Tuesday, December 06, 2005

World's tallest building triggers earthquake?

The world's tallest building, Taipei 101, situated in Tawain, is being blamed for the increased number and magnitude of earthquake tremors that have occurred beneath it. The building, situated on soft sedimentary rocks, is 508m tall and exerts 0.5Mpa on the ground. It has been argued that these stresses are transferred 10km down to the upper crust and have re-activated an ancient fault. Although the number and magnitude of earthquake tremors have increased since construction commenced, some argue that this could simple reflect short-term variability in the natural cycle of events. Others also argue that stresses cannot be transferred to such a depth below the Earth's surface. Furthermore, the total load applied to the ground by Taipei 101 is negligible compared to some stuructures such as dams. What do YOU think?