Archive for March, 2005|Monthly archive page

Sumatra, again

As you all undoubtably already know, another earthquake hit Indonesia today. Though plenty bad enough, it doesn’t seem to have been the level of catastrophe the previous one — thankfully, there doesn’t seem to have been a widespread tsunami.

What is surprising to me is the range of magnitude estimates. I’ve seen estimates from 8.1 to 8.7 today — even the moment tensor estimates disagree (8.1 and 8.6). I suppose a definitive estimate will have to wait for a rupture model, though. This map is particularly interesting in that regard — could this earthquake have filled in the gap between the slip regions of the 2004 and 1861 events?

I had to pretend to know something about it, since I’m the most conveniently-located seismologist for Winnipeg media outlets. All I did, mostly, was interpret what’s on various web pages, but it seems to have been sufficient — as a result, I spent half of today doing one interview or another. Haven’t looked to see how much of a total idiot I look like on TV, though.