Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Shake, rattle and roll

From the Null Space archives on earthquakes in Pittsburgh.  Commenters here have said the closest fault is actually under Erie, and thus not something to worry about.  I am not a geologist so I can't add value to that evaluation in itself.  The fact that an aftershock was felt in the region at least raises a few questions.  Even if the general risk is low, there are some things to think about. Not all regions are as earthquake-tolerant as others and what would be benign elsewhere might have more impact here. I'm pretty sure a 5.8 earthquake might not even make it into the local news in Tokyo. Pittsburgh, on the other hand, has an infrastructure that is a bit less prepared than the situation across the Kanto plain.  I would bet the greatest risk from even some moderate shaking probably  lies with...  yup...  the PWSA.  Probably takes a lot less shaking here to have impacts on some of our archaic pipes than in a system which has had more investment over the decades century. As I went into in the old post, the smaller earthquake near Pymuntang, north of Pittsburgh,  had  a palpable impact on the water table, and thus local well water and as a result even an impact on some some specialized local labor markets. 

and these days Pennsylvania has a lot more pipes in the ground eh?


Anonymous MH said...

I am glad I was not on the Greenfield bridge or under it.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011 7:13:00 PM  

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