Several people who felt the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that hit New Zealand earlier this month also witnessed a strange phenomenon — lights flashing across the sky in a range of colours.
In the night of 21 November 2016 (local time), Japan was struck by a magnitude-6.9 earthquake. This was soon followed by a M 5.6 quake in New Zealand’s North Island, which sparked speculation that the event in Japan had triggered the one in New Zealand.
The recent powerful quakes that devastated the northeastern coast of New Zealand’s South Island on 14 Nov 2016 may be part of a pattern emerging for large strike-slip fault earthquakes all around the world.
The New Zealand quakes are significant, because they did not occur on the country’s largest plate-boundary fault line, the Alpine Fault. They instead occurred on smaller nearby faults, and this is something that is happening to other such faults, most notably California’s San Andreas Fault.
As an academic who lectures regularly to a hall of about 300 students, he never thought that he would feel nervous in front of only eight people. And so he was surprised when he became increasingly aware of the loud pounding of his heart and the beads of sweat that began appearing on his forehead.
Welcome to the final part of our double-story feature for the 2016 Earth Science Week. Today, Dr Dawn Ruth, a Research Fellow in Assistant Professor Fidel Costa’s Volcano Group at the Earth Observatory of Singapore, shares her most memorable encounters from working in the field.
Our scientists travel widely for their research, and one of the most important aspects of it is conducting fieldwork. During their trips, they travel to landscapes almost entirely different from that of Singapore. They also meet all kinds of interesting people — enthusiastic groups of children curious about their scientific equipment, locals who regale them with folktales, and even earthquake survivors with amazing stories to tell.
On 8 October 2005, a devastating magnitude-7.6 earthquake struck the Kashmir region in the Himalaya. It killed more than 80,000 people, injured more than 100,000, and left 3 million homeless.
As part of our outreach efforts, the Earth Observatory of Singapore regularly engages both the scientific and non-scientific communities via seminars, guest lectures, media briefings, and exhibitions. Schedules permitting, our scientists sometimes visit schools on request to give talks to students.
Edible vegetable oil, produced from oil palm and soybeans, is a key ingredient in junk food like chips and ice cream. Although these foods have little to no nutritional value, global consumption is on the rise, resulting in an increase in demand for vegetable oil. This has become a serious issue because large areas of land in Southeast Asia and South America have to be cleared to make way for oil palm and soybean crops.