Machine reveals deep dynamics of earthquakes

04/11/2013 | Popular Science

A machine developed at the University of Oklahoma that mimics earthquakes shows that the destructive shaking experienced on the Earth's surface accounts for only about 10% of the total energy in a quake. The device employs a flywheel to grind two rock slabs together, reproducing the dynamics of fault stresses beneath the ground. The machine reveals that "most of the energy seems to go into heating and some goes into grinding up material," said David Lockner, geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park, Calif.

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