But that's not always the case in the real world, where zones of fractures around the break can slow the speeds of a quake's associated waves through the surface. If true for Sulawesi, this would mean the quake's pressure waves could have moved about as fast as its rupture speed, as is expected for supershear ruptures.
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The quake was still weirdly slow for supershear, but at least its waves and rupture would have moved at the right relative speeds. However, the scientists won't know for sure that this was the case without more study in the region. That's not the only thing unusual about the event. September's earthquake also seemed largely undeterred by two major bends in the fault.
Zigs and zags along the rupturing fault usually slow earthquakes, like cars on a winding road, but not this one.
And unlike most supershear breaks, which need a little warmup, the Palu temblor seemed to hit its galloping pace early on. This behavior raises even more questions. Could the fault be straighter at depth? This would have helped it barrel through bends higher up, Ampuero notes. Did smaller foreshocks supercharge the big quake?
This could have sent it galloping out of the gates. But this early speed could also have to do with the roughness of the fault, which could stick the sides together like the rough sides of sandpaper and cause the ground to break with extra oomph.
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These unusual features make this earthquake all the more valuable, since they can help researchers better understand both where and how super-fast quakes can happen. The scientists who reviewed the work all stressed the significance of this information for future modeling and hazard assessments not just in Indonesia, but around the globe. Read Caption.
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Deadly earthquake traveled at 'supersonic' speeds—why that matters A powerful temblor in Indonesia offered a detailed look at supershear, a phenomenon that can create the geologic version of a sonic boom. Around a.
While illegal to ski, the bowl sees plenty of traffic and there have been several avalanche fatalities since the s. The ski area had recorded 55 inches of new snow in the 16 days prior, with warm temperatures generating heavy, wet layers on top of a weak, rotten layer of early-season snowpack. The three snowboarders used radios to communicate as they navigated the avalanche-prone bowl. They rode down the bowl one at a time.
The snowboarders made their way to the valley floor and found a large pile of avalanche debris. CAIC reported the avalanche flowed 2, vertical feet through the narrow gully and over cliffs, before depositing snow as deep as 30 feet in a pile feet wide. There were many ski and snowboard tracks around the debris, reads the report.
One of the snowboarders searched the debris pile with his avalanche transceiver and probed the snow for about an hour, reads the report.
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He found nothing and the trio descended into town, warning a family walking up the trail of avalanche danger. JS Jenifer Subagna.
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