Study finds far-reaching earthquake damage

The United States Geological Survey presented research Tuesday showing an earthquake in the eastern United States can travel much farther than originally thought.

The study used data from last year’s earthquake in Virginia to see how far away the shocks could be felt, USGS scientist Randall Jibson said in a press release. Previous studies have not had access to data from an earthquake of this magnitude — the largest earthquake to occur in more than 100 years in the eastern U.S.

Charlottesville was near the epicenter of the 5.8 magnitude earthquake last August. The study found the farthest landslide from Charlottesville was 150 miles away, but previous studies had shown landslides typically occur no further than 36 miles from the epicenter of a magnitude 5.8 magnitude earthquake.

University buildings are constructed to be able to withstand reasonable amounts of earthquake damage, University Chief Facilities Officer Donald Sundgren said.

But for an earthquake stronger than the one in 2011, “We’ll have to see; we will respond as quickly and effectively as we can,” he said.

Published November 8, 2012 in Grounds, News

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