Los Angeles Times
: Ocean waves create seismic waves much weaker than those produced by earthquakes. Once considered problematic because they interfered with scientists’ efforts to monitor actual earthquakes, ocean waves are now being used to predict potential earthquake damage. Researchers at Stanford University and MIT have developed what they call a “virtual earthquake” technique
that uses the seismicity of ocean waves to study how the ground moves and its effects on tall buildings and other structures. What they found was that Los Angeles could suffer three times as much damage as surrounding areas because the city sits on a large sedimentary basin, which amplifies the effects of the seismic waves. The new virtual technique has been used to test earlier computer simulations.