September 25, 2010

All 1011 aftershocks still dwarfed by the strength of the initial quake

University of Canterbury doctoral student John Holdaway has worked out that the September 4 quake released 2.8 quadrillion joules of energy. A quadrillion is one followed by 15 zeroes.

That dwarfed the 92 trillion joules combined unleashed by the 1011 aftershocks to noon yesterday, which was only 3.2 per cent of the total energy released.

Share your earthquake experience and photos here.

Holdaway estimated the September 4 quake involved enough energy to power Christchurch for two weeks.

Visiting professor Kevin Furlong, of Penn State University, used a different measure.

It was the same as eating about two billion chocolate bars, or about 500 bars for every man, woman and child in New Zealand, eaten in about 25 seconds, he said.

Thats a lot of power, and chocolate.. no wonder the earth moved so much, and for so long.
Next time can we just have the chocolate!

Posted via email from Four Paws and Whiskers


  1. Now that is strong I only eat one bar That's why I don't have much energy
    Heard there was a 5.6 this morning in the waikato on the north island

  2. I find all this a bit bewildering if I'm honest. The actual energy release means little to those suffering the trauma of the event and aftershocks.

    I do hope that soon all your lives will return to normal.

  3. Thanks Marja, and GB - we just had no idea that there would be so many aftershocks - and we certainly fail to appreciate just how much energy it takes to rattle the land so badly. Kind of relieved that despite all the aftershocks, nothing has compared to the first night of fear....and hopefully won't. 2006 they wrote this!

  4. I cannot believe that this nightmare has gone on for so long. Hoping you have a relatively tremor free weekend.

  5. Vain hope Angus - been a few big one this weekend
    still reeling from three just now - all centred very very close to us and well away from the usual epicentres


Comments welcome....always love to hear what you think!


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