Earthquake in Japan causes shift in earth's axis

by Maddy Hughes
The earthquake that brought on a tsunami in Japan Friday left significant changes beyond just the damage it did to Japan, NASA discovered and made public for many news sources to report. USA Today and Yahoo News both told of the record-breaking earthquake's effects on the planet.

It turns out that in its wake, the 8.9-magnitude earthquake moved the location of Japan 13 feet closer to the U.S., according to geophysicist Ross Stein at the United States Geological Survey. It also shifted the balance of the planet, making the earth spin slightly faster, and therefore shortening the day by 1.6 microseconds.

As the pacific tectonic plate slid beneath the North American plate, the eastern coast of Japan sunk and was consumed by the tsumani, which sent waves traveling at 500 mph.

Richard Gross from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory said that these changes are no cause for concern, as shifts in the earth's axis are not unusual and happen because of changes in other forces like atmospheric winds and ocean currents.

But this natural disaster has definitely been a cause for deep concern in Japan, where it has killed nearly 10,000, and in Hawaii, Maui, Oahu, and Kauai, all of which were affected by the tsunami.

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This page contains a single entry by hugh0377 published on March 15, 2011 7:39 PM.

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