Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Underground Water Regulates Earthquakes

14.09.2007
Earthquakes happen to be surface (shallow-focus), intermediate and deep ones. Seismologists mark out the boundary between the first two types at the depth of about 70 kilometers, its nature being still unclear. Russian researchers, specialists of the Institute of Maritime Geology and Geophysics (Far-Eastern Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences), Geophysical Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the P.P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology (Russian Academy of Sciences) have put forward a hypothesis that the seismic boundary is simultaneously the lower boundary of hydrosphere. The earthquakes character depends on underground water.

Earthquakes taking place “at different sides of the boundary” differ from each other not only by the depth. Shallow-focus earthquakes – they account for about 85% of all recorded events - often take place under the influence of periodic external effects, for example, rising tides, which disturb the entire lithosphere of the Earth. Periodicity is not inherent to deeper earthquakes, they always occur by chance. The conclusion was made by the researchers who had analyzed the world ISC/NEIC catalogues data that covers the 1964-2005 period and takes into account about 80,000 events.

Seismologists connect existence of the 70-kilometer boundary with water state changes in the interior of the Earth. The deeper the water molecules are located, the more compressed they are. At the depth of about 70 kilometers, the water compression strain index increases up to 1.3. This is the way water molecules are squeezed in the crystal lattice. Above this boundary, water exists mainly in free phase, below the boundary – water embeds into the rock crystallite composition.

The rock containing free water (above the boundary) promptly reacts to periodic tidal effects, even the faintest ones. Pressure changes and respective environment density changes cause formation of a crack system, where free water rushes to. The cracks widen, increase, and rock decay gives birth to a seismic focus. In the rock, where free water is absent (below the boundary), weak tidal effects are not accumulated and deformation does not grow.

So, the seismic boundary at the depth of about 70 kilometers (where, according to the researchers’ assumption, the lower hydrosphere boundary runs) separates the events that are able to react to external action and the ones incapable of such reaction. Therefore, this boundary separates different types of earthquakes. However, it is still a hypothesis that requires experimental validation.

Nadezda Markina | alfa
Further information:
http://www.informnauka.ru

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Geophysicists and atmospheric scientists partner to track typhoons' seismic footprints
16.02.2018 | Princeton University

nachricht NASA finds strongest storms in weakening Tropical Cyclone Sanba
15.02.2018 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

'Lipid asymmetry' plays key role in activating immune cells

20.02.2018 | Life Sciences

MRI technique differentiates benign breast lesions from malignancies

20.02.2018 | Medical Engineering

Major discovery in controlling quantum states of single atoms

20.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>