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Japan Shows Advanced Quake Simulation Test to Media

Japan Shows Advanced Quake Simulation Test to Media

   Tsukuba, Ibaraki Pref., Sept. 12 (Jiji Press)--Japan's National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Resilience showed the media Tuesday an earthquake simulation test using a state-of-the-art test machine.
   The institute hopes that the machine will help uncover the mechanism of earthquakes in a natural setting, in order to predict large quakes such as ones forecast to occur in the Nankai Trough, which runs off the Pacific coast of central to southwestern Japan.
   The machine, said to be the world's biggest, weighs about 200 tons and consists of two stacked rock slabs, one 7.5 meters long and the other 6 meters long. It uses hydraulic jacks to apply force to the upper and side surfaces of the two rocks to rub them against each other, thereby replicating the sliding of faults.
   It was completed in August at a cost of about 400 million yen, according to the institute in Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture, eastern Japan.
   In Tuesday's experiment, about 300 tons of force was applied from the top and about 120 tons from the side of the stacked rocks, reproducing about 100 slides as the rocks moved against each other by a centimeter.

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