Journal assignment: The odds that Omaha will suffer the effects of a good sized earthquake are low, but not zero. Use what you have learned in class and in your readings, and from what you can learn from the web, and what you know of Omaha to explore the following question. What distinct areas and/or facilities might suffer the greatest amount of damage during such a rare earthquake and why?

Reading assignment: Peruse for two hours the USGS site on earthquakes. Focus on the general info and hazards information.

"A bad earthquake at once destroys our oldest associations: the earth, the very emblem of solidity, has moved beneath our feet like a thin crust over a fluid: one second of time has created in the mind a strange idea of insecurity, which hours of reflection would not have produced. .... it is a bitter and humiliating things to see works, which have cost man so much time and labour, overthrown in one moment. " Darwin 1845, on his experience of an earthquake in Concepcion, South America

Gambling with nature.

What happens during an earthquake?

as a geologic event: it is a much more complex event than many initially imagine.

as a human and engineering event:

some famous case histories:

Kobe, Japan, January 17, 1995, case history.

Can earthquakes be predicted?

Types of predictions and forecasts.

Predicting by precursors.

Forecast by past history - this way to fractals.

The Meers fault in Oklahoma - a different type of earthquake behavior?

Real time warnings?

Can earthquakes be prepared for and how?

Two basic approaches: earthquake engineering and earthquake education.

What are critical facilities?

Earthquake engineering:

design criteria:


Earthquake education: