Sidetrack: Awaji Island Nojima Fault Preservation Museum

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During my recent visit to Awaji Island, I went to the Nojima Fault Preservation Museum. The Nojima fault was the cause of the 1995 Great Hanshin-Awaji earthquake that killed over 6400 people in the Kobe-Awaji area.

What was unique about the Nojima area of Awaji Island was that the fault plane was clearly visible as it sheared the earth up several centimeters and laterally a meter or so. This caused roads, ditches, hedges, fences, and buildings to buckle and shear in a unique fashion. The photos below express it best. After the earthquake, an effort was made to preseve the physical evidence by building a museum over it.

This photo shows the shear line clearly. The two halves are composed of different types of soils because this area has been seismologically active for some time, causing the two halves to exhibit different properties.


A closeup of the escavated shear line:


A side-view of the shear line:


From the outside, this fence traversed the fault line:


The insides of a house, restored (?) to its condition right after the earthquake:


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This page contains a single entry by Karen Nakamura published on September 15, 2007 6:37 AM.

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