The enormous Chilean earthquake last month not only shifted the Earth’s axis and shortened the length of a day, it actually moved the city of Concepción 10 feet to the west.
Studying precise GPS images of the area struck by the quake, a team led by earth scientist Mike Bevis discovered that the Chilean city of Concepción had moved 10 feet to the west. The epicenter of the quake was 71 miles northeast of Concepción, which is Chile’s second largest city.
The effect was widespread: The capital city, Santiago, was wrenched 11 inches west-southwest, while Beunos Aires, located nearly 800 miles from the epicenter, jumped an inch to the west. The earthquake was the fifth largest ever to be recorded by seismographs and even caused far-off areas like Fortaleza, Brazil and the Falkland Islands to change location slightly.
UPDATE at 3/11/10 10:05:50 am:
And the continental plates are still shifting: More quakes hit Chile as new president takes over.
SANTIAGO, Chile – A series of strong aftershocks from last month’s devastating quake rocked Chile on Thursday as a new president was sworn into office and immediately urged coastal residents to move to higher ground in case of a tsunami.
The strongest aftershock, with a magnitude of 6.9, was nearly as strong as the quake that devastated Haiti’s capital on Jan. 12. There were no immediate reports of damages or injuries.