During the decade 2004-2014, 18 huge earthquakes with seismic magnitudes larger than 8.0 struck around the world, sometimes causing horrendous destruction and loss of life. The annual rate of such events was 2.5 times greater than had been experienced over the previous century of seismological observations. Deployment of global networks of very high-quality seismic, geodetic, and tsunami recording systems provided recordings of these events that have been used to discover much about complex nature.
Thorne Lay is Distinguished Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences at the University of California Santa Cruz, where he has been located since 1990. Previously he was a faculty member at the University of Michigan, after receiving his Ph.D. in Geophysics from the California Institute of Technology in 1983. His research area is seismology, and includes studies of large earthquake ruptures, internal structure of the Earth, and seismic monitoring of nuclear testing treaties.
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