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Imagine That! -- "Sumatra-Andaman Earthquake"

Imagine That!
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Imagine That! -- "Sumatra-Andaman Earthquake"

Credit: NSF/Finger Lakes Productions International

Audio Transcript:

The recent Indian Ocean earthquakes and resulting tsunamis literally shocked the world.

Imagine that!

(SOUND: vibrating)

Aside from affecting millions of people, the Sumatra-Andaman earthquakes caused vibrations recorded around the world. Using data from the new Global Seismic Network, scientists have been able to rapidly assess the effects of the largest earthquake in forty years, from a global network of seismic monitoring stations. Ground motions from the main shock were the largest ever recorded, with movement of three point six inches in Sri Lanka, and at least one-half inch over the entire surface of the Earth.

(SOUND: earthquake, sirens)

Thorne Lay, a geologist at the University of California in Santa Cruz, joined other scientists from the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology to complete a comprehensive scientific analysis of the quake. The information provided by the global network resulted in major steps toward understanding how earthquakes happen, and may some day help form earthquake and tsunami response systems.

Seems like the Beach Boys may have had the vibrations part right, though not quite the rest. But don't blame them; it's not their...fault. I'm Eric Phillips.

"Imagine That!" covers projects funded by the U.S. government's National Science Foundation. Federally-sponsored research -- brought to you by you! Learn more at

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