Thursday, February 11, 2010

Haiti: Using Technology to Prevent Further Catastrophe

It's funny that humans only decide to begin taking stern measures against disaster-prevention after something catastrophic has taken place. It's taken this. The lives of almost 200 000 people to focus in on the danger of the fault line located near Port-au-Prince to bring attention to the fact that early earthquake detection is really needed for the nation of Haiti.As it looks, geologists predict that it is only going to worsen.

The earthquake has increased the stress on this eastern section of the fault south of Port-au-Prince and the section west of the rupture. This has significantly increased the risk of a future earthquake, according to a recent report by the U.S. Geological Survey.

False-color composite image of the Port-au-Prince, Haiti region, taken Jan. 27, 2010 by NASA’s UAVSAR airborne radar. The city is denoted by the yellow arrow; the black arrow points to the fault responsible for the Jan. 12 earthquake. Image credit: NASA

Taken from this NASA article discussing how scientists in this field will use radar image capturing to detect motions and pressures building up within the Earth's crust over periods of time. These satellite images will be fundamental for earthquake detections especially along fault zones such as that of what caused the Haitian earthquake some weeks ago.

This image will be combined with other images of the same area to be acquired later this month and in the future in order to measure the motion of Earth’s surface during the time between images using a technique called interferometry.The interferometric measurements will allow scientists to study the pressures building up and being released on the fault at depth.

Well. At least. 

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