"The fact that within six months we have understood this much - that is really quite impressive," said Hiroo Kanamori, a professor emeritus at Caltech, and a revered figure among geophysicists.
was not involved in the research.
, who has studied large earthquakes for decades, said that vast improvements in both the quality and quantity of instruments, and of methodology, has allowed the science to make unprecedented strides forward.
"If this had happened 40 years ago, it would have taken a few years to even understand what it was," he
And although he
said the event certainly was surprising, he
noted that it's only surprising from the perspective of a human lifetime - "not on the geological time scale," he