Tuesday, 22 January 2013

A few less common words (part 1)

We thought we'd expand on our last blog post today and use some less common words to explain what we're up to. There were many other great common word distillations of projects, research areas and whole careers in science generated in response to the Up-Goer Five text editor. You can read them in the tumblr curated by Chris and Anne from Highly Allochthonous.

So, here's what we were trying to convey in the thousand word post (or ten hundred as those pesky Americans keep saying). The common words are in italics.

When the ground shakes a lot it can kill many people.

Earthquakes! You got that bit, right?

Ground shaking can also form very big waves of water which cover lots of the land, and kill more people.

Tsunamis. Created in this instance by strain release during an earthquake resulting in deformation of the sea floor. Tsunamis can also be formed by landslides, volcanic eruptions, meteorites and iceberg roll events.

It is important to understand when and where this happens so that we can make people safer in years to come.

The past is the key to future preparedness and hazard mitigation. We want to know how frequently earthquakes and tsunamis occur and their maximum possible sizes. Historical records are valuable, but in many areas do not go back far enough. Even in Japan, home to the most comprehensive records of tsunamis, historical records may underestimate the size of previous seismic events. See this from the Japan Times for more.

Part 2 to follow...

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