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Earthquakes and Liquifaction

  1. Dec 15, 2003 #1
    During heavy earthquackes sand can behave as liquid and lose the capacity to bear weight causing catastrophic destruction.

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Study/Earthquake/

    But apparantly it can sink cities into the ground or water:

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2001/10/1017_NileCities.html

    Could we think of more mysteries that could be solved by liquifaction?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 16, 2003 #2
    I was thinking of those two mammoth mummies, The Jarkov and the Fishhook:

    and the Fishhook mammoth:

    For mummification it is necesary to isolate the body for instance by covering it with soil. Mud slides are often named but the where there remain where found was flat.

    Both the dating and the location are not that far apart. The same eartquake mave have caused liquifaction, burying both animals.

    If so then the Nikolai mammoth -if mummified- may show up with the same date:


    It's very quiet in this place BTW.
     
  4. Dec 22, 2003 #3
    I always found liquifaction to be one of the more interesting features of earthquakes. You can see this effect with other sediments of various particulate size, though, intuitively, sand would seem to be the easiest to be affected.

    I've seen the effect (not first hand, thankfully) around slopes where earthquakes occur. The vibration of the quake excites the particles of the sediment in a way similar to liquids like water already are. Gravity then acts on the entire matrix: heavier particles falling to the bottom; the whole matrix looking for the lowest point and can flow like a river.

    There are archaelogical sites in Oregon (if memory serves correct) that demonstrate this effect. Many artifacts and well-preserved trees have been unearthed, though I'd have to search my notes to find the date. It was pre-settlement by Europeans. This same quake has been correlated to a major tsunami in Japan.

    Perhaps looking at sediment, terrain, and historical earthquake data, someone could create a predictive model with GIS to look for archaeological sites.

    Now... I'm off to look at your link... ;)
     
  5. Dec 28, 2003 #4
    I read an article about well preserved trees, but in that case (Michigan) the trees were discovered by gravel/sand pit business, and scientists thought the forest must have grown up fairly quickly after a glacier receded and then sand and gravel outwash (coming in at a gentle rate, as the small needles at the tips were intact) must have covered the entire forest in a short time.
    http://abcnews.go.com/sections/science/DyeHard/dyehard000223.html
    Hopefully that link still works. My computer is being uncooperative this morning and won't let me check it...

    Anyway, the preserved forest is probably close but not a liquefaction candidate...
     
  6. Dec 29, 2003 #5
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