Earth’s gravity altered by 2011 Japanese Tōhoku earthquake

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The Extinction Protocol

December 4, 2013TOKYOJapan’s devastating earthquake in 2011 left its mark on more than the town of Fukushima. The European Space Agency (ESA) says that it had an impact on Earth’s gravity as well. Scientists used data from ESA’s GOCE satellite to show the effects of the 9.0 earthquake that struck east of Japan’s Honshu Island on March 11, 2011. The strength of gravity varies from place to place on Earth, and earthquakes can deform our planet’s crust and cause tiny changes in local gravity. GOCE spent four years mapping out Earth’s gravity with unrivaled precision. One reason values of gravity differ on Earth is because the materials within Earth are inhomogenous and are unevenly distributed. Since earthquakes shift around rock and other material tens of miles below the surface, they cause small changes in the local gravity. Earthquakes under oceans can also change the shape of…

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