At 4:30 this morning there was an earthquake in Christchurch - a pretty big one (7.1 or 7.0, depending on whether you trust the New Zealand Herald or Wikinews more). While I in no way wish to trivialise something that probably gave a lot of people a really bad day*, I managed to find something interesting in the photos taken by Dr. Mark Quigley, a lecturer in the Department of Geological Sciences at the University of Canterbury, and, in my opinion, a really cool guy if he actually goes by the name "Dr. Quigs". All the photos that follow are of today's quake, and credit for them goes to Dr. Quigs.
When I picture the effects of a large earthquake, two things come to mind:
1) Damage to buildings/structures, or damage caused by pieces of the aforementioned falling off.
2) Great big cracks in the ground.
I imagine I'm like most people in this regard. But one thing that one doesn't necessarily expect from an earthquake is mounds of sand and dirt pushed up by the force of the quake.
"I didn't know earthquakes could do that!"
"Well, there's a lot you don't know about earthquakes."
The Avon river burst its banks in places.
Mud, mud, everywhere, really.
According to the bio on his website, Dr. Quigs enjoys "swims in Arctic lakes, tundra golf, and staring contests with muskox and caribou." The only way he could be more badass is if it turned out that he caused the earthquake with his lecturer powers and was actually a supervillain called something like "Dr. Quake". But only a little bit more badass.
*Okay, maybe I do enjoy trivialising it just a little. But hey, I'm not the only person having a bit of fun.
UPDATE: Also, quicksand!