“We found almost 11 times more events in the first three days after the main event. That’s surprising because this is a well-instrumented place and almost 90 percent of the activity was not being determined or reported,” said Zhigang Peng, assistant professor at Georgia Tech’s School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences.
In examining how these aftershocks occurred, Peng and graduate research assistant Peng Zhao discovered that the earliest aftershocks occurred in the region near the main event. Then with time, the aftershocks started migrating. Seeing how the aftershocks move from the center of the quake outward lends credence to the idea that it’s the result of the fault creeping, said Peng.
“Basically, the big event happens due to sudden fault movement, but the fault doesn’t stop after the main event. It continues to move because the stress has been perturbed and the fault is trying to adjust itself. We believe this so-called fault creep is causing most of the aftershocks,” he said.
Peng and Zhao used a method known as the matched filter technique, rather than the standard technique to examine the aftershocks. The traditional way of determining a location of an earthquake is that a human analyst has to go through each seismic recording, determine the order of events and their location. This takes time and if there are many events, or if some of them occur at the same time, it’s hard for the analyst to figure out which came first.
“Because of these difficulties, only the largest aftershocks are located, with many small ones missing. So, we used the matched filter technique because it allows us to use a computer to automatically scan the seismic records to detect events when their patterns are similar. There is no need to manually pick out the aftershocks after the mainshock,” said Peng.
The team chose the 2004 Parkfield quake to test the matched filter technique because the quake is on the San Andreas fault. The San Andreas is one of the most heavily instrumented places in the world, owing to the famous Parkfield, California, earthquake prediction experiment in the 1980s.
Peng is currently using the matched filter technique to work with several other research groups to detect early aftershocks of recent large earthquakes in Japan and China.
David Terraso | Newswise Science News
NASA examines Peru's deadly rainfall
24.03.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Steep rise of the Bernese Alps
24.03.2017 | Universität Bern
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy