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    Earthquake Shaking Could Be Worse for Vancouver

    By By Becky Oskin, Staff Writer
    January 21, 2014, 4:49:36 AM EST

    Vancouver, British Columbia, is one of the handful of major North American metropolises with no damaging earthquakes since modern seismic monitors were invented.

    Without an earthquake record to provide insight into how the ground under the city shakes during quake, scientists aren't sure what will happen buildings in the City of Glass when a future earthquake strikes. Recent earthquakes in other cities, such as Christchurch, New Zealand, and Los Angeles, show that damage can concentrate in zones defined by buried geologic structures, such as sedimentary basins (lows or valleys filled by sediment). Basins increase shaking by focusing seismic energy, like a magnifying glass focuses light. Seismic waves can also ping-pong back and forth inside a basin, like waves sloshing inside a swimming pool.


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