scientific american: earthquake forecasting



this is a two page spread that i illustrated for the april 2011 issue of scientific american.

i'll let the words of richard allen (the author) explain the story better than i ever could:

Within seconds of an earthquake’s first subtle motions, scientists can now predict with some certainty how strong and widespread the shaking will be. By integrating new science with modern communication technologies, we could get a few tens of seconds’ warning, or perhaps a half minute, to those in harm’s way. That may not sound like much, but it’s enough to send shutdown warnings to power plants and rail networks, automatically open elevator doors and alert fire fighters.

pretty amazing stuff.

in order to visually convey all of that, i chose to mesh a seismograph line with a city skyline with the arm on the seismograph doubling as the second hand of a clock.

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