Article #103 Seismic Innovation: Earthquake Building Advancement in Chile

Chile has a history of earthquakes, many of which have been extremely powerful. Thankfully, the Chilean government understands how crucial it is to protect its citizens and to mitigate extreme disaster by enforcing some of the strongest building codes in the world. Let’s analyze this more so we can understand why the rest of the world needs to model Chile’s

This diagram shows a highly detailed analysis of aftershocks up to 2 days after the 8.3 Earthquake that took place on September 16th, 2015. Chile is positioned on the southeastern section of the Pacific “Ring of Fire” so earthquakes and tsunamis are extremely common in the area.

This map is an example of how much the Earth actually moves during an earthquake. Data from the Copernicus Sentinel-1A satellite (Operated by the European Space Agency) and other data retrieved by ground stations from the U.S. Geological Survey allowed scientists to see exactly how much the ground moved before and after the 8.3 magnitude earthquake between August 24th and September 17th 2015. The Sentinel-1A has a synthetic aperture radar (SAR) instrument, that beams radio signals toward the ground and measures the reflections to determine the distance between the ground and the satellite over various periods of time. (Map Credit: NASA Earth Observatory)


This cathedral in Chillán, Chile was designed to be earthquake proof and replaced the former cathedral that collapsed after a strong quake during 1939. The building suffered only broken windows during the powerful 8.8 magnitude quake that occurred on February 27th, 2010. The 2010 mega quake killed over 500 people and it is estimated that the event caused losses of 15-30 billion dollars to the Chilean economy. (Photo Credit: US Geological Survey via Flickr)
Large ships are thrown on shore in Coquimbo, Chile after the 2015 Illapel earthquake produced tsunami waves between 15 and 20 feet high. The earthquake measured 8.3 on the moment magnitude scale and was the second most powerful Chilean earthquake in recent decades. (Photo Credit: Sfs90 via Wikimedia Commons)