The science of seismology has long wrestled with the problem of discontinuity when evaluating terrestrial phenomena such as earthquakes. Discontinuity arises between the cause of an earthquake and its resulting effects, making it difficult to ascertain what triggered such a seismic occurrence in the first place. This article revisits documented case studies of earthquakes in the United States and the impact of these tectonic upheavals using observations, quantitative measurements and narrative accounts to interrogate the so-called ordered relationship between events and their causes. Architecture as a discipline stands to gain substantial ground through the study of seismology as a discontinuous model of science and of history; diachronic frameworks for comprehending physical evidence are used to reflect on how architects may engage with geological singularities beyond analogy and formal imitation.

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