Brian's Seismic FAQ

Copyright © 2004-2009, B. Vanderkolk, All Rights Reserved

v0.4a - Feb. 28, 2005

Seismic FAQ Welcome Page
Contents of This Page

Welcome to the Seismic FAQ. This FAQ is still very new, and being a work in progress many areas may be missing or incomplete. If you find an error, or would like to make a contribution, please contact me at .

Purpose of this FAQ
The purpose of the Seismic FAQ is to help answer those questions which are fundamental to understanding earthquakes and related phenomena. The intent is to bring education to the uneducated. It is my sincere hope that the information provided by this FAQ will help the reader to understand the what, where, when, why, and how of earthquakes. Earthquakes can be a scary thing, but most of this fear is from lack of knowledge. With a little understanding, much of the fear diminishes.

The driving force for developing this FAQ was the mass of questions in the newsgroup sci.geo.earthquakes after the devastating 9.0 earthquake and tsunami in the Indian Ocean on December 26, 2004. That newsgroup went from a normal of about 20 to 30 posts per day to over 200 per day after that quake. No earthquake has ever generated so much traffic in this newsgroup as this one. But then, no earthquake has had such far reaching effects in modern times.

These questions, while asked honestly, were being answered by persons who did not know, or thought they new the answers. Many people were giving answers based on their personal pet theories instead of the facts accepted by the community of geophysicists and seismologists. This has resulted in much miseducation and the perpuation of erroneous knowledge.

Although the focus of this FAQ is on information that is accepted by the scientific community, I shall eventually add sections addressing some of these alternate theories and the problems with them.

Version History

v000 (December 28, 2004) - This is the birth of the Seismic FAQ. Very basic.
v0.1 (January 07, 2005) - This is the first online version. Not all sections complete, but it's online!
v0.2 (January 08, 2005) - Completed all exisiting parts of Section I. More may be added later.
v0.3 (January 11, 2005) - Added some online resources for Section VII, including headings for data, software, maps, webicorders. Added to the formatting with sub-menus in each section. Completed much of existing headings in Section IV on tsunami.
v0.3a (January 14, 2005) - Minor update to add section on "beach balls" with animation graphics.
v0.3b (January 19, 2005) - I've decided animations will be available in AVI and MOV (Quick Time) formats. I've updated the typs of faults section in Section II - The Details, with animations.
v0.4 (February 14, 2005) - Continued adding to the FAQ, concentrating on the predictions section.