Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New method for predicting earthquakes

13.09.2005


The Swedish Defense Research Agency (FOI) and Uppsala University have shown that a method previously used to warn about mining quakes can be used to predict where and when earthquakes are going to take place.

“Using this method, major quakes like the one that caused the tsunami could be predicted better, both in terms of time and geographic area,” says Leif Persson, a researcher at FOI.

Seismology researchers at FOI and Uppsala University have retrospectively examined the occurrence of earthquakes in the area around Sumatra and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands during the five years preceding the catastrophic earthquake off the coast of Sumatra the day after Easter 2004. This earthquake caused the tsunami that claimed the lives of a great many people around the Indian Ocean.



“We wanted to see whether the methods and analytical tools we use to warn about tremors in mines could be used to predict earthquakes,” explains Leif Persson, who pursues research at FOI and Uppsala University.

In the area around Sumatra and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands earthquakes are common. The tension created in the area when continental plates rub against each other produces a number of minor earthquakes several years before the big earthquake comes. During the five years analyzed by the scientists there were 624 quakes in the area. On October 24, 2002, a powerful earthquake was registered at 7.1 on the Richter scale, and on September 13 the same year there was a 6.7 quake. The earthquake the day after Easter Sunday 2004 that caused the tsunami disaster measured 9.0 on the Richter scale.

Scientists from FOI have studied how the activity in the crust of the earth changed ahead of these tremors. They analyzed how the quakes were distributed in time and space within the area. The researchers used the relation between major and minor quakes, the so-called b-value. The lower the b-value, the greater the increase in tension in the earth’s crust, which entails a greater risk of major quakes. By plotting a ‘window’ consisting of 50 quakes and then moving this window in time from January 2000 to December 2004, they made a revolutionary discovery.

“We found that all of the major tremors were clearly visible in a time perspective. The b-value dropped drastically before the big quakes,” says Leif Persson.

To find out where the b-value was geographically at its lowest, the scientists plotted circles containing 50 quakes each on a map. The result of the analysis was extremely clear. The epicenters of the major earthquakes were clearly marked on the map. A new quake that occurred outside Sumatra on March 28 this year also confirmed the researchers’ analyses.

“In other words it is possible to predict where and when an earthquake is going to occur by using methods previously used only to provide warnings about mining quakes. There is a tremendous amount of interest in our conclusions in the scientific community,” says Leif Persson.

Åsa Ivarsson | alfa
Further information:
http://www.foi.se

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Novel method for investigating pore geometry in rocks
17.06.2018 | Kyushu University, I2CNER

nachricht Decades of satellite monitoring reveal Antarctic ice loss
14.06.2018 | University of Maryland

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

Im Focus: Photoexcited graphene puzzle solved

A boost for graphene-based light detectors

Light detection and control lies at the heart of many modern device applications, such as smartphone cameras. Using graphene as a light-sensitive material for...

Im Focus: Water is not the same as water

Water molecules exist in two different forms with almost identical physical properties. For the first time, researchers have succeeded in separating the two forms to show that they can exhibit different chemical reactivities. These results were reported by researchers from the University of Basel and their colleagues in Hamburg in the scientific journal Nature Communications.

From a chemical perspective, water is a molecule in which a single oxygen atom is linked to two hydrogen atoms. It is less well known that water exists in two...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

New type of photosynthesis discovered

18.06.2018 | Life Sciences

New ID pictures of conducting polymers discover a surprise ABBA fan

18.06.2018 | Life Sciences

The car of the future – sleeper cars and travelling offices too?

18.06.2018 | Automotive Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>