If there was a tsunami warning in your area, could you escape on foot? That's the question a new tool released by the USGS takes on. The Pedestrian Evacuation Analyst takes into account not just foot-speed but terrain, and also highlights the areas of high-ground that would likely be the safest points. » 9/17/14 11:20am 9/17/14 11:20am

Analyzing Alaska's Totally Harmless Megathrust Earthquake

Alaska was hit by a major earthquake today, and it was totally harmless. The magnitude 7.9 subduction-zone earthquake let off a build-up of tectonic stress in the most harmless way possible, proving that with disasters, location really is everything. » 6/24/14 1:00am 6/24/14 1:00am

Aftershocks in Chile

Since the magnitude 8.2 megaquake, Chile has been rocked by 74 aftershocks of at least 2.5, and that number is growing. The strongest, a 7.6 just before midnight last night, is larger than any earthquake felt in the contiguous United States since San Francisco burned in 1906. » 4/03/14 9:13pm 4/03/14 9:13pm

What Happens To Wildlife After A Tsunami?

After a magnitude 8.2 earthquake struck Chile yesterday, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a warning for Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, and Panama. While it's still too early to know how the wildlife along that stretch of Pacific coastline fared - let alone how our own species fared - we can look to previous… » 4/02/14 11:31am 4/02/14 11:31am

7 Real Natural Events that Inspired Works of Science Fiction

Science fiction is filled with tales that pit humanity against the natural world: earthquakes, meteor strikes, Sharknados. While some of those stories are birthed from abstract (or entirely made-up) fears, others are inspired by specific occurrences—comets, catastrophes, and climate events. » 8/04/13 7:00am 8/04/13 7:00am

Japan’s tsunami created large dunes on the ocean floor

The Tohoku-oki earthquake and tsunami brought unimaginable devastation to the coastal areas of Japan in March 2011. But as a new study in Marine Geology suggests, it also reshaped the ocean floor, forming large underwater dunes as the massive waves rolled into the eastern seaboard, and then slowly pulled away. » 1/17/13 5:00pm 1/17/13 5:00pm

10 Science Experiments That Looked Like the End of the World

It's official: The Large Hadron Collider helped to find a new particle, and it didn't turn the world inside out. Everybody relax! But history is full of strange experiments that people predicted might bring about the end of the human race... and in some cases, they might actually have had a point. » 7/06/12 10:25am 7/06/12 10:25am

Chain of tank-like fortresses would protect Japan from natural…

These gloomy citadels are just a concept design, one that imagines a massive defense network that could surround and defend Japan. Using a chain of breakwaters and drainage channels, these fortresses would protect the coast from tsunamis, while serving as an added layer of defense for man-made threats to the islands. » 5/05/12 3:30pm 5/05/12 3:30pm

NASA releases a model of last year's devastating Tohoku-oki tsunami

Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of the largest earthquake in Japan's recorded history — the quake responsible for triggering the massive and deadly Tohoku-oki tsunami. The animation up top, released yesterday by NASA, shows the tsunami's motion across the Pacific basin in the 22 hours following the… » 3/12/12 9:00am 3/12/12 9:00am

Mutant rice could help Japanese farmers bounce back from tsunami damage

Japan is still struggling to recover from the devastation caused by the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami that hit the country last March. One of the long-term problems is reclaiming farmland ravaged by the tsunami. And mutant rice might be the solution. » 1/24/12 5:00pm 1/24/12 5:00pm

A "research cruise" could recruit tourists to study tsunami debris

Research scientists, especially environmental scientists, are always looking for funding. A recent project, studying how debris move and decay in the ocean, has come up with a controversial way to bankroll their project. They'll take tourists on a cruise of the March tsunami debris. » 12/21/11 1:34pm 12/21/11 1:34pm

The lost city where the Olympics began may have been destroyed by…

The Olympic Games first began in the ancient Greek city-state of Olympia. For all its fame, the city suffered a mysterious fate, destroyed by an unknown natural disaster. Now it looks like tsunamis were the culprit...despite being 30 kilometers inland. » 7/11/11 11:57am 7/11/11 11:57am

William Gibson contributes to a new anthology for Japan earthquake…

You can read a new piece by William Gibson and help donate to the Red Cross efforts in Japan at the same time, thanks to a new anthology that just went on sale at Amazon. » 4/13/11 8:30am 4/13/11 8:30am

Searching for Godzilla

Over the past few weeks, we've sought to understand the science behind the unfolding disaster in Japan. But a fascinating statistic from Wikipedia shows that hits on "Godzilla" jumped tremendously after the disaster too. What does this say about us? » 3/22/11 11:51am 3/22/11 11:51am

Everything You Need to Know About Nuclear Power and the Fukushima Plant…

Since the Japan earthquake hit, it seems like the story surrounding the Fukushima Nuclear Power plant has changed every 10 minutes, making it tough to keep up on the latest developments. Luckily there's no shortage of informed individuals and organizations keeping track of what's going on. » 3/15/11 7:20am 3/15/11 7:20am

How would a tsunami form in the Atlantic Ocean?

As Japan assesses the toll of yesterday's 9.0 magnitude earthquake and tsunami, onlookers half a world away are likely wondering if a similar force of nature could strike in the Atlantic. The short answer? It's improbable, but not impossible. » 3/12/11 8:00am 3/12/11 8:00am

A video of the Japanese tsunami rolling through the Bay Area

Mark Demma recorded this amazing footage from Emeryville, California of the Japanese tsunami coming through the San Francisco metropolitan area. » 3/11/11 2:56pm 3/11/11 2:56pm