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.

(Taipei 101)

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 | | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 1 )

Related News Stories - (" Engineering ")

Dune Fans! Power Your Devices With Sweaty Shirts
Yet another power source from humans.

Zero Mass 'Vaporators' Pull Drinking Water From The Air
Did you think of Star Wars?

Integrated Circuits Printed Right Onto Fabric!
'...a shirt that displayed email on its sleeve. - Margaret Atwood, 2003.

Drones Guided By The Mind Alone
'His treads left no tracks upon the floor...' - Clifford Simak, 1961.



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.






Current News

Save Your Brain's Connectome, Upload Yourself Elsewhere
'You've got remote storage. How regular is the update?'

TMS Decreases Belief In God, Increases Belief In Immigrants
'... setting up the same currents, the same basic ideas, in them all.'

Loomo Mini Transporter Robot Companion You Ride On
'Slowly the [robot] horse raised its head, wiggled its ears, blinked twice, gave a tentative whinny.'

Soft Robotics - Now With 3D Printed Sensors!
'A series of chemelectric afferent nerve-analogues, which permitted it to gauge to an ounce the amount of pressure necessary to snap a bone...'

AI Tool Lynx Insight And The Cybernetic Newsroom
'The structure,... was once a great homeostatic newspaper, the New York Times. It printed itself directly below us...'

Espresso Telescope Searches For Exoplanets
'These instruments were the wonderful ones our astronomers had perfected.'

Dune Fans! Metal-Organic Frameworks Make Science Fiction Real
'Dew collectors,' he muttered, enchanted by the simple beauty of such a scheme.

Manned Maneuvering Unit From 1984
'The glittering little rocket bolted to the black iron behind him.'

Astronaut Gets Younger In Space
'So what we're looking for now is not an antibiotic - an anti-life drug - but an anti-agathic, an anti-death drug...'

Blockchain Used To Verify Election Results
'Any adult could punch into the phone his or her code, followed by a yes or no.'

IJOP Integrated Joint Operations Platform China's Minority Report?
'All day long the idiots babbled, imprisoned in their special high-backed chairs...'

HushMe Bluetooth Device Reinvents The Hush-A-Phone
'Talking into a hush-a-phone which he had plugged into the telephone jack...'

Ultrathin Brain Needle Developed At MIT
Putting drugs into a selected cubic millimeter within the living brain.

Tesla Semi Truck Now At Work
Why wait? Tesla Semi now hard at work.

Illustris: The Next Generation Of Universe Simulation
'This digital device was ... A machine able literally to contain the Universe Itself...'

Scaly Yet Soft Robotic Snake
Love those robotic sneks.

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise | - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.