Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Earth Science News .




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



SHAKE AND BLOW
Do earthquakes have a tell sign
by Staff Writers
Chicago IL (SPX) Oct 09, 2017


illustration only

Researchers have long had good reason to believe that earthquakes are inherently unpredictable. But a new finding from Northwestern University might be a seismic shift for that old way of thinking.

An interdisciplinary team recently discovered that "slow earthquakes," which release energy over a period of hours to months, could potentially lead to nearby "regular earthquakes." The finding could help seismologists better forecast some strong earthquakes set to occur within a certain window of time, enabling warnings and other preparations that may save lives.

"While the build-up of stress in the Earth's crust is largely predictable, stress release via regular earthquakes is more chaotic in nature, which makes it challenging to predict when they might occur," said Kevin Chao, a data science scholar in the Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems. "But in recent years, more and more research has found that large earthquakes in subduction zones are often preceded by foreshocks and slow earthquakes."

Supported by the National Science Foundation, the research was published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth. Chao, who is also a member of Northwestern's Center for Optimization and Statistical Learning, served as the paper's first author. Suzan van der Lee, a professor of earth and planetary sciences in Northwestern's Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, also contributed to the work.

Chao and his colleagues began their work several years ago by turning to a region within Taiwan, home to approximately 100 seismic stations that have continuously recorded ground motion for years. It was there the team noticed deep tremors, a type of slow earthquake that typically recurs in days- or weeks-long cycles.

"Deep tremor is very sensitive to small stress changes," Chao said. "So, we decided to use them as stress meters to monitor local variations in stress build-up and release before and after large earthquakes."

To detect and monitor this deep tremor activity, Chao's team developed a sophisticated set of algorithms and applied it to data from 10 seismic stations in Taiwan. They discovered that deep tremor started to change its behavior about two months before the occurrence of a 6.4-magnitude earthquake in March 2010 in southern Taiwan. The tremor's duration, for example, increased by two-fold before this event and continued to increase afterwards.

Although deep tremor was first reported in 2002, scientists have not found many cases in which behavior changed before large earthquakes. "After the 6.4-magnitude earthquake occurred, we noticed a potential to study deep tremor near the event," Chao said. "We identified the increase in tremor duration three weeks before the earthquake, but we initially could not draw conclusions because tremor rates increase all the time and for different reasons.

But three years after the 6.4-magnitude, Chao and his colleagues noticed that their observations of tremor activity coincided with nearby a GPS recording, which indicated a flip in the direction of ground motion near tremor sources.

By combining data from earth observatories, such as GPS and seismic stations, with statistics and a series of algorithms, the team showed that changes in deep tremor patterns could signal an impending earthquake nearby. To further test the finding, Chao examined four additional earthquakes and discovered that similar precursory patterns did exist. He and Van der Lee hope that this work will inspire more data-driven research in the seismology field.

"Much more data analysis of these tiny but fascinating tremor signals is necessary," he said, "before mid- to short-term earthquake forecasting become reliable."

SHAKE AND BLOW
Mexico says last body found in rubble after quake
Mexico City (AFP) Oct 4, 2017
Emergency workers pulled the last victim's body Wednesday from the rubble of Mexico's September 19 earthquake, officials said, as the country turned to rebuilding after a disaster that claimed more than 360 lives. After 15 days of searching, workers found the final victim's body beneath the mountain of rubble left by the collapse of a seven-story office building in Mexico City's hard-hit Rom ... read more

Related Links
Northwestern University
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
When the Earth Quakes
A world of storm and tempest


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

SHAKE AND BLOW
Hurricane survivors swap Caribbean seas for English peas

US Gulf Coast begins cleanup after Nate proves weaker than expected

800 Yazidis refugees resettled in Canada: minister

Sandy Hook mother angry but hopeful after Las Vegas slaughter

SHAKE AND BLOW
Microlasers get a performance boost from a bit of gold

Atomistic simulations go the distance on metal strength

Surfactants have surprising effect on nanobubble stability

Teleoperating robots with virtual reality

SHAKE AND BLOW
Did rapid sea-level rise drown fossil coral reefs around Hawaii?

Pacific's Niue creates huge marine sanctuary

Shipping, fishing killed Canada right whales: autopsy

Prince Charles warns 'plastic on the menu' in world's fish

SHAKE AND BLOW
In warmer climates, Greenlandic deltas have grown

Return of the Weddell polynya supports Kiel climate model

Winter cold extremes linked to high-altitude polar vortex weakening

Shipping risks rise as Antarctic ice hits record low

SHAKE AND BLOW
Bee-harming pesticides in 75 percent of honey worldwide: study

Are we at a tipping point with weed control?

Climate solution in soil

Climate change, population growth may lead to open ocean aquaculture

SHAKE AND BLOW
Assessing regional earthquake risk and hazards in the age of exascale

Mexico says last body found in rubble after quake

Preservation of floodplains is flood protection

Vanuatu volcano island evacuation complete

SHAKE AND BLOW
Three US Green Berets killed in Niger

Liberian women hold mass fast for peaceful elections

Nigeria: Cooperation 'key' to defeating jihadists

The link between drought and riots in sub-Saharan Africa

SHAKE AND BLOW
Prehistoric humans are likely to have formed mating networks to avoid inbreeding

Ancient humans left Africa to escape drying climate

Scientists find more modern human traits influenced by Neandertal DNA

Isotopic analyses link the lives of Late Neolithic individuals to burial location in Spain




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News






The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement