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Modelling tectonic hazard (Eugene N. Miya)
NAS Program, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA
(original, smirk)

The following was originaly posted to ca.earthquakes.  Several people have
requested I post this to rec.humor.funny.  OK.

Point of reference:
the attribution is the edited disclaimer from the USGS's informational
bulletins.  Reference is made to three people, one of whom posts to
ca.earthquakes, the other two are ski buddies whom are the one person's
grad advisors.

>  The commentary provided with this map(s) is for INFORMATIONAL
>USE ONLY, and SHOULD NOT be construed as an earthquake prediction,
>warning, or advisory.  Responsibility for such warnings rests with
>the Office of Emergency Services of the State of California.
>  Releasing this summary on a timely basis requires that the
>data, analysis, and interpretation presented is PRELIMINARY. Of
>necessity they can only reflect the views of the seismologists who
>prepared them, and DO NOT carry the endorsement of the U.S.G.
>Thus while every effort is made to ensure that the information is
>accurate, nothing contained in this report is to be construed as
>and earthquake prediction, warning, advisory, or official policy
>statement of any kind, of the U.S. Government.

The "Big One" is modelled.  Unexpected results occurred which can affect 
the socio-economic future of the state.

Problem statment:
To satisfy the public's incessant desire to know about a California
earthquake.  It is generally agreed that the major seismic hazard
exists in the southern portion of the state.

The desire is to model the effects of "The Big One."

A map model of the state of California was purchased.
The map was composed of a homogeneous, organic, collodial solid.
Foregoing the usual paper machete and attempts to model the properties
of the usual batholiths, strata, slip faults, and structure, this research
made the bold stroke of using a relief map composed of a milk chocolate.

The topographic chocolate relief map was a 1:20,000,000 scale
model purchased from a retailer in the city of San Jose, CA.
The vertical scale likely had exaggerated relief.  All the more tasty.
The San Andreas and other fault systems are clearly distinguishable.
We assume that the thicker portions of the solid (Z > z for all Z,z > 0.0)
are likely to resist movement and shear stress than the thinner portions.
Topographic details are rendered as delicious lithographic landforms.

A specific geographic area is covered.
It is an acknowledged concern that the area near Ft. Tejon, CA has had
minimal movement (in excess of statistical averages).  The area is notable
for it is also the intersection of both the San Andreas AND the Garlock Fault
zones.  The methods simulates the input of energy into the epicenter
involved the sudden application of force to this model area by means of
a quick blow using a Mid-European Country Military sharp instrument.


This model is limited to crustal activity and does not involve lower
activity in the mantle.
Continental shelf, slope, and sea bed were not modelled and instead were
composed of a uniformly thick slab of sweet milk chocolate.
The same thickness extended thru the states of Oregon, Nevada, and
the model of country in Mexico.

It is difficult to build a model on a fluid mantle, so we ignore those for
this study.  It was cheap.


Catastrophic failure took place took place in an unexpected
direction.  Rather than the expect NW-SE direction along the San Andreas
trace, the Garlock sheared and the Southern portion of the state fractured.

Regretably, the model was destroyed during the test.  The impact of
the shock was beyond the capability of repair.  The model was consumed.


This violated the standard hypothesis that the portions of the
Pacific plate would either slid past the North American plate or
the Eastern hypothesis that all of CA would fall into the sea.
(we failed to simulate seabed).

The model has clear limitations.  The assumption of homogeneous media
is clearly an over-simplification of real tectonic structures.  This research
clearly requires higher quality solid materials.  The clear determinant
was the thickness of the chocolate layer, then the adequacy of this model
is based on this thickness so we consider it an adequate 1-D model.
[The model was made in Denver, perhaps Swiss chocolate might even be better.]

Repercussions of this model's prediction can change the socio econmic
patterns of the state.  Perhaps the traditional split of the
state into a Northern component and a Southern component is warrented.
The North could form a new country, or the Southern might become a
new State for Mexico.  The possibilities are endless.

Continued research:

The next step of an adequate 2-D model is needed, then 3-D.
Further funding for purchase of the homogeneous media might offer
new insights into the behavior of thes models.  We hope continued
research using these models by colleagues such as Smither, Ahrens, and Kamb
might produce further insights in solids geophysics.
Larger scale models might be recommended (perhaps a 1:5,300,000 scale?)
Added relief might also add chocolate.
Adding features to models can include surrogates such as nuts (i.e., cashews,
peanuts, etc.) thus simulating interesting subsurface anomalies.

E. Callenbach, Ecotopia.
E. Callenbach, Ecotopia Emerging.

--e. nobuo miya, NASA Ames Research Center,
  {uunet,mailrus,other gateways}!ames!eugene
  Should this have been cross posted to ca.general as well?

(From the "Rest" of RHF)

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