Berkeley Lab Scientist Studies Possible Precursors in Micro-quakes
A Berkeley Lab scientist has identified possible precursors to two recent California earthquakes.
A geophysicist from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has identified possible seismic precursors to two recent California earthquakes, including the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake that wreaked havoc throughout the Bay Area.
After sifting through seismic data from the two quakes, Valeri Korneev found a spike in the number of micro-earthquakes followed by a period of relative calm in the crust surrounding the quakes’ epicenters — months before the quakes occurred. Although more work needs to be conducted to determine whether other large quakes are foreshadowed by a similar rise and subsequent decline in small-magnitude tremors, Korneev’s analysis suggests that these peaks may be indicative of the total set of geological stresses that affect the timing and location of large earthquakes. Understanding this total stress picture may eventually make it be possible to predict destructive earthquakes within a much shorter time frame than currently possible.
Dan Krotz | EurekAlert!
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