Researchers of the Institute of Ecological Problems of the North, Ural Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, and the Schmidt Institute of Physics of Earth, Russian Academy of Sciences, have developed technology that allows to register nanoearthquakes - seismic events of minimal possible magnitudes (-4, -5). Registration of such events allows to quickly and accurately make up seismic activity maps of small-scale territories.
Investigation of seismic activity in quiet areas (including revelation and assessment of degree of fracture activity) is of great practical importance. People are laying pipelines, building nuclear power-stations, radioactive waste storages and other potentially dangerous constructions, including tower buildings. However, the earth is vibrating from time to time even in the quietest areas. Certainly, typical shaking of the earth in the middle of the platform is much weaker than that in active regions, but it can also cause trouble if minifracture happens to go under a nuclear power plant. Nanoearthquakes can serve the indicator of seismic well-being in a certain area, but observations over nanoearthquakes require special technology.
Seismic activity of the territory is judged by the earthquake recurrence diagram. In a double logarithmic scale, the diagram represents a straight line, the slope of which characterized seismic activity. The diagram is drawn up based on observation results. Strong earthquakes are the easiest to register but they have to be awaited for a long time. To obtain reliable information about weaker and more frequent quakes, which slightly exceed the noise level and occur 10 to 20 times within half an hour, the researchers have to spend several days per each spot. Only three hours are needed to measure the most feeble events, but they are difficult to be distinguished from disturbances caused by the wash, transport motion or the life of a big settlemen. Besides, existence of such feeble vibrations was assumed only theoretically. However, Russian geophysicists have managed to record them.
Sergey Komarov | alfa
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