Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

U.S. Geological Survey scientists, research help Haiti reconstruction

Date:
March 4, 2010
Source:
United States Geological Survey
Summary:
USGS scientists are helping Haitians lay the groundwork for reconstruction and long-term earthquake monitoring in the wake of the Jan. 12, 2010, magnitude-7 earthquake, by providing geologic research that will assist with the establishment of new building codes in the country.

Collapsed multi-story residence in Port-au-Prince following the magnitude-7 earthquake that struck Haiti on Jan. 12, 2010. The weight of heavy concrete floors and roofs was often too great for the modest strength in support columns, as evidenced here.
Credit: Walter Mooney, U.S. Geological Survey

USGS scientists are helping Haitians lay the groundwork for reconstruction and long-term earthquake monitoring in the wake of the Jan. 12, 2010, magnitude-7 earthquake, by providing geologic research that will assist with the establishment of new building codes in the country.

"USGS research will contribute to explicit recommendations to both the Haitian government and the international community that is assisting the reconstruction efforts," said Walter Mooney, USGS research geophysicist, who recently returned from Haiti.

The most recent USGS scientists traveling to Haiti are Carol Prentice and Rich Briggs, who arrived on Feb. 24, 2010. Prentice and Briggs will work with scientists from the University of Texas to measure coastal uplift. This USGS team of scientists is part of the Earthquake Disaster Assistance Team program, a new initiative between the USGS and the USAID Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance.

This research follows the work of Mooney and a team with expertise in seismology and earthquake engineering from the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, who were in Haiti between Jan. 26 and Feb. 3, 2010. This team, supported by the United States Southern Command, surveyed Port-au-Prince to understand the geologic and engineering factors that contributed to the greatest damage from the shaking.

Mooney says new building codes for reconstruction in Haiti will be based, in part, on USGS research on geologic conditions that make some areas more at risk for damage than others. Currently, Haiti has no such standards in place, a factor that contributed to the recent widespread devastation.

"It's imperative that we move quickly," he adds, "because in some areas reconstruction has already begun that may not withstand another earthquake of this magnitude."

Soil conditions, for example, play a big role in how a building fares during an earthquake. "Specifically, we found that buildings on harder, more stable bedrock fared much better than buildings on softer sediments, such as those located in the center of cities like Port-au-Prince and Leogane," Mooney said.

The USGS scientists also installed seismic monitoring stations onto hard rock, as well as in the softer sedimentary basins. These monitoring stations precisely measure the location, frequency, and severity of the shaking, giving scientists the ability to assess the most dangerous and vulnerable areas.

Though an earthquake of this magnitude has not occurred since 1860, another large earthquake could strike Haiti in the near future. Beyond the immediate research following this earthquake, long-term monitoring using GPS will measure changes in the movement of the fault that runs through Haiti.

A PDF of the report from the USGS and Earthquake Engineering Research Institute team is now available online at http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2010/1048/


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by United States Geological Survey. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

United States Geological Survey. "U.S. Geological Survey scientists, research help Haiti reconstruction." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 March 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100304112230.htm>.
United States Geological Survey. (2010, March 4). U.S. Geological Survey scientists, research help Haiti reconstruction. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100304112230.htm
United States Geological Survey. "U.S. Geological Survey scientists, research help Haiti reconstruction." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100304112230.htm (accessed September 21, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Climate Change Rally Held in India Ahead of UN Summit

Climate Change Rally Held in India Ahead of UN Summit

AFP (Sep. 20, 2014) Some 125 world leaders are expected to commit to action on climate change at a UN summit Tuesday called to inject momentum in struggling efforts to tackle global warming. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Music With Recycled Instruments at Colombia Fest

New Music With Recycled Instruments at Colombia Fest

AFP (Sep. 19, 2014) Jars, bottles, caps and even a pizza box, recovered from the trash, were the elements used by four musical groups at the "RSFEST2014 Sonorities Recycling Festival", in Colombian city of Cali. Duration: 00:49 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Wildfires in CA Burn Forest Asunder

Raw: Wildfires in CA Burn Forest Asunder

AP (Sep. 18, 2014) An out-of-control Northern California wildfire has nearly 2,800 people from their homes as it continues to grow, authorities said Thursday. Authorities said a man has been arrested on suspicion of arson for starting the fire on Saturday. (Sept. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

AP (Sep. 18, 2014) Grand the elephant has successfully undergone surgery to remove a portion of infected tusk at Tbilisi Zoo in Georgia. British veterinary surgeons used an electric drill to extract the infected piece. (Sept. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins