How strong was the earthquake?

How strong was the earthquake?

Want to know how strong the 9.0 earthquake that caused the tsunami was? It was so strong that it shorted the length of the day!

That’s right, it caused a 600 mile by 100 mile chunk of land to fall 30 feet closer to the center of the planet, causing the rotation to speed up (like an ice skater pulling her arms in to her body to spin faster; I think it’s called angular momentum). The day is now 10,000th of a second shorter.

It also caused the planet to shift on its axis, moving the North Pole by about 10 feet. That gives you an idea of the power involved.

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli