Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Trapped water cause of regular tremors under Vancouver Island

05.01.2009
University of British Columbia researchers are offering the first compelling evidence to explain regular tremors under Vancouver Island.

The Cascadia megathrust fault, named for its massive but infrequent earthquakes, runs along the length of North America's western coast from northern Vancouver Island to northern California and is the boundary between two of the Earth's tectonic plates.

An area on the fault line – approximately 35 kilometres under Vancouver Island – has also seen surprisingly regular "slips," accompanied by small tremors – roughly every 14 months. The last tremors recorded in this area were in May and lasted for about month, although none were strong enough to be felt by humans.

Megathrust fault lines in the region where episodic tremors occur are structurally weak and prone to slip and slide, but until now scientists have been unable to explain why. In a study published in today's edition of the journal Nature, UBC researchers Pascal Audet, Michael Bostock, Nicolas Christensen and Simon Peacock demonstrate how water trapped in a portion of the fault area escapes periodically after pressure build-up, which in turn lubricates the tectonic plates and causes them to slip and slide.

"Scientists have offered different theories but this is the first detailed glimpse at the geological mechanics beneath the island," says lead author Audet, who conducted the study as a PhD student at UBC's Dept. of Earth and Ocean Sciences.

"While scientists are still a long way away from being able to predict earthquakes, this study brings us one step closer towards understanding the physical state of the megathrust fault and the earthquake cycle as a whole," says Audet, now a Miller Research Fellow at the University of California at Berkeley.

"Additional sensors on the Island, or expanding the sensor array into the waters west of Vancouver Island, could help researchers determine whether fault properties change over time, and where changes are most significant along the fault line," says Peacock, UBC Dean of Science and an expert in subduction zone areas, where tectonic plates dive into the Earth's mantle triggering great earthquakes and explosive volcanism.

Pascal Audet | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.berkeley.edu

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Smallest transistor worldwide switches current with a single atom in solid electrolyte

17.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Robots as Tools and Partners in Rehabilitation

17.08.2018 | Information Technology

Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves

17.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>