Scientists have created a new model that can predict when and where the next earthquake might occur!
The new model claims it can predict when and where the next quake could hit, just days after a 7.8-magnitude quake rocked Turkey and Syria, killing at least 19,000 people.
The model, developed by a group of seismologists and statisticians at Northwestern University, takes into account the exact order and timing of past earthquakes, rather than relying solely on the average time between past earthquakes.
This method also explains why earthquakes tend to appear in clusters.
The team found that faults have “long-term memory,” meaning that the quake didn’t release all the stress built up in the fault over time, so some of the faults remain after a major quake and could trigger another.
Seismologists have traditionally assumed that large fault earthquakes are relatively regular and that the next earthquake will occur at about the same time as the previous two.
Indeed, earthquakes can happen earlier or later, earlier or later than expected.
“When you’re trying to calculate a team’s chances of winning a ball game, you don’t want to look only at the last game and the long-term average,” said Seth Stein, William Dearing Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences. at the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. An overview of additional recent games may also be helpful. Now we can do something similar about earthquakes.”
The team’s research has focused on the study of plate boundary processes and deformation in the lithosphere using a range of techniques, including seismology, space geodesy (measuring the geometry, gravity, and spatial orientation of the Earth and other astronomical objects such as planets), and marine geophysics. .
Study co-author James S. Neely: “Sometimes we see several large earthquakes occurring in relatively short periods of time, and then long periods when nothing happens. Conventional models just can’t handle this kind of behavior.”
The epicenter of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria on Monday was in the Turkish city of Gaziantep.
The initial quake was followed almost immediately by a 6.7 aftershock and then a 7.5 quake, according to the USGS. Hundreds of aftershocks followed.
As of Thursday, the death toll topped 19,000, with over 16,000 reported in Turkey and over 3,000 in Syria.
Earthquakes occur when the mosaic-like pieces of rock that make up the Earth’s surface (known as tectonic plates) suddenly move. Most earthquakes occur along fault lines where tectonic plates meet and move apart.
Turkey sits on top of major fault lines, making it one of the most seismic regions in the world.
Catastrophic earthquakes occur when two tectonic plates moving in opposite directions meet and then suddenly slide.
Plate tectonics consists of the earth’s crust and the upper part of the mantle (earth’s core).
The researchers hope their new model will be a useful tool for seismologists as they can improve earthquake prediction and better prepare for future seismic events such as those in Turkey and Syria.
However, the US Geological Survey insists that no major earthquakes have been predicted and are unlikely to be in the foreseeable future.
The agency says forecasting requires knowledge of date, time, location and size.
According to the US Geological Survey, scientists can only calculate the probability of an earthquake over a certain number of years.
Source: Daily Mail
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