Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Earthquakes in Norway

Small Country, Small Earthquakes

Stourragurra fault in Finnmark, Northern Norway

I know what I'm made of; organic material or biomass if you like. As such I cannot distinguish myself from the other biomass composing the biosphere of the Earth and therefore not the Earth itself. However, for the sake of my point I will talk about the Earth as opposed to humans and human activity and of how we can protect both Earth itself and what we as humans construct out of and on the Earth.

There is nothing we can do about earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis and other natural hazards on Earth. What we can do is to understand and try to predict this violent behavior of the planet, and by that protect both ourself and the planet from the consequences.

I am particularly thinking of how we can avoid building nuclear plants and the likes on top of a volcano or in a earthquake prone area. We can also calculate the expected shaking and construct our houses so that they can at least last smaller quakes.

Norway is prone with earthquakes. It is not only the fact that the country is small and remotely situation up north that might make you feel ignorant not knowing the first thing about Norway (perhaps :-)), it could also be the fact that the earthquakes are relatively small and therefore less talked about.

However small Norway is population wise with its less than 5 million people, it is a big oil, shipping and fishing nation. Norway has therefore obtained substantial information about its earthquakes. Imagine what could happen with oil and gas pipelines etc if the Earth shook them hard enough?

Understanding earthquakes and other natural hazards is therefore of out most importance also in an environmental perspective.


Earthquakes in and around Norway. Read more about them by clicking on the map. (NORSAR)

This is a post in the Earth Day series.

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