Earthquake Visualization Tools – An Introduction


The vast majority of earthquakes occur below ground and never cause a physical break in the surface land. When this does happen it can be dramatic, as seen in this photo of a fence in Pt. Reyes split by the 1906 San Andreas earthquake. But researchers need to see inside the ground and the public needs an easy way to understand the complex geology and seismology of these events that can literally change our lives.

In this series of Posts we will look at four different types of visualization tools:

  • Earthquake monitoring — historic and today’s real-time monitoring and notification
  • Earthquake mapping — digital, on the Web, Smartphone apps
  • Earthquake scenario tools designed to illustrate what might happen
  • Modeling tools for geophysical study of fault structures and slippage

Most of these are readily available to the general public and give us all access to a better understanding of what may, and does, happen when the earth really moves beneath our feet.