skip to main content

Science Nation: Earthquakes to the Core--Researchers Drill Down at the Epicenter

2 minutes 33 seconds

Now Playing As: Captioned (English) (change)

Report a Problem

Understanding what happens at the epicenter of an earthquake, as the tectonic plates beneath the earth shift and the earth shakes, could help better predict when and where the next big one will hit. For the past six years scientists from a number of institutions have joined in a project called San Andreas Fault Observatory at Depth, or SAFOD. They have drilled to the core of the San Andreas Fault, near Parkfield California, down to a specific area along the fault known to experience a number of small earthquakes every year. By retrieving and studying core rock samples from that site, geologists Chris Marone and Brett Carpenter and hydrogeologist Demian Saffer are getting a better understanding of the types of rocks involved in major quakes, versus the rocks present at more forgiving ones.

Media Details

Runtime: 2 minutes 33 seconds

Computer screens with color-shaded images of a spiral shaped storm. Caption: study hurricanes, tornadoes, and blizzards from the inside.
Science Nation
Episode 1
3 minutes 14 seconds
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Person filling a glass from a faucet. Caption: our risk of contracting some form of cancer would go up.
Science Nation
Episode 2
3 minutes 9 seconds
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Green landscape with a hillside in the background. A small industrial installation is present. Caption: They don't know where to get information they can trust.
Science Nation
Episode 3
3 minutes 7 seconds
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Robotic arms manipulating a small ball. Caption: is pushing the world of robotics and prosthetics
Science Nation
Episode 4
3 minutes 47 seconds
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Bolt of lightning arcing from cloud to ground. Caption: we all want up-to-the-minute information.
Science Nation
Episode 5
3 minutes 9 seconds
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Cluster of nerve fibers. Caption: that can image deep into biological tissue,
Science Nation
Episode 6
3 minutes 6 seconds
Grade Level: 9 - 12
Dirty water with bubbles and PVC pipes. Caption: and reused again and again in a sustainable loop.
Science Nation
Episode 7
3 minutes 4 seconds
Grade Level: 9 - 12
Person with a fabric cap strapped to their head. The cap has metal rivets and wires attached. Captions: (female) it feels maybe like a mild itchy or tingling sensation.
Science Nation
Episode 8
3 minutes 3 seconds
Grade Level: 9 - 12
Microscopic image showing web-like structures and C shaped tubular organisms. Caption: (narrator) The soil itself is home to a vast number of tiny microbes,
Science Nation
Episode 9
3 minutes 35 seconds
Grade Level: 7 - 12
White glowing orb against a black grid. Caption: Weakly Interacting Massive Particle
Science Nation
Episode 10
3 minutes 19 seconds
Grade Level: 10 - 12