|This is the seismograph from Wupatki, Arizona. There weren't many closer, and I quite liked how clearly the P-wave and S-wave showed up in this one.|
On February 28, at 10:54 am, I had just been picked up from school, and we were driving in my mother’s 1870s powder-blue Camaro towards The Big Swoopy Hill. All of a sudden, the car swayed back and forth, the dashboard tilting up and down. It looked like that One Time My Dad Took the Car on the Potholed Forest Service Road Where People Go Mudding.
“Mum, do we have a flat?” I asked.
“No, I don’t think so. We might have run over a downed branch.” My mum looked in the rearview mirror. “Although I don’t see anything behind us…”
“Mum, look at the lady parked on the side of the road!”
“She’s getting back in her car, she’s ok.”
After we got back home, my mother worked on some legal briefs, and I worked on my report on deciduous trees. After an hour or so, the phone rang.
My mum picked it up. “Hello?”
“Are you ok? Is the house ok?” my dad asked, frantically.
“We’re fine… Are you?”
“There was an earthquake!”
We walked around the house, and, sure enough, some of the vases on top of the piano had shifted a little. The dishes had moved.
The next day at school, my classmates regaled me with tales of crawling under their plastic-topped desks, all the while imagining the back half of the portable buildings sinking into the ground. One girl even declared that she’d thought it was the Rapture.
|This is from a school near Nisqually. Our school only had a couple lights fall down, and was otherwise fine.|
|Well, I tried.|
|A fault plane solution for the Nisqually earthquake. The little circles are dilatations, and the little stars are compression - so you can see how part of the plate extended, compressing the material to either side.|
|A path near the State Capitol. One fellow looks depressed at the thought of all the work he's going to have to do. The other fellow looks like this is the coolest thing to ever happen - definitely a geologist.|
|Highway 101 - nobody really uses the right lane, do they?|
|The exterior of the State Capitol. You can see that some of the bricks are separating from the facade. The building was shut down for quite some time as it was examined for structural stability.|
|Looters run rampant in downtown Seattle.|
These fellows actually just found a co-worker's purse amidst the wreckage of their van.
|"Pssh, I've got nine lives, I ain't scared."|
|Some fellows braving aftershocks to repair the Viaduct so people can tempt fate.|
|A sand boil in Olympia.|
|Worst sweeping job ever.|
In addition to the websites linked through the above photos, here are some websites with information on the Nisqually earthquake:
Some Observations of Geotechnical Aspects of the February 28, 2001, Nisqually Earthquake in Olympia, South Seattle, and Tacoma, Washington
Geodetic Information from Central Washington University
The Nisqually Earthquake Information Clearinghouse, housed by the University of Washington
GPS Analysis of Olympia Quake from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
The Pacific Seismic Network's Nisqually Earthquake Page
USGS's Preliminary Earthquake Report
Washington State Department of Natural Resource's Nisqually Earthquake Page
Identifying the Rupture Plane of the 2001 Nisqually, Washington, Earthquake
A Video Taken Inside Microsoft During the Earthquake
KOMO News Broadcast from February 28, 2001
Car image: http://bit.ly/x4x9RL
This video made me laugh so hard I cried. It's ridiculous!