Predicting when large earthquakes might occur may be a step closer to reality, thanks to a new study of undersea earthquakes in the eastern Pacific Ocean. The study, reported in today’s Nature, is the first to suggest that small seismic shocks or foreshocks preceding a major earthquake can be used in some cases to predict the main tremors.
Scientists from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and the University of Southern California (USC) report that some types of large undersea earthquakes may be predictable on time scales of hours or less. Earthquakes on land are generally not preceded by systematic immediate foreshocks and hence cannot be predicted as easily with the same methods.
The research team, led by Jeffrey McGuire of WHOI, studied past earthquakes along five transform faults on the East Pacific Rise, where tectonic plates are spreading apart at a rate of more than ten centimeters or five inches a year. The team used data from sensors deployed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory that pinpointed the time and location of foreshocks and the mainshocks or larger earthquakes.
Shelley Dawicki | EurekAlert!
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A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
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The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
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The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
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