformed beyond repair.

Apr 29 2013, 4:41am CDT | by

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Earthquakes in Chile Permanently Deform Earth
 
 

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Earthquakes in Chile Permanently Deform Earth

Earthquakes are a part and parcel of living on planet earth. They are a necessary evil since the earth too is a living organism of sorts. The best we, as human beings, can do is take the maximum precautions in order to avoid the damages. The only rational way to face earthquakes is to be prepared. Chile, Japan and the coastal region of California have been devastated time after time by earthquakes. Especially Chile has been visited by tremors over the past million years or so.

Scientists have investigated the phenomenon of seismic activity in Chile and found to their surprise that it has damaged the earth in a number of ways. Earthquakes do create chaos but it was the general opinion up until now that the earth was a self-healing system. Nature was held to maintain its balance despite occasional upsets. However, according to Live Science , recently the experts were proven wrong. In Chile, the earth has not shown such elasticity. Some of the cracks inflicted by past earthquakes on a magnitude of 7 on the Richter scale were exposed. They showed no signs of re-formation.

The rifts and gaping wounds of mother earth proved to be an unexplained mystery. They left the scientists with their mouths wide open in disbelief. Northern Chile shows evidence of many earthquakes dating millions of years back in prehistoric times. They left behind surface cracks that were millimeters in width and some that were meters in thickness. The Atacama Desert shows proof of these schisms because it faces exposure to the elements. Other places in the world would be the same were it not for the wind, dust and rain that fill up the spaces quickly in the aftermath of an earthquake.

The implications for earthquake analysts are that they will have to rethink their previous models in order to bring them closer to reality. It appears that surface deformation is a fact no matter how indigestible it may be to those stuck in the geological knowledge of past times. The earth keeps a debit and credit account. And earthquakes (though they are human tragedies which cause loss of innocent lives) are an ugly fact that there is no getting around. Like the giant coiled springs being fitted beneath buildings in Japan, the only cautious approach is prevention of damage via solid measures.

Image Credit: Getty Images

 

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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