john's blog

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The Story of Immamura and Omori

In his 1980 presidential address to the Seismological Society of America, the great seismologist Keiiti Aki told the story of Fusakichi Omori and Akitune Immamura, and of the great Kanto earthquake of September 1, 1923.  That event destroyed the metropolis of Tokyo and killed over 130,000 persons, laying waste the cities of Tokyo and Yokohama. 

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Earthquakes & Upgrades to the OH Web Site

To many around the world, it seems that the number of destructive earthquakes has increased dramatically.  Yet most of the destruction is due to the recent exponential increases in human populations along major fault zones. 

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Geophysical Connections

The annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco has been a part of my life for over 35 years.  Held annually in December, the AGU meeting has grown from a small group of several hundred scientists to a gathering of over 14,000 in that span of time. 

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Simplicity, Complexity and Emergence

The Santa Fe Institute looks out over the city of Santa Fe.   From the terrace on the south side of the old mansion, the casual visitor is presented with a spectacular view of the Pojoaque valley to the west.

Something about the dry thin air, the mountainside setting of pinion and juniper, and the view to the distant Jemez mountains encourages a mode of pensive contemplation and intellectual self-renewal rarely felt in the sea-level world 7600 feet below.

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Cruisin' Down the Fault Line

The San Andreas fault is visible from space.  A long scar on the earth, the fault winds its way south from Mendocino, Fort Ross and San Francisco, through central California to Tejon Pass, then north of Los Angeles to Cajon Pass and San Bernadino, finally leaving the state by way of the Imperial Valley to Mexico and the Gulf of California.

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Who Pays for Earthquake Damage?

Earthquake risk to populations in California and around the world is growing exponentially,  even as the insurance and financial industries are less and less able to insure the loss. 

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Why are earthquakes so hard to forecast or predict?

A recent news and feature article in the science magazine Nature by news reporter Glennda Chui discusses problems with current understanding of earthquake science and the future of earthquake forecasting. 

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Welcome to Open Hazards

To paraphrase Cramer on CNBC's "Mad Money", our aim is to inform and educate.  In this recurring blog, I will relate many of my personal experiences with the people, institutions, and events surrounding damaging earthquakes, here in the US and internationally. 


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