Home Science Climate Experts: Learn from Japan earthquake

Earthquake experts from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution announced on March 11, 2011, that the world should learn from the gigantic Japanese earthquake, especially those who live along similar faults. And, people should be prepared for the next big earthquake that hits.

The news release from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), which is located in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, is entitled 'WHOI Experts Stress Lessons From Japan Earthquake.'

WHOI is a private, independent organization that engages in marine research, engineering, and higher education. Its primary mission is "... to understand the ocean and its interaction with the Earth as a whole, and to communicate a basic understanding of the ocean's role in the changing global environment."

These WHOI experts state within the press release, 'While Japan's 8.9-magnitude earthquake and accompanying tsunami represent a devastating natural disaster for the country's residents, scientists should also seize upon the massive temblor [trembling earthquake] as an important learning tool for future quakes around the world, including the Pacific Northwest coast of the United States'¦.'

Dr. Jeff McGuire, a geophysicist and earthquake seismologist at Woods Hole, said that people along the western coast of North America - especially northern California, Oregon, and Washington in the United States, and Vancouver in Canada - should be wary of similar earthquakes/tsunamis in their region, too.

These people live along the border of the North American tectonic plate, especially where the North American plate meets the Juan de Fuca plate, as Japanese people live near the borders of the Eurasian plate, Pacific plate, Filipino plate, and North American plate.

The western boundary of the North American plate includes the Queen Charlotte/Fairweather Fault System that runs along the coast of Alaska and northwestern Canada and the San Andreas Fault through California

McGuire states, 'Today's earthquake happened on a subduction zone thrust fault where the Pacific plate subducts, or dives, under the Japanese islands. Japan regularly has large earthquakes and tsunamis all along its east coast due to subduction.'

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William Atkins

William Atkins completed educational degrees in science (bachelor’s in physics and mathematics) from Illinois State University (Normal, United States) and business (master’s in entrepreneurship and bachelor’s in industrial relations) from Western Illinois University