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Johnson Canyon Fault Zone

Can you see the fault in this photo?

One of the interesting things that I have learned about our home in Johnson Canyon is that we live almost directly on top of an active fault zone. While there have not been any detectable earthquakes in the 5 years we have been here, there is always the chance that one will happen. As soon as I heard about the Johnson Canyon Fault Zone, I began researching, and trying to find signs of the faults. At first, I did not see them, until my mind adjusted for what I was seeing. I am used to looking at faults from the side, where you can easily see both sides of the fault.. . . . Continue Reading

Sciencelog: Earthquakes

With the powerful earthquake that recently struck Alaska on January 24, 2016, I though it would be helpful to gather some of my earthquake related resources onto a single page. The quake registered 7.1 on the Richter Scale, making it one of the most powerful quakes to hit Alaska in recent decades.

Hopefully this information will make it easier to understand some of the news coverage, as well as helping you spot some of the common misconceptions, and answer some of the questions you may have.


Foliated and Unfoliated Rocks

One of the first steps towards identifying metamorphic rocks is to determine if it has foliation or not. Luckily, this is usually easy to do. Foliation means banding or alignment of the minerals resulting from pressure. A good example of that is the banding present in a metamorphic rock called gneiss, pronounced "nice".

This piece of gneiss formed from granite similar to the rock sample seen on the left hand side of the photo.

Earthquakes and Tsunamis

I frequently get questions about earthquakes that causes devastation, so I thought we would experiment a bit to help you understand more about them. This is a topic that many people, and the news media especially, frequently misunderstand.

You will need:

75% Water

When you read that 75% of the Earth's surface is covered by water, what does it really mean? The answer goes far beyond just a simple fact. As with many topics in science, the deeper you go, the more you find.