Watch this stunning sequence of the hundreds of aftershocks to the massive 9.0 earthquake that has sent Japan reeling.
There have been plenty of reports of the aftershocks that keep rattling Japan and hampering relief efforts, but this is astounding. Click on the Japan Quake Map above and watch a sequential plot of all 572 earthquakes that have measured higher than a 4.0 on the Richter since last Friday.
On the map, the size of the ring indicates the magnitude, and the color shows how deep the earthquake occurred. You can also play with the settings a bit and limit the plots you see based on minimum magnitude or date.
The sequence starts off very slow, with three medium-sized earthquakes all close to 5.0 on the Richter, then a long twelve hours before the massive 9.0 magnitude quake that lights up the entire screen and sets off an absolutely stunning sequence. You can practically feel the Earth's crust settling as you watch the circles explode.
So far there have been 38 earthquakes measuring higher than 6.0 on the Richter, seven higher than 6.5, and three higher than 7.0.
I'm sure the map is valuable to geologists and others working in the Earth sciences, but for us laypeople, it really serves best to just drive home how unbelievably fragile the Earth's surface is on the Pacific Rim.