04 April 2011

Quake Moves Japan Closer to U.S.

Geophysicists found that global positioning stations near the quake's epicenter moved as far as 13 feet eastward! This does not mean that the entire country shifted, but that the nation has actually grown wider. NASA scientists have also found that the earthquake may have shorted the length of the day by a couple of milliseconds and shifted the Earth's axis!

This is not uncommon as large-scale quakes go, however. Last year's Chilean earthquake and a 2004 Sumatran tremor also caused minor changes in our planet's tilt and day length. Despite the dramatic nature of earthquakes and the amount of damage they can cause, fluctuations in the patterns of ocean currents and atmospheric conditions typically induce even greater changes!




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