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Earthquake Twists Railroad Tracks

On September 4th, a 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck New Zealand. Pictured above is a railroad track that crossed the fault line near Rolleston. Geographer Dave Petley of the American Geophysical Union writes:

The second image is particularly interesting. Note how the rails show high levels of deformation whilst the surrounding ground shows comparatively little. Notice also how the big kink on the left side has pushed the ballast aside and into the track side ditch This has happened on the right side too, but to a lesser extent. The right side bend nearest the camera has pushed the ballast towards the camera.

My initial hypothesis here (I am no expert on railway track deformation) in order to stimulate discussion is that the buckling may be the result of compressional deformation across a broad zone. The compression on the very strong railway line was accommodated when a weak point was found, leading to a comparatively rapid deformation to form the main buckle on the left. This then concentrated stress on both sides of the buckle, allowing the other (right side) bends to form.

Link via Gizmodo | Photo: Malcolm Teasdale

fake. the shadows are impossible. import the image to photoshop and active "command ' " for the grid (or go to view>show>grid) and you can see for yourself.
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Nice to see that people think this just must be 'shopped because it looks so freakish. But like one guy says over there- this pic was taken with a tele lens, so the effect of the deforming looks even more severe than it already is.

But reading the newslinks they provide over there, they had a rather huge problem.
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A quick youtube search for the naysayers:

Trust me, having lived through this quake I can tell you that this damage is not at all surprising. The earth shook in a lateral movement. There was very little "up and down". For the record, the quake yielded 648 kilotons of energy, and was only 20 miles deep. Thats the equivalent of 45 Hiroshima bombs, practically directly below where this image was taken.
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Bullshit. This pic does not show quake damage, it shows new track being built. Notice the tire ruts, fence line, etc. that are not deformed. I've seen other pics of tracks after earthquakes; the info in the article is correct, but the pic is the result of a lazy reporter I think.
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Indeed, fake, and a good Photoshop attempt.

So, what happens to gravel when shaken? It gets flung quite widely. Steel rails will bend, but not get stretched, unless under a high temperature to make it pliable. They would be straight, lying in pieces, scattered like gravel. Nice try.
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Artor and tdcpunkology what about that 'tube that philfy posted? Also fake? Seems philfy was there and you guys not. This is just like saying hey that quake was fake because lots of houses didn't have damage, so the ones that are damaged are fake and must have been Shopped.
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To all of you "Photoshop" people out there. The photo and explanation is genuine. You may want to learn about the energy released during a 7.0 earthquake.

How about simply Googling that Earthquake and seeing the complete damage it did.

What you see in the image is a compression failure, not a fault movement deflection. This is why the rest of the landscape is not deformed. This makes it extremely dangerous as those rails are still under extreme pressure to remain deflected as they are, like a spring.

I would guess in order to repair those rails, they'd have to place cutting charges on them and get the heck out of Dodge.
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The quake was a fake. Count the pixels. There are extra ones on the area where the green grass suddenly appears out of the purple stuff beside the fault-line. And why are the sheep still standing?

I came up with 42 extra pixels.

Nuff said.
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We like a lively debate here at Neatorama, but draw the line at name-calling and attacks against other commenters. A couple of comments have already been deleted. If there is any more nastiness directed at other Neatoramanauts, this thread will be closed -and possibly some violators banned. OK?
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i call fake cause im from new zealand and havent seen this photo in any news representation here. and believe me, if this was real the photo would have been put everywhere all the time! such is our annoying news representation.

that said the destruction in the latest quake was pretty epic
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A quick google for NZ earthquake and railroad yielded the above link.

It has a great photoshop, they even turned the locomotive over in it.
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Here's a great one. The second picture on this link is a different angle of the same deformed track. The angles apear even sharper from the new perspective, and imposible to photoshop.

Remember: Google is your friend.
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and, once again cos people just don't seem to get it:

Watch the first 10 seconds of this vid. Nothing fake about it. Try living through a 7.1 quake and then you are qualified to call whatever you want.
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I can assure you that this is not fake. As someone who experienced this earthquake firsthand a couple months ago this sort of thing is the norm as you walk around Christchurch and drive around the Canterbury region.
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