Japan has more measurable earthquakes than any other country and has over 100 active volcanoes. The tectonics are complicated, but in this animation we look at the basic mechanics of the region as we focus on two famous earthquakes: the 1995 Kobe earthquake and the 2011 Tohoku-Oki earthquake. For additional resources please visit IRIS In Class.
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Modern seismometers include 3 elements to determine the simultaneous movement in 3 directions: up-down, north-south,and east-west. Each direction gives information about the earthquake. This animation shows both the movement of the three basic waves (P, S, and surface) and the effect of the waves on a building.
NSF REU summer interns conduct geophysical research at IRIS institutions.