News Articles and Maps of the Hatian Earthquake

February 10, 2010

After the devastating January 2010 earthquake in Haiti, a NASA satellite took a radar image of Haiti.  The article explains that the radar image shows the fault responsible for the earthquake (black arrow).  With this image NASA scientists determined that the fault has ruptured another 25 miles westward, possibly leading to future earthquakes.  In a few months another radar image will be taken of the area and compared to the recently taken photo.  Scientists will then be able to measure land movement and have a better estimate for future quakes.

The closeness of the capital of Haiti (yellow arrow) to the fault is clearly depicted, as well as information regarding the fault’s physical state.  Although the map seems relatively simple, it is complex in that the fault cannot really be seen and this is a false color image.  The map’s accuracy and clarity makes it a reliable source for future predictions of the fault.

Although the radar map does not offer details regarding the earthquake’s effects, other maps do.  This article from CNN.com discusses  the devastation that the country experienced and the large task of rebuilding the capitol.  A series of satellite photos act as a map and allow a “before and after” view of several severely affected locations.  The map emphasizes the destruction caused by the earthquake, and makes the reader sympathetic.  The map does not, however, include any written details or labels.  If labels or descriptions were added, such as marking points mentioned in the article on the map, the two would convey the information more easily and clearly.

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2 Responses to “News Articles and Maps of the Hatian Earthquake”

  1. jswider2 said

    Great post. I have found that the use of satellite and radar imagery has become very common and obviously useful. I noticed you mentioned that in a month they will take another radar to see the movement but I was wondering what they will use as a reference point or how they measure movement? I see that this is only a small radar and I know that plate tectonics all move in different directions so will they be able to provide a large enough radar to predict other earthquakes along the plate. I dont know that much on the subject and just found that the multiple radars were interesting because they are both taken after the earthquakes and how they would be able to decipher the movement.

  2. rgraves3 said

    This is a great post! The radar image really helps depict the proximity of the fault to the capital of Haiti. I think it’s interesting that they can now compare radar images of fault lines to aide in predicting future earthquakes. I agree with your analysis of the map, the map could definitely use some sort of legend to aide in identifying the fault and the capital. Also, since the map doesn’t show any “before & after” data I think it’s safe to say that the authors of the map were merely trying to document changes in the fault.

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