Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Earthquakes in Dutch Gas Fields


Earthquakes in the Groningen Gas Field is a great mapped visualization of earthquakes caused by gas drilling in the Groningen region of the Netherlands.

The map animates through the history of Groningen earthquakes in chronological order, since 1987. While the map animation plays a series of related facts and other information scrolls across the bottom of the map. The map also makes good use of sound effects to indicate when an earthquake appears on the map, with a different sound used for the more significant quakes.

It is worth viewing the whole of the animated visualization. When it finishes you are rewarded with a link to an in-depth investigation into the effect of the quakes on the people and buildings of Groningen. This includes an explanation of why the gas-drilling caused earthquakes are so damaging, The earthquakes are very shallow so have much more effect than normal earthquakes. Because they occur so near to the surface a gas quake of 2 on the Richter scale has much more of an effect than a natural earthquake of the same magnitude, which occurs much deeper.
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