Taipei 101 Tower Causing Earthquakes?
Taipei 101, the tallest building in the world, may be causing small earthquakes in the Taipei basin. According to geologist Lin Cheng-horng, a member of Taiwan's most prestigious think tank (the Academia Sinica), earthquake activity has been up since the construction of the tower. The ordinarily stable area has felt about two micro-quakes per year during the construction period (1997-2003); two larger quakes of magnitude 3.8 and 4.2 have occurred directly beneath the tower since the project has been completed.
Lin states that the steel and concrete used to build Taipei 101 weighs 700,000 tons and estimates that the stress from vertical loading (700,000 tons over 3.7 acres) exerts a pressure of 4.7 bars on the ground below.
Special construction techniques used in the building heighten the effect:
"The construction of Taipei 101 is totally different to many other high-rise buildings because it used hybrid structures made of both concrete and steel, to give it added protection from earthquakes and fire. Therefore it has a huge vertical loading on its foundation," says Dr Lin.
In his paper, published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, Dr. Lin suggests that stress might be transferred into the upper crust due to the soft sedimentary rocks beneath the Taipei basin. Other geologists express skepticism, citing the relatively short period for which data is available, and the depth of the recent quakes (about 10 kilometers).
As it happens, an early science fiction author wrote a (black humor!) story about the perils of a point load on the earth's surface. William Livingston Alden (1837-1908) wrote in his 1907 short story The Earthquake about an eccentric scientist who figured out how to store gravity in a manner analogous to the storage of electricity. He stored enough gravity in a forty-five foot high conical structure to actually pull the moon down from the sky. Regrettably, the device causes the San Francisco earthquake. Not to be deterred, the inventor moves his apparatus to Valparaiso, Chile and reloads it - with similar results.
Should you find yourself on the upper levels of Taipei 101, you might take comfort in the fact that it has the world's fastest elevator; read more about The skyscraper that may cause earthquakes.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 12/4/2005)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 1 )
Related News Stories -
Stick-On Tape Speakers, As Predicted By Bruce Sterling
Flexible tape speakers, someday.
Has Climate Change Already Been Solved By Aliens?
'I had explained," said Nessus, "that our civilisation was dying in its own waste heat.' - Larry Niven, 1970.
Skin Electronics 3D Printed
'June's body is a tracery of lambent lines, like some arcane capillary circuitry...' - Paul Di Filippo, 1985
Super-Resolution Microscopy Provides '4D' Views
View the magnified interior of living cells.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Sleeep PRO Earplug For Maximum Rest
'Merton... placed the electrodes of the sleep-inducer on his forehead.'
Inspired By Japan, Nap Pods For Hajj
It's always a good time for a nap.
Amphibio 3D Printed Gill Shirt
'... we can descend and live down there at one of those year-round aquatic resorts.'
How Do You Put An Asteroid Into Earth Orbit? Carefully!
'...she would have to be coaxed by another series of pats into a circular orbit.'
PD Aerospace Space Plane By 2023
'The sleek, tapered space shuttle lay immobile upon the private landing field...'
Foldimate Folds Your Clothes Perfectly
Look ma, my room is clean! I can hear you now.
Robots Help People Get Dressed, As Predicted In 1931
Yes, people of the future, robots will dress you.
International Space Station Leak Plugged - With Finger
'These tag-alongs search out stray leaks.'
Robot Snake Flies, Fights Fires
Just a prototype, but still amazing.
IPAL Chinese Robot Babysitter
'But Nanny is different...'
ZKZM-500 LASER Assault Rifle
'The Iranian reached back into the locker and got a pair of laserifles.'
LA Subway Scanner, As Seen In 'Total Recall'
'I'm afraid to tell you this Mr. Quaid, but you have suffered a schizoed embolism...'
Sion Electric Car Covered With Solar Panels
'It drew its power from six square yards of sunpower screens on its low curved roof.'
PAL-V Liberty Flying Helicopter Car
'...lifted themselves to skimming flight upon whirling helicopters."
Space Drones - UK's Effective Space To Launch Rocket Tugs
'Twenty rocket tugs towed it from its Earth hangar out into space.'
DIY Autonomous Robot Detects Trash
'The search-bug detached itself and rolled forward.'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories