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Stress of Sliding Plates Builds Near Chile

February 9, 2011 Comments off
 

Rafael Vallejos/European Pressphoto Agency

NEAR EPICENTER Concepción, Chile’s second-largest metropolitan area, was badly damaged in last February’s quake.

By HENRY FOUNTAIN

When a magnitude-8.8 earthquake struck off the coast of Chile last February, geophysicists and seismologists were not surprised. The quake’s epicenter was on a roughly 200-mile stretch of a fault where stresses had been building for nearly two centuries, and experts had expected that one day the strain would be relieved in a cataclysmic event.

But as scientists have pored over volumes of data from what may turn out to be the best-studied major earthquake yet, they have concluded that Read more…