Reducing Quake Risk Through Soil Mapping

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Five years ago this month, a magnitude 7.0 earthquake devastated the island nation of Haiti and destroyed large sections of its capital, Port-au-Prince. In the wake of this disaster, geologists commissioned by the United Nations set out to make the first comprehensive soil map of the city. The map details the makeup and stiffness of the ground beneath the city, providing important clues about how seismic waves travel through the soil. 

As the city continues to rebuild, scientists are combining this new knowledge of local soils with experience from quake-hit areas around the world. The hope is that this hard-won information will make the rebuilt Port-au-Prince more resilient in the face of any future quakes.

Learn more about earthquakes in Nature’s Fury: The Science of Natural Disasters.