Julie Bort

World’s largest man-made earthquake

Posted By: on August 18, 2009

There are no earthquakes in Colorado. But that didn’t stop a research team from Colorado State University from building the world’s largest earthquake shake table. The project, done in conjunction with building material maker Simpson Strong-Tie, is an attempt to recreate a series of earthquakes similar to the 1994 Northridge, Calif. quake that brought many a building to the ground. The goal is to test new building designs to see how they would stand up to such a quake.

If you are going to fake a big earthquake, you’ll need a big facility. This table was created at the Hyogo Earthquake Engineering Research Center, a 3D full-scale earthquake testing facility in Miki City, Japan, north of Kobe. Its shake table measures about 65 by 49 ft. and can support experimental buildings weighing up to 2.5 million pounds. The project’s condominium tower, pictured, weighs nearly a million pounds. Check out more photographs and videos here.

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